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DexCom G4 Platinum: Second Look

Arden modeling her G4 tucked into her pocket.


Arden has been wearing the new DexCom G4 Platinum CGM for every second of the last month. I initially wrote a 'First Impressions' piece about three weeks ago - let's see how things have gone since then.


Sensor Life:

The worst kept secret in the DOC is that the DexCom sensors can be restarted at the end of their seven day life and often gain accuracy as the days go on. The package insert indicates that you have to change your sensor site at the end of those seven days, I am in no way suggesting that you should ignore that direction. I'm merely sharing how we do things... Many times in the past the DexCom 7+ would happily restart twice and would still be going strong as the last bit of adhesive was holding on for dear life. So far we haven't gotten a G4 to a second restart, but I'm not giving up on getting one into the three week range. Having said that, two weeks is really very good.



Not as long lasting as the 7+. The G4 is not weathering showers like that 7+ did even when covered. I wonder if DexCom changed the adhesive, maybe I'll ask.


Form and style:

The reciever is a huge inprovement in both size and shape. I've heard a few call it 'unsturdy' or 'light' but we don't have that feeling. 

The sensor is slightly taller then the last generation. I've asked Arden multiple times if the size change is annoying and she has always answered, "no". Mindful that I don't wear the product I read about what some others have said and I did find a few adults that aren't happy about the increase. Again, Arden is unfazed by the change.


Signal Range:

I have for years been unable to let Arden sleep on the sofa during her sleepovers becasue I wouldn't be able to hear her CGM. Once I even slept on the floor so that she and her friend could 'camp out' in our family room, but that was so uncomfortable that since that day sleepovers are confined to the bedroom. Until last weekend that is. On Saturday night Arden had a friend over to spend the night, she asked just as she always does if they could crash on the sofa, I said yes without hesitation becasue of the G4. Our family room is underneath of our master bedroom and the G4 cruises through walls, floors and ceiling like they aren't there. 

As the parent of a PWD this new feature trumps any other and makes the Platinum a winner in my book. Here is my Instagram picture of Arden's G4 sending a signal through the floor of her bedroom and into our kitchen. Kelly and I were watching 'The Walking Dead' on AMC while Arden slept soundly in her bed. In the past, we would have to pause the show while I ran up and down the stairs like a loon. Now we just listen for the beeps.

@ArdensDay on Instagram

The Sensor Wire:

The insertion of the sensor wire seems less painful but the real win of the wire being smaller is that Arden doesn't seem to notice it under her skin anymore while she is wearing it. It the past with the 7+, Arden would sometimes be bothered by the wire if she moved the wrong way. 


Pound the Alarm:

The alarms on the G4 are louder then the 7+. Additionally, you can vary them if the one you are using ceases to get your attention. So far the default sounds are waking me from my slumber, though Arden never hears them when she is sleeping. DexCom has samples of the alarms on this page of their site (scroll to the bottom), if you'd like to give them a listen. 



With the new signal range comes freedom. In a movie theater I can hold the CGM to give Arden a break. When she gets home she can take it off and roam the house without fear of dropping the signal. Arden sleeps upstairs, we live our life downstairs. I wish you could have heard the lilt in Arden's voice when she gleefully told me, "I just peed without my CGM", she was seriously thrilled that she left her receiver in the kitchen while she used the powder room, thrilled! Connected but frequently untethered is a major advancement in my opinion, it gives back some of Arden's humanity and releases burdens. 



I know of a couple people who have experienced build quality issues, for example Stacey's thumb pad fell off. So far we haven't had any such isues, but be sure that I will tell you if we do. 

I've always been an early adopter of technology that I believe in. I expect a few bumps along the way and take the chance on something new when I think the chance is a good bet. So far, the G4 has been a terrific bet. Wait until you see the signal range and how it changes your life.


Be Well!

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Reader Comments (43)

Great ALMOST have me convinced to get my kiddo (just turned 5) started on a CGM - almost!!! I'll keep reading and thinking! We just started podding 2 mos ago and that has been a crap shoot to say the least, so I'm a little afraid to start something else that may cause me to go clincally insane :) Love your blog and your "real life" stories, thank you for letting us in.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Lisa, your comment made me smile (BIG). You'll find your footing with the pod sooner then later and then be ready to give the Dex a go, I can feel it!



December 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

LOVE our G4. Love it. And we hated the G3. Although tonight Ella told me she felt low and I thought she was just trying to get out of doing chores. Turns out she was actually 43 while Dex had her at 126. First time in 2 weeks it's been THAT off so I guess I'll give it a pass!

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrissy McMomma

Hay, this is really nice post. I think that you must be diligent with your diabetes care and there is no limit to what you can achieve. Good wishes for your life.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergrivin

I have had my G4 for a little over 3 weeks now and love it. I have been T1D for 14 yrs now and have also used a Medtronic sensor which I did not like at all, but this product has promise. It's 80% accurate for me so far. I love that you can calibrate with IOB or after just eating- which you could not with the Medtronic. I have heard however that Medtronic is coming out with a much better sensor but I could not wait so I took the leap to G4 and so far so good for me. I'm glad to know that children are wearing the G4 successfully. I have a friend that has a young child with juvenile T1D that I will definitely recommend this too. Good luck and thanks for your post.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Campbell

I have had my G4 for a little over 3 weeks now and love it. I have been T1D for 14 yrs now and have also used a Medtronic sensor which I did not like at all, but this product has promise. It's 80% accurate for me so far. I love that you can calibrate with IOB or after just eating- which you could not with the Medtronic. I have heard however that Medtronic is coming out with a much better sensor but I could not wait so I took the leap to G4 and so far so good for me. I'm glad to know that children are wearing the G4 successfully. I have a friend that has a young child with juvenile T1D that I will definitely recommend this too. Good luck and thanks for your post.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Campbell

My daughter has had T1D for 8 years she started on the dexcom 7 last year. I find it to be very helpful at times. I am going to try and convince her to go on the G4. I am a little lery about the tape not sticking well. Also we sometimes are able to go 20 days on a sesor then it was very accurate. I am not sure she will be thrilled that it sticks up higher. Is it a really big difference from the dexcom 7 plus? I am up for anything that makes living with T1D easier!!!

