I had a good convo with my Dexcom rep today about why so few people in my area know about the Dexcom. Joe you are great, thanks for talking with me today.
He said the number one thing is that Doctors and their supporting staff are afraid of change. Change can be scary I suppose but Diabetes is an ever changing disease. Type 1 Diabetes is always changing from day to day. Why wouldnt you want the best tools available to help your patients stay on top of those moment to moment changes? Why would you put your patient on a Medtronic sensor when their success rate is so low. Not even 50% of Medtronic sensor wearers are wearing the sensors daily at 6 months. So whats the point of puttting people on it still? Really? Especially if you know the long term success rate is so low. Why would you not want whatever is the best for your patients? If one brand of sensor doesn't work for them why would you not want to give them another option?
Medtronic sensors hurt, or at least the last version did and you have calibrate them ONLY when you blood sugar is stable and I hear over and over again about the range being crap. Like you can only have the pump and sensor 6 inches apart? Yikes. My Dexcom is on my arm and my receiver is on my desk. At least three feet apart. I can calibrate my Dexcom whenever the heck I feel like it and it only requires one every 12 hours. Easy as cake.
Carrying an extra device is kind of a drag but the trade off is worth it and you don't have to be on a pump to get the Dexcom. Dexcom is pairing up with Animas and Tandem Diabetes. I am on the Tandem pump t:slim (which I LOVE) and Tandem hopes to have it available this year. I am guessing it will be early next year, but that's just my guess.
I have been a Dexcom wearer since December 2011, I think. I have maybe, maybe not worn it for 3 weeks total in those many months. 27 months of continuous wear and every so often I take a one day break. I took a 4 day break once and I seriously thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. I couldn't handle not knowing what my blood sugar was doing. I couldn't do it, it was crazy. I cannot go backwards in my Diabetes care. My Dexcom and pump have become my lifeline. I could not imagine going to shots and no CGM. Knowing what my blood sugar is doing all the time and going to sleep at night with a little bit less worry is revolutionizing for my Diabetes management.
The Dexcom has been such a game changer for parents. I could not imagine going to bed wondering if my child would crash in the night or not and possibly have a seizure or die. The parents in the Dexcom groups I am in are just completely in love with this system and it has saved some of their sanity and worry about their child sleeping at night. If my daughter were to ever become Diabetic (I pray every day that she doesn't) the first thing I would get would be a Dexcom. No doubt in my mind for one second. If I could get it for my Diabetic dog also, I would. Some of these parents schools give them such an incredible hard time about asking them to manage their Dexcom and it just kills me to hear that. This tool makes their job so much easier to help keep these kids safe. Its called change, don't be afraid of it, you should want to change and learn and help these kids. Getting told you are Diabetic to begin with is very hard and it can be very secluding and depressing. No one else gets it. Kids don't need their school to throw a huge fit over them having a Dexcom or a pump. Don't make them feel any more less normal than the other kids. Diabetes can make you feel like an outcast and as a kid with the pressures of school, I cannot imagine how they feel. I was diagnosed after high school so I didnt deal with a lot of the b.s. I hear from other people.
My t:slim pump is also a no brainer and people are still afraid of it. The ease of use of this pump, for me, is a hands down winner. No changing to a million different screens, no more scrolling up and down to enter bgs or carbs. All touch screen. Hello, it is 2014. Who wants to look at a way out of date analog green and black screen? Medtronic has a great pump dont get me wrong and I had great luck with it but they need to get with the program, they didnt even redesign the newest pump. I can litterally enter my bg and carbs and take a bolus in seconds with my t:slim. Not possible with Medtronic.
I am excited for the upcoming Dexcom & Tandem innovations. Sending my bgs to my smart phone and a paired t:slim pump and hopefully in five years a closed loop pump/cgm combo. Wearing a device that just manages my Diabetes sounds like magic to my ears. So many innovations on the horizon and so many things to look forward to.
My point being if you are a health care provider and are refusing to learn the Dexcom system or a new Pump brand or refusing to show it to your patients who are out of other options or are needing the extra help, shame on you. Shame on you for denying your patients the tools they need to manage their disease. Not all systems work for everyone, we Diabetics need options. If one doesn't work then we need to try a different one. Don't just push one brand over another because it is comfortable and its what you know, you need to find what works best for your patient living with this disease.
I cannot believe in this day and age that Doctors are refusing to learn new technology.
Do we still use outdated drugs that are less effective than new drugs? Do we still drive cars made in the 1920's that didnt run for crap and had to be fixed every other day? Would you sell someone a washing machine that you knew in 6 months would be broken and the purchaser wouldn't use it anymore? Would you willing buy a car that you knew you would hate in 6 months to a year?
Learn the new tools, show them to your patients, give them all the options on the table, let them choose the systems they think will work the best for them. We, the people with Diabetes are the ones who have to go home and use these tools effectively and manage our disease without you holding our hand at home or helping us count carbs.