Awareness & advocacy · Everyday life. · T1D 101

Big ol’ needle.

Luke came to us a few nights ago for more adhesive to hold his Dex sensor onto his arm. We usually get a minimum of two weeks out of the sensor. Some people can get two MONTHS. Someday, hopefully. Anyway, Joel went to take the old adhesive off & his sensor just. fell. off.

Tears welled up in Luke’s eyes. He absolutely HATES Dex changes. I don’t blame him. Check out the 2-inch needle that he has to endure each time we have to change the site.

blog dex appli2
(Sorry about the picture quality. It’s a zoom-in of an already-bad picture.)
15 dex applicator
Here’s the zoomed-out picture to get an idea of how big the needle actually is. EEK!

Once his old sensor was out, I thought I’d snap a pic of it so you can see what it’s all about. I’ve always been one to want to know why or how something works. (That’s probably one of the many reasons I teach.) That big ol’ needle up there inserts a titanium wire underneath his skin.

04 01 dex change
The titanium wire that is inserted under his skin.
04 03 dex change
The hold left from having a titanium wire in your arm for 2+ weeks.

That wire is connected to the sensor, which is adhered to the back of his arm and visible for all to see. (He hates that so many people can see it, but doesn’t want to try any other spot on his body for it. Go figure.)

04 05 dex change
Check out those guns. Hee hee.

After about two hours, the new sensor is ready to be calibrated with the receiver. To calibrate it, he has to do two finger pricks in a row and enter his blood glucose level each time. Once calibrated, it’s pretty much good to go. Although, it usually takes the sensor 1-2 days to really get in sync with his body. The first night of this sensor, we got a 3:30 wake-up call with a Dex alarm. It said his sugar was 54. I had him finger prick before we treated. He was really 112. Doh!

We all agree, though, having the Dex is WELL worth all of the pokes and prods. It saves him from several extra finger pricks. With the Dex, he only finger pricks two times a day to calibrate- once in the morning and once at night. Then, if Dex says he’s low, and he doesn’t feel low, we check it with a finger prick. Same with a high, but he doesn’t really have many highs yet. He says he also loves knowing what his sugar level is at all times. And I love that I can keep track of him even if he’s miles away.


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