My name is Clemma and I am writing about my experience with the Dexcom Seven continuous glucose monitoring system. I live in Minneapolis with my young son and my not so young husband. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 11 years ago, when I was almost 21 years old. I started pumping 7 years ago, first with a Minimed 508, then an Animas IR1200, and now with the OmniPod. Friday, June 29 I hooked up to my newest constant companion, the one and only Comrade Dex...
Friday, July 6, 2007
Dexcom Seven is waterproof...sort of
After seven days of showers, the patch sticks to my skin very well. My insulin pump patch starts to pull away after a few days of showers. The Dexcom patch is still on there as tightly as ever. I haven't noticed any problems with water leaking in between the transmitter and the pod. I usually have the receiver sitting too far away to pick up signal, which means while I am in the shower I don't get readings, but my showers aren't long enough for that to be a problem.
Let's talk about swimming. The Dexcom promotions literature says you can swim. The manual says the site is waterproof to a depth of 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. Now, I guess this is fine if I'm sitting in a wading pool for a brief period, but 3 feet for 30 minutes doesn't sound like waterproof to me. If I want to swim laps for an hour, is it ok at 1.5 feet for 60 minutes? What if I play water polo? I don't, but there are diabetic people out there who do. I don't know, 3 feet for 30 minutes sounds more like water resistant, not waterproof. When I was at a pool last week with my son, I didn't get in because I was afraid of going too deep or being in too long and killing my first sensor. I don't want to run any trial and error testing, because these dang things are so expensive.
My other problem with the waterproof claim is that the manual states very clearly that the receiver is not at all waterproof. Must not moisten the receiver! OK, so what good is the waterproof transmitter when I'm swimming, or just hanging out near a pool or lake while my son plays in the water, if I have to keep the receiver too far away to receive signal? Hanging out at the edge of the pool with my son for two hours, unable to use the Dexcom because water is flying everywhere, really defeats the purpose.
My one-week conclusion is that the Seven is much improved over the original for taking showers, having a water balloon fight, or getting caught in a rainstorm - as long as the receiver stays dry. I think it falls short of the mark for swimming. I'd be too nervous about ruining the sensor, and without the receiver nearby I wouldn't have access to the trends, especially the lows that can come with exercise, which is the whole reason for having this dang thing in the first place. In summary: better, but still room to improve.