When to keep or throw diabetes equipment

As far as having a CGM goes, there are really nice things about being able to track BG. EH’s BG control is greatly improved while using the Dexcom G4, as many folks here report for their versions of CGM’s. I think we are probably due for an update, but somebody at Dexcom/our endo office (can’t remember which now) told us to hold off a while back, and we have not re-initiated the upgrade. Need to look into their product cycle and get ready for an insurance battle probably (UHC users here).

We struggled with getting the transmitter replaced at some point (it broke while Eric was out of town, and he threw it away because he thought it was disposable.) Dexcom was really difficult to work with on this, as we were going through some third party company called Byram Healthcare to reach them, and they refused to send another transmitter unless we paid out of pocket. The transmitter was under warranty and they wanted it back. It’s in a landfill somewhere in the Midwest, and they refused to give us another one – it probably took around six months for us to get it sorted, whenever EH was up for a new one insurance-wise we got one. Now now that we dumped that third-party company and are working with Dexcom directly it is going a little better and EH is using the CGM more frequently. We travel a lot and we travel very light, so an extra set of stuff kicking around in his bag pissed him off so he chucked it. Ooooops. I guess the point of the story is that if anything goes wrong – keep all of the equipment, call them, and then toss it if you have to.



The amount of “diacrap” I have to pack for a road trip appears to take up most of the back seat of our car these days!! Eeek!! :scream_cat: :scream_cat:

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Having worked in the medical device field for most of my adult life. I can say, that if your device has a serial number, then never throw it away if it fails, the manufacturer will want it back. That is because if the FDA thought it important enough to have a serial number, the manufacturer has to track and report all failures. Of course, reporting a failure requires analysis, which requires a return.

If it is less important, it will have a lot number. The sensor have lot numbers. For these items they usually won’t ask for them back.


I’m travelling for two months in a couple of weeks, and I’m packing an entire suitcase of just diabetes supplies and food (I have severe food allergies and eat low-carb for diabetes). It does get a bit ridiculous, but I typically pack twice what I think I’ll need. On my last trip about a month ago I forgot to pack extra test strips, and what do you know, that’s the only trip so far where my Dexcom sensor died (I hadn’t packed an extra) and I had two flights delayed for hours (for completely different reasons) and missed a third. So for the final 24 hours of my trip, including trying to sleep in a hotel the airline put me in, I had no way of checking my blood sugar at all. That’s something I’ll never do again!

As for the Dexcom, I pay for that entirely out of pocket, so I throw nothing away. I have old transmitters that I’m keeping just because I can’t bring myself to throw away something I paid $800 for.

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I had no idea – that makes total sense, and that absolutely explains several of my interactions with equiment manufacturers.

@TravelingOn, we were told by Dexcom to always talk directly to them on equipment failures, not the distributors (we go through one too). Dexcom ensures all maintenance and support. Dexcom has always been really good with us on replacing both failed transmitters and sensors – (with one exception that has not applied to us: when they are out of date - although they have never asked us about whether a sensor is out of date).

Actually, that is good! First, these transmitters appear to be worth $40-$80 on ebay. But you can also get the battery changed for about as much and use them with xdrip afterwards.

So never throw your transmitters away!

I have been saving old transmitters. There have been discussions on tuD describing how to replace the batteries. I have a friend that has the tools required to do that, in case I get to the point of needing it.

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I have heard of these services, but haven’t really looked into them in Canada, though I’m sure they exist.

Since I have the G4, I think I can use the transmitter with the receiver, as far as I know it doesn’t track the transmitter ID and shut it down like the G5 does.

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Oh, you are right, I think you can still use it with the Dexcom app if you have the G4!

They are aftermarket services by third party craftsmen. First they were on ebay then on Etsy, but right now I think there are two FB groups focused on it. It is a good thing, I think, because you get a sense of trust that way, since we see the FB feedback people have.

No app, though, just the receiver. :slight_smile: I’m so far behind. We never got Dexcom Share in Canada (unfortunately!) and the G5 is too expensive for me, so I’m stuck with the older technology. But it does what I need it to do, and in many ways I like having the separate receiver.


My understanding is that if the battery is replaced in the G4 transmitter, then G4 receiver would then start using it as long as the signal is strong enough. No need for share.

If have the tools and skill, you split open the transmitter, replace battery and patch it back up. The FB group Michel mentions may be doing battery replacement for a charge. I am not familiar with it.

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Yes. I think it is around $80 but I could be wrong. I think I have seen used G4 transmitters with replaced battery for sale for about $80-$100 $120-$150 (that was about 6 months ago).

Here is a thread where Maria (@walkingthedragon88) discussed successfully having her G4 battery replaced: Dexcom G4/G5 transmitter battery replacement

There are several URLs listed in it to get batteries replaced.

Thanks !! I will check into this too. Wonder if the refurbished transmitter is in an inactive state, so battery does not start discharge until removed from packaging, like the new ones.


@CatLady we had a laugh about the backseat comment over dinner. At least you’re prepared?!?

@Chris I have tended to like your comments so far, so that’s a plus - I now have an improved view of the medical device field. :wink: Your point is so obvious, and yet it never occurred to me! I’m hoping this thread will prevent others from having to learn the hard way. Thanks for sharing!

@Jen wow, that sounds traumatic! I would totally be packing lots of spares if we’d had that experience. We have landed in Maui once, only to realize the spare strips were sitting on the kitchen table. Costco pharmacy came to the rescue. It took hours, but they got spare strips approved and even upgraded Eric’s meter to a newer version (Freestyle Lite - which is great). Oh my goodness about the Dexcom, I’m sorry you’re out of pocket on that - that is rough. I’m not sure what your situation is - but I will send good thoughts towards that being paid for by another method somehow.

In reading the rest of this thread, I’m realizing how unknowledgeable about the CGM stuff I actually am! I guess I’ve got more reading to do!