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Re: [IP] Sensor questions (long)

Hello Heather,

 Welcome to the wonderful world of CGMS! I was very frustrated for the first 3-4
weeks. It does take some getting used to. I'll try to attempt to answer some of
your questions:

> 2. Is the "weak signal" alarm common? And what do you do when you get it? I 
> can't think of anything except to move my pump closer to my transmitter, but 
> it's already very close. The Minimed helpline suggested I reconnect the 
 > transmitter to the sensor, but then I have to wait another two hours to see
> I'm good, right?

 For some reason, I got a lot of them at first. I still do not know why. Make
sure when you plug the transmitter in the sensor, you see the green light at the
bottom of the transmitter flash 4-6 times. That means the connection is good, I
think. Until I figured that out, I was pulling out a lot of my hair.

 Every time you plug the transmitter into the sensor, it will wait 2 hours for
first calibration. It won't do that again for 7 days (unless you disconnect it),
and then the transmitter will need to be disconnected and re-charged.

>3. Has anyone been able to remove tape without removing the sensor?  And do
>you all use the tape?  I never used the tape with my pump, and really don't
>like it. 

 Try putting a little dollop of vaseline on top of the transmitter before
covering it with the dressing. I no longer use the IV 3000 dressings. A roll of
tape (from the same manufacturer) called opsite flexfix works really good, and
it can be cut bigger than the IV 3000 dressings. Even with the vaseline trick,
you have to be careful removing the dressing, but the vaseline helps a lot. I
understand you not liking the dressing, but your concern about losing the
transmitter is very valid, and should overcome your dislike of the tape.

 I'm curious - you've never put a dressing over your infusion site? Have you
ever pulled them (infusion cannulas) out? I certainly highly recommend taping
the transmitter/sensor assembly down. They will wiggle around a lot if you do,
and almost certainly reduce sensor accuracy. BTW, before putting the dressing
on, get a small piece of paper tape (from the drugstore for a couple of bucks),
and tape down the sensor (not the transmitter - just there where the sensor is
inserted). This helps keep the cannula from moving too much, too, and it really
seems to help.

 > 4. How long do you wait after inserting the sensor to attach the transmitter?
> The book says five minutes. My trainer said wait at least 20. 

 I just wait the five minutes, and then wait the 2 hours for the first
calibration. There are a fair number of folks who like to insert the sensor the
night before (leaving the old sensor in with the transmitter attached). This
allows the new sensor cannula to get nice and "wet". Then, when they hook up the
transmitter the next morning, they almost always have really good and accurate
readings. I don't bother doing that.

 I'm afraid I don't have any advice for your bleeding problem - I've not had
that happen. I only got a fair amount of blood once, but it didn't hurt
anything. Make sure there's no blood on the little connector on the sensor where
the transmitter plugs into it. You don't want any blood to get into the
transmitter when you attach it to the sensor.

 Bear in mind that I am still learning a lot - I'm just now starting my third
box of sensors, so in many aspects, I'm very much a rookie. I can't imagine not
having it now. It is working really well for me.

dx 1985 at age 32 
MM 522 8/07 
CGMS 12/07
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