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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

DexCom G4 Platinum: Follow Up

Scott Benner

It's been three months since I first gave my impressions of the new DexCom G4 Platinum CGM and two months since I published a Second Look piece. Today it's time for a follow up...


Overall I am quite pleased to say that everything that I previously reported to you about the G4 still stands as true. Signal distance is vastly improved, insertion is less of an issue from a pain standpoint and accuracy is often spot on. What then you ask prompted me to write a follow up? I wanted to share my experience with DexCom customer service and how they handled my call to tell them that the thumb pad on Arden's receiver was breaking.


Before I get to the thumb pad I want say that not long after we began to use the new G4 I noticed an odd video noise on the screen when the receiver transitioned from screen to screen. It happens mostly when entering a BG, a garbled image appears as the receiver switches from one screen to the next. I never noticed a decrease in the receiver's accuracy so I assumed that the video noise wasn't a critical issue and decided not to call CS over what I deemed a cosmetic glitch.

A few weeks later the thumb pad began acting up. The thumb pad is basically five buttons, up, down, left, right and center. The donut shaped disc handles the directional clicks and the small nub in the middle, selects. Our unit's disc began to not go back into place after selecting down. The disc would rock as it should toward the down selection but then never fully return to it's starting point. I felt like it was only a matter of time before the disc became worn further. I imagined that soon instead of just getting stuck in the down position the disc was going to pop out. I let things go for as long as I could and then I called DexCom this past Saturday morning.

I explained that the thumb pad was loose and getting worse. The kind woman on the phone asked politely if I had dropped it, we hadn't. She verified my address, apologized that it wouldn't be able to ship until Monday and explained how I should go about making the switch once the new unit arrived. The entire call took less then five minutes. It was very pleasant.

It seems that I timed my phone call almost perfectly as nine hours later, as we were preparing to eat dinner for the first time at Harold's in Edison, NJ, (you may have seen the picture on FaceBook of Arden with our "slice" of cake) the thumb pad fell out completely. I used a piece of packing tape to hold everthing in place until Tuesday. Here's what the unit looks like when the thumb pad comes off:


Initially I wanted to be annoyed that the receiver had issues after such a short time, but instead I took a more reasonable position. New technology is prone to issues like this, early adopters take a risk in my opinion. As long as the manufacturer stands behind the product and doesn't make its replacement a headache, I'm okay with stuff like this happening. I wish it wouldn't, but I understand. I hope that my issue is either isolated or promptly addressed by DexCom. Who knows, maybe it already has been in more recent runs of the product.

If you are seeing this issue with your unit, It's my opinion is that you can expect it to eventually become a problem that will need your attention.