Rest in Peace, My Dexcom Transmitter

Laddie_Head SquareIn early June my friend Katie at Diabetic Advocate wrote about the death of her Dexcom G4 transmitter.  Because many of us got the G4 within a month of each other in October and November, my assumption is that we will soon be seeing a lot of posts about dead transmitters which only carry a 6-month warranty.  Sad to say I did not follow Katie’s advice to order a new transmitter as soon as I passed the 6-month mark.

Fast forward to mid-July when I was scheduled to leave for a week-long international vacation.  Three days before the trip, I got a series of Out-of-Range symbols with no readings for several hours each.  This was with my receiver in my pocket about 3 inches away from the transmitter.  When the sensor would reconnect, it said my battery was OK.  But then it would quickly go back to the no-transmission mode.  It was obvious that the grim reaper was hovering around my transmitter.

I had expected that I would receive more warning that my battery was failing.  Unfortunately I went from a perfect transmitter to a defunct one in a period of two days.  I am used to the battery icon on my pump that goes from full charge, to 3/4 charge, to 1/2 charge.  Well, that is not how my G4 transmitter failed.  There was no message that “I am working perfectly now, but I am feeling low.”  It was “Hey, you stupid lady, you should have replaced me last month when I reached six months old.”

Dexcom RIP_ColorBecause I did not have time to replace the transmitter before I went on vacation, I left my Dexcom home.  The first night in a strange condo in another country, I woke up at 2:00 AM with a BG of 37.  Oh yes, there is a reason that I use a CGM.  I hadn’t seen a BG in the 30’s in months.  That’s how good my Dexcom G4 is at doing its job.

On one hand, it was probably fine that I was without my G4 on this vacation.  We were at the beach with water activities from dawn to dusk. It was likely that I would have forgotten my non-waterproof G4 receiver in my pocket and ruined it in the ocean or pool.  But I did miss the early warnings of highs and lows that the G4 provides me.

The morning after I returned from vacation, I contacted Dexcom and Edgepark to order my new transmitter.  No, actually it was a whole new Dexcom G4 system because I was  out of warranty.

I want you to take away two things from this post.

First, you might not get much warning that your transmitter is going bad.  If you are past six months, order the new one so that you will not have the two-week delay that I had in getting my new transmitter.

Secondly and very importantly, if you paid for the upgrade to the Dexcom G4 out-of-pocket, know that your warranty only goes to the date that your 7+ system was warrantied for.  It is not based on the date you purchased your G4.  For me, my Dexcom 7+ had been replaced in June 2012.  I paid out-of-pocket for the upgrade to the G4 in November 2012.  So my warranty expiration happened in June, not November.

I am lucky that I have good insurance and I have had very good results working with Edgepark.  I know that some people will carry their hate of Edgepark to their grave, but they have always provided me with excellent service. I called Edgepark the day after I got home from vacation and had the new Dexcom system in hand 5 days later.

My pockets are full again.  My pump in my left pocket.  My glucose tabs are in the leg pocket of my cargo pants.  My Dexcom G4 is in my right pocket.  And phone, you’re back in the purse because I have no pockets left!