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Andrews


We've added a simple step to the application of the G4 sensor to aid in the life of the adhesive. I'm waiting for a little longer to talk about it. I want to make sure that I'm completely happy with the product before I speak about it.

Arden doesn't have an issue with the sensor size change, When I asked her about it she wasn't even aware that they were different. Though I have heard adults online mention it unfavorably... maybe kids don't consider these things with the same attention to detail.

Thanks for reading!

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott Benner

I am on day 5 of my G4...prior I used the Medtronic CGM for about 5 years. So far, so good in terms of accuracy. It did hurt a bit more to put in but I am sure after a few more times I will get used to it. Just feels different not having the spring loaded insertion. I also have a neuromuscular disease that affects my fine motor skills and I did find it much more difficult to insert and pull out the needle. The adhesive is already coming up and I was really hoping I wouldnt need to use tape (adhesive sensitvity!) .

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Just put a g4 on my 15yo son Saturday. It took so much for him to agree to try it. He was dxd 19 mos. ago and doesn't want anything that would make him different. I was so proud of him. But when I picked him up from track practice today, it had come off. So I am glad to hear others are having problems with the adhesive. He had been wearing it on his arm and covering it for workouts and track. Now I guess we are back to square one. Love the device. I just want it to work for my very active teenage son.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Connie we had the same issue and have found a fix. I'm writing about it tomorrow. The post goes up in the evening.

February 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

I found with the dexcom7. That if we cleaned
The site with alcohol and then cut the iv3000
Tape in half I use two around the CGM, seems to
Be good. My daughter has had the G4 in about
A week and so far so good. I am interested to
See if we can push it out longer like we were
Able to do with the 7 plus..

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Andrews

Here it is Connie -

February 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

i am on my second change of the new dexcom g4 and i am hating it i like the 7+ way better. the range is worse then the 7+ and it is way way off from what my sugars are actually at. i can have the g4 literialy 2 inch from the sensor and it will continue to way out of range, I have been totally unhappy with this product change. I love the dexcom 7+ never ever had a problem and was on that for over 4 years till the new one came and i was do for a new one, not happy at all i will be calling tomorrow this is getting crazy. but this does give me hope that maybe i just have a bad one or something.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

Rachel - something isn't right. Definitely get DexCom to replace your system. I'm betting you got a lemon. Your results aren't in any way similar to the others I've heard about - including ours. Good luck, please let me know how the exchange goes. - Scott

March 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Rachel Wow I can't believe that u like the dex 7 better. I would defiantly call Dexcom.
I think it is way better other then the adhesive issue. Where Are you placing it?
That may be the issue, but if it is out of range that isn't right. My daughter leaves
It and goes all over the house with no issues.. Don't give up, but I would defiantly
Call with your complaints, I am sure trying a new one may help!! Good luck
Scott do you have a website where you bought the opsite flexifix?

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Andrews

Totally agree with Denise re: just need a replacement.

Flexifix I got on Amazon.

March 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Denies. I only place it on my stomach. It seemed a little better today. When you guys go into settings to check the transmitters life does yours just show lines as well

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

I've been thinking about taking the plunge on a CGM but couldn't justafy the price. Recently had a couple of bad lows like passing out at someone's house and they had to call 911 and 2 days later driving back to work very confused and wondered how I made it and thanked God I didn't hurt anyone else. I then talked to my doctor and nutricianist and purchased the Dexcom 4. WOW, now I can't imagine going back to life without it. No more lows. If it starts heading that direction you can stop it right away by eating something. No more quessing where your at. I probebly look at the CGM several times per hour just to know were I'm at, so I usally don't have to wait for the alarm to sound or vibrate.
Best investment of my life since being diabetic now for 30 years. Thanks Dex

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve B.

I was diagnosed T1D when I was 2 yrs old, I am now 31. My doc told me about the G4 early Dec 2012. I inserted a sensor for the first time on 1/1/13, my first time using anything continuous (thanks ins company for not covering ANY new technology that might prolong my life). My A1c in Dec was 9.4. After having the G4 in 24 hrs/day for 2 1/2 months, my A1c in March 2013 was a 7.7!!! This magical little instrument has changed my life!. I cannot imagine life without it now! I just may live long enough to have children of my own and be able to watch them grow up. In Dec 2012 I had satisfyed my ins deductible due to a mini-stroke in April 2012 and all the tests that followed ($3,200). So the inital cost was covered by ins at 90%. I didn't discover tricking the sensors into longer life untill the end of March, so when I called for more sensors (90day supply) they informed me that ins does not cover them and it will cost $308 per box of 4. That is almost $4,000/year!! On top of the many doc visits (Primary Care, Endochronology, GYN, Vision, Dental) and labs. I am at a spot where I don't know what to do. This magical device will probably prolong my life by a long shot, but how am I supposed to afford it?? If anyone asked me whether they should try it out, I would tell them hell yes, it will save your life! Any suggestions on reducing the cost? Any coupons out there??

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

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