Conquering life living with Type 1 Diabetes

Dexcom and Opsite Flexifix (tape) tutorial

Time and time again I read about Dexcom'ers not being able to keep their Dexcom stuck down or they have NEVER heard of Smith and Nephew Opsite Flexifix.  I had never heard of it either until I read about it from other Dexcom'ers!  It is amazing stuff and I personally love it.  I do know some people are allergic to it or hate the way it feels, so please only get ONE roll to try it.  I get the 2 inch wide roll and it is 11 yards long.  It will last a LONG time.  I know some people like to use 1 piece and get the 4 inch wide but for me and my husband the 2 inch roll works better and is easier to handle.  Plus I don't feel that there is enough extra tape over the edge of the white Dexcom tape when using the 4 inch wide roll.

I did not make a video, I am still too chicken to make a video and post it online for the entire world to see.

This is what the box looks like.

Here is the white back paper. This is the part you take half off at a time when applying it to your skin.

Here is the green grid side.  This is the side you take off last.

I use paper plates to make my templates.  It makes it easy and quick and I made a new one last night just so you can see how I do it. First I trace the edges of the 2 inch wide tape then draw around the sensor and make it wider than the sensor tape itself for extra grip past the white tape.  Then I cut the oval out.

This is what it looks like cut out and how it is larger than the white Dexcom tape.  I personally prep my skin with alcohol wipes, about 2-3 of them to make sure I get all lotion or skin oils off my skin so the tape will stick well.  ALSO a major tip, do not shower right before or after you put this tape on.  I personally get the best results a few hours before bed, I shower in the morning, so it has all night long to get a good bond to my skin before showering in the morning.  Also the first day you apply this tape it the easiest time to accidentally rip it off.  Dress and shower carefully so you dont yank it off. 

Keep in mind my husband does my Dexcom changes for me, I really have no way possible to do this procedure myself, I just cant reach and the tape ends up a wrinkled mess of disasterness.   To make it a bit more simple he peels off one side of the white backing paper, and puts it on my arm to help it remain smooth. Then he folds it back over itself, removes other side and smooths it down carefully.  Then rub it on a little bit and then carefully remove the green grid plastic covering.  Sometimes holding your hand over the tape for a few minutes does help it get good and stuck down because it warms it up.  I do NOT cut a hole for the sensor wire, just shoot right through it.

Just for fun here is the applicator on my arm and after putting the transmitter on.  This is actually the first time we have found the "sweet" spot on my left arm, it typically hurts for a while but this time we missed the muscle in my arm! I went farther back towards the inside of my arm.

My arm looks really crazy in the left picture, so I tried to get a better one with my arm straight and flexing the muscle so you can see I went much below my tricep.  I cannot do arm sites with the wire going up, it stabs the living daylights out of my muscle every darn time.  I don't have a lot of extra tissue/padding on my arms. 

Here are the pieces of paper and plastic you have left over after you
have applied the tape to your skin.

For extra added security you can also put tape over top the white Dexcom tape.  This is how I do that.  I did not put any over top my sensor last night so you wont see it over the other tape on this pics.  This one was on my side and I posted these pics originally a few months ago.  The white piece is my pattern I made out of a paper plate, again of course.  Also I curve the edges as I find that is stays down much better instead of a sharp corner edge. 

The two pieces of Opsite cut out and a test fit over my old sensor I pulled out.  To apply this tape be sure to make the little legs pieces on the smaller side of the tape and cut up to the line of where the white backing paper peels off. Also take the white paper off the little leg pieces first and apply it to your skin, then fold it back and take the the white paper off the other half and press it down onto your skin.  Then take your other piece do the same and butt it up to your sensor as close as you can get it and they will overlap to provide you with good coverage and stick down well.

As you can see the two inch wide roll gives you a large section of
tape much over the edge of the white Dexcom tape.  These two taping methods together is super awesome for me and a must on my side sites since they get rubbed much  more than my arm sites, from clothing, carrying my child, getting dressed etc etc.  Also another downfall of not putting Opsite down FIRST is that for me the sensor white tape will start to worm its way out of the tiny gap next to the built in purple plastic and sometimes will come loose from my body but still be taped down. This keeps the wire and white tape stuck down first against my skin and keeps my sensor accurate for longer.

I really hope this helps more of you to figure out how to use this tape.  It can be tricky and sometimes will make you crazy after you goof up a few pieces.  I believe most insurance companies will cover this and I personally get 3 rolls when I do a 3 month order.  You can also buy it on Amazon if you have to pay cash.    Let me know if this helped you so I know I am doing someone a bit of good!  =D

The double taping method will keep my sensor on past the accuracy of it.  It can easily last a month with this tape but after 2-3 weeks I am typically just tired of it being there and I switch it out or it starts throwing out crazy numbers and I just yank it. Sometimes though it wont be bothering me at all and still completely accurate so I will leave it and I have gone 5 weeks max I think.

Also this tape is very flexible, hence its name and it does dry out pretty quickly after showers.  The white tape dries fairly fast and double taping makes it dry even faster.  Sweat does not pool under this tape nor does it hold scent/sweat smell like some tapes can.

I have been  unable to peel this tape off to put down new without it taking the sensor with it.  You can however trim off the parts that do peel up and put down a new fresh layer of tape.  I don't feel as though this tape gets gross looking after any time period of wear because when it starts to peel you can take scissors and trim those pieces off.

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