Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A tale of two Dexes - My thoughts on the G4

Thoughts.  Not review.  Mostly because my brain can't handle a full-fledged review at this point.  My melon is far too consumed with growing a baby to be very coherent these days.  So the following is the best I have to offer...

Lunchtime with the Dexcom G4
Let me start of by saying I love me some G4.  So much so that I want to run off to Hawaii, marry it and have a whole generation of little G4s with it.  Does that make me weird? 

What has me swooning:

-The range. Oh-sweet-Lord-in-heaven-above, the range!  The G4 boasts a range of 20 feet, but we have seen  far better than that.  In fact, we can keep the receiver in our room at night, and it picks her up over 20 feet away and around a few corners.  I nearly peed myself with excitement when I realized this.  Although the peeing itself is not so special in that it doesn't take much these days.  Seriously, a stifled giggle is a huge problem.  All the Mamas in the house know what I'm sayin'.

What was I talking about?

-The size.  When I saw side-by-side comparisons, they did not do justice to just how much smaller the G4 is than the 7+.  Gone is the cumbersome oval-shaped curiosity (most people could not figure out what it was... one woman asked if it was a GPS for Elise), and in it's place is a sleek, Ipod-esque receiver that most people don't give a second glance to. It is lighter, thinner, and overall has a nice feel to it.

You'd think I'd clean off my counter to get a decent shot...

-The colours.  The interface is pretty much the same as the 7+, but the colours make it a whole lot easier on the eyes.  The reds for lows and yellows for highs irk my husband, but I'm coming around on it.  I like being able to look quickly at the graph and see the trouble spots in plain view.

The prettiest 24-hour graph I ever did see.  Yes, I am bragging!

-The COLOUR.  As in pink.  I'm not such a fan of the pink as I am the marketing geniuses that made it attractive to my daughter.  As I've said before, well played.

What makes my bum itch
(as an aside, this is why I could never be a professional reviewer.  Seriously, what company would want someone who talks about marrying inanimate objects, incontinence, and itchy bums?)

-The alarms. Not the fact that they exist, but the ear-splitting annoyance of them.  You have a few more to choose from, but I find the new fancy-schmancy alarms to be worse than the originals.  I am still in favour of being able to upload music and use those for alarms.  Since it looks like an Ipod, couldn't it sound like one?  I would go with "Low" by Flo Rida for lows, and "High" by The Cure for highs.  Not too original, but I think it shows off my diverse musical tastes, don't you?

-The rashes.  You'll remember that Elise used to get horrific rashes from the adhesive when we were using the Dexcom 7+.  It was one of the main reasons we didn't fight her when she wanted to stop using the dex.  I was so tired of looking at her swollen, red skin.  So far the rashes haven't been as bad, but you need to read my next point to find out why.  I just wish they could figure out a way to make the adhesive hypo-allergenic.

-The failures.  We are two-for-two on sensor failures so far.  The first sensor lasted only two days.  The second, five.  Now I will say that Dexcom is GREAT at replacing these sensors, but they still bug me.  Leading up to the failure, we usually see an hourglass in the upper right-hand corner, followed by the dreaded ???. Each time, the Dex came back, only to fail outright a few hours later. Still, this doesn't deter me from loving the G4.

-The transmitter and how freaking hard it is to remove it from the sensor.  I don't remember having as much of an issue with the 7, but both times I've changed the sensor, removing the transmitter has been a fight.  I can't even use the designated remover-thingy (not it's real name), because it broke when I tried.  We use baby oil or unisolve to take the sensor off of Elise's skin, so that doesn't make it any easier.

Things that make me say "meh"
(in other words, things that don't bug me)

-The transmitter size.  Yeah, it sticks out a bit more, but if that's the trade-off for better range, I'm all for it.

Old on the left, new on the right
 -The transmitter life. Only 6 months compared to the 7+'s 18-month life.  Again, if that's the trade-off for better range, I'm okay with it.

-The insertion device.  Some people hate it, and seem a little ticked that it hasn't changed.  I have no issue with it, and Elise barely flinches during the insertion, so it's no big thing to us.

So... those are my thoughts on the G4.  I'm glad Elise happened to be looking over my shoulder when I was reading about it, because I never would have pursued it on my own.   We took a break from it last night after the sensor failure and I miss it already!


  1. The alarms... oh the alarms!

    When I am at work, they are the loudest things ever. In the middle of the night, I can't hear a darn thing! I think this generation is a step closer to the customization we need but I think there is still some room for personalization.

    Bummer on the sensor errors!

  2. we have it for the first time, used the medtronic one first, and I have to say I am absolutely in love. The first day I just couldn't stop looking, then after that I actually am using it to make basal adjustments that I was just to scared to make before. I do however still not know how to prolong the life of it as the tape is peeling up all around and making a rash. I read on one blog to use steroid inhaler before on the skin to keep the rash from developing. I'll try it next time and let you know what we find. "Lucky" for us Ethan has one of those very inhalers so we already have the Rxn in the house!

  3. Have you seen Kerri's (Six Until Me)skin allergy solution for the tape?
    I'm enjoying mine so far, also.

  4. we are finally in the process of getting Bean's G4....have been drooling over everyone else's!
    am SOOOO looking forward to the improved range more than anything else, for sure.

    and I'd totally pay you if I had a company that paid reviewers because your review was just the funny I needed tonight!!

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it - and you even got a good chuckle out of me a couple times!

    I'm still working on getting mine, but am excited based on all that I've seen so far.

  6. We're 5 days in with the G4 (Ella named it Tickles...yeah...) and I love it. I just posted about how much I love it. I'm sure as time goes on I'll start finding little things about it that drive me slowly insane...isn't that how every good relationship goes?

  7. Awesome review! We just switched to the G4 from the 7+, and you summed it up. :) Our first sensor was flakey (waaaay off), but the 2nd is proving to be more accurate. Hope you guys figure out how to tame the rashes! I put on Luke's old 7+ to see how it felt and was a little bummed that I felt the wire most of the week. I'm hoping the G4 is more comfortable. He still gets freaked out by the size of the inserter - I agree, would be nice if it did't look so intimidating. But yes - being able to plunk the G4 on your bedside stand ROCKS.


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