The Case of the Possessed Dexcom Receiver

receiver_angledmgscreenIt all started at dinner.

After ordering my entree, I reached into my bag so I could check on the status of a high blood sugar. I’d overtreated earlier that afternoon and wanted to see how I was coming down. When I pressed down on the black power button, nothing happened. Hmm. I pressed again. Nothing. I pressed a little harder and a little longer. The Dexcom started booting up, as if it had been turned off.

That’s strange, I thought. When it was powered up, it prompted me to enter the time and date. When it got to the trend graph, there’s was nothing. There was nothing on the graph. The entire day had been erased. All my data was gone.

I showed Erik the receiver, perplexed at the missing data. I’ve never heard of this happening. Then the receiver buzzed, asking me to start a new sensor. Well, that’s awesome, I thought. We’re getting ready to go to a show after a dinner and I need to start a new sensor? I was so annoyed.

I started up a new sensor, hopeful that I’d have enough time to boot up the sensor before the play started. I put the receiver back in my bag and went back to dinner.

A little while later, I heard my receiver alarm. Startled by the alarm coming from the sensor still warming up, I took my receiver out of my bag. It was a high alert. I looked at the trend graph. The receiver had completely restored my blood sugars.  I cleared the alarm, put my receiver back in the bag.

After dinner, Erik and I were walking around downtown Minneapolis and I decided to look and see how my blood sugars were doing after dinner. So I reached into my bag and fished out my receiver. But there was nothing. My graph was blank yet again, and the pie graph showing the warm-up was bigger. I couldn’t believe it!

Frustrated, I tossed the receiver back in the bag and we continued walking around Gold Medal Park. Eventually we made our way into the Guthrie Theater for our show. Suddenly I heard my receiver alarming. I was completely bewildered: a warming up receiver should not be alarming! I took out the buzzing receiver and it was telling me that my blood sugar was high.

Completely annoyed with constant back-and-forth with the receiver and not wanting to deal with this as we were starting our show, I turned off the receiver entirely. I decided I would just test during the intermission to see how I was doing instead of relying on this stupid receiver. I shut off the receiver and put it in my bag.

As we sat down in our seats and settled in for the show, the receiver started alarming.

What. The. Hell. Is. Going. On.

The receiver was on. And it was asking me to calibrate.

“I already turned this off,” I told Erik, flabbergasted and a little concerned that my Dexcom receiver had somehow spontaneously turned on.

I decided to ignore the receiver and I turned it off again. I did test my blood sugar to make sure I was doing okay post-dinner, and I tested again during the intermission. The receiver stayed blissfully silent.

On our way home after the show, I decided it was time to take the receiver out and see if I could figure out what was going wrong with it. I thought about how to explain what was going on to the Dexcom Facebook group, and I figured I would need to call Dexcom in the morning. Not only was it randomly losing my data, but it was also turning on and off at will.

I took out the receiver and turned it on. At first it couldn’t communicate with the transmitter, but after a few minutes it reconnected. Unfortunately, it was back to its amnesiac state, completely void of any data. And it was asking me to calibrate.

“I think my receiver is possessed,” I said.

So I took out the case for my PDM and unzipped it. I took the PDM out, but as I did that I noticed there was something else in my PDM bag. Another small, black device. I took it out.

It was a Dexcom receiver.

In my right hand was a Dexcom receiver. In my left hand was a Dexcom receiver.

I had two Dexcom receivers with me!

I turned on the second receiver. It was my current receiver, which had been properly tracking my blood sugar the entire evening except for the two hours while we were at the show when I had turned it off.

Somehow my original Dexcom receiver, the one I stopped using last month after it stopped being able to charge with the USB cable, had found its way into my bag. So I had a Dexcom receiver that hadn’t been used in over a month along with my current Dexcom receiver. Every time I looked at my Dexcom receiver, I was looking at a different receiver!

Case solved.

5 thoughts on “The Case of the Possessed Dexcom Receiver

  1. Oh good grief. I just ordered a new receiver and I purposely chose a different color. Reading this, probably a good idea!

  2. Glad you solved the mystery!

    After using a pink receiver since the G4 was released, I am thinking of ordering blue next time. Mostly just for excitement, but also to be able to distinguish the new from the old. My current G4 is out of warranty, but both the receiver and transmitter were replaced under warranty this spring. Because I will be forced to start a new insurance plan on 1/1/15, I don’t want to have to deal with trying to get a new transmitter in January. So as long as my current hardware is working fine, I’m going to delay the purchase of the new system for a month or two.

  3. I had come up with about five possible reasons why your receiver was on the fritz until I read the end. Glad it was an easy solve.

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