Review: Dexcom G6

In living long enough to have experienced every device in the Diabetes bio-tech product offerings list I can honestly say that while the marketing of the way the new Dexcom G6 system works is pretty awesome it doesn’t live up to it’s claims.

Listed are the following items you might want to consider before pulling the trigger to replace your G5 unit.

All experiences with this device are my own and do not reflect those of some users, however; I encourage you to go to the boards and look at the many posts reviewing the new system for further decision making input.

  1. The unit is not always accurate (30-100 point deviance off actual blood test readings).

    This is a concern if you are considering the software link to allow the device to control your insulin pump dosing.

  2. The ability to manually calibrate this has been taken away in the new system and at the very best you can wait for 3 hours to see an accurate number.

  3. The adhesive pads for sensors do not stick and my experience with this has been that in 5/5 sensors the average time I can keep one on is 3 days before they start to peel. As I did not have issues with adhesive except some skin reaction in the first 4 years but did have issues with adhesive sticking for my G5 in the last year before moving to the G6 I can only surmise that Dexcom is either skimping on the glue or they have changed it and it doesn’t work. I have had to implement using IV Prep at added OPC to keep them on and this is both an unhealthy alternative and reflects manufacturers defect in product. They are wasting a crazy number of devices to keep resending them to me and defeating the 10 day wear claim.

  4. If I sleep on the sensor (pressure) it either reads a sudden drop in blood sugar or turns off data completely. I’ve not slept much in the last week and am angry at the idea that the only sites I can guarantee won’t suffer this malfunction are my abdomen and thigh front.

  5. Dexcom customer service is so aggressively geared towards blaming the patient and choosing not to actually do anything about the problems other than replace the sensor, that I will now be reporting every single sensor failure or issue with the device to the FDA. I know… the FDA is not our friend these days… but at least they have to document and if enough reaches them they have to act.

    I’ve been around the block a few decades and this new ideology amongst bio-tech companies that we as people with Diabetes are simply a cog in the wheel of profiteering but it doesn’t matter whether the product actually works… only that we believe it does at point of sale… when in fact it’s being misrepresented... is just not okay or professional.

    The above listed issues have not made life or Diabetes management easier but instead have added to the amount of time it takes to keep Dexcom’s problem running and on the road and the stress of wearing yet another gadget that while it may be harming me does not help me in a significant way. It has taken away from the time I use to do my job as a professional to spend so much on the phone with the Dexcom customer service representatives who are in desperate need of sensitivity training.

    I initially loved the idea that I would be able to sleep for the first time in 54 years when I got my first Dex…. but alas the only activity it has proven useful for is to track trending when I ride my bike, IF the readings are correct based on fingerstick… and IF the device can keep up with fluctuations which it appears incapable of doing.

    At the end of the day it’s an individual decision to engage a device to do the job for you, and I totally get it that bruised and battered fingers from sticking are just plain evil… but the device is not in my opinion proving it’s value in the benefit to risk department.

    Dexcom G6 grade: D-

    Ciao for now… hope this helps… contact me if you need further info

The Navigation Game

When we're all challenged to carve out that time to learn how to navigate Diabetes how can we learn effective ways to mitigate the damage and optimize our health?

My personal experience has been that while many have bits and pieces of the puzzle few have the whole picture or the correct data to create a comprehensive plan for that quality of life goal we all want. I am not at the beginning of my journey with Diabetes... chatting you up about the things I do with no long term evidence of their success. I am in the twilight of my prognosis.... I have beaten it by double... and I am still riding my bike on 10,00 ft mountains, with my toes, no laser surgery, and no loss of organs.

Meta T1d is here because in my 54 years of Diabetes navigation, I have done far more teaching and have gotten far less tools from the practice and bio-tech paradigms than I wanted in the quest for health and complication mitigation. After 54 years I have reached a level of normative dialogue with providers that feels like mutual respect but it has come at a price. The time it takes for the research is valuable time and at the other end there can be assumptions that I don't need much in the way of provision when I do. After all I don't have the ability to "really" see the bottoms of my heels like I did when I was a young and limber dancer. The downside to not being a doctor is that although I know in many cases which labs to run I can't write the requisition for them.

So... I have been told by providers at best that I need to attend medical school for the purpose of going into practice... and at worst I have been labeled a professional patient... but at the end of the day it all boils down to the Golden Compass... the one inside that tells you when something is right, when something is wrong, and when you don't have enough information (most of the time) to decide until you travel down the rabbit hole of research (aka due diligence). 

The spirit of this blog is one of sharing and educating in a way that allows for your ability to be successful using all modalities that really work for more than the 44% dictated by studies while respecting the 2% of people who have legitimate issues with much of the current paradigm.

You will be allowed into the inner sanctum of my research... and what I think about the current arena at all levels… Something I wish I had when I was coming through the ranks and it's mostly not what's out there in the environment.

The bonus for you if you follow this blog or buy the book (yes it's a shameless plug prior to release because... well... it took 54 years to amass enough understanding and experience to write it; more hardcore time than many providers are in practice) is that you can learn without the more serious bumps I experienced along the way. This blog will be excerpts and added snippets from current daily living as well as other stuff along with excerpts mentioned in the book but nevertheless important for a larger picture of life with Diabetes... thus Meta T1D... Meta being from the original Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μετά-) meaning "after", or "beyond" to indicate a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept; used to complete or add to the latter, in pursuit or quest of, or  "higher, beyond". In the case of Diabetes I have coined Meta T1D to signify going above and beyond the disease and it’s treatment, the current practices, and our own beliefs to get an aerial view of the quest we are on and what we need to crush the current paradigms and outcomes. They haven't changed that much in the course of the last 100 years, but neither has treatment, and in some ways it has become less beneficial.

You may not always agree with what I put on this blog but that's ok as long as you don't miss the importance of the questions it should provoke and the dialogues we can share to shift the current paradigms together.

Ciao for now!...

B.