It’s Swensor Season

It’s officially summer in Florida. This means that it will soon start to storm every day around 2:45, our local weatherfolk will be all up in our faces about whatever new tropical disturbance is hovering offshore, and fleets of enormous winged cockroaches have just begun planning their residential takeovers. For me in particular, summer in Florida means sweat.

I feel like I sweat all summer long (and here, “all summer long” means “through October.”) I sweat while I’m walking the dog, I sweat while I’m driving home from the grocery store, I sweat while I’m sleeping. I probably sweat in the shower. I imagine I go through summer looking like an extra in a Civil War drama.

Yesterday I tried to re-tape a sensor that I’d been wearing for five precious days, and the whole thing just slid off. It was no longer a sensor; it was a full-on swensor. See, during the other three seasons of the year, I wear a continuous glucose monitor sensor. In the summer, however, I wear a swensor. Which is to say: I wear a sensor covered with tape and/or IV3000 that is always either collecting, soaking in, or leaking sweat.

The word “swensor” is the newest entry in my own list of Diabetes Terms of Endearment, and comes from the same lexicological order as “swass,” “swarmpits,” and worse. As in, “I’ve been sitting in that plastic chair for over an hour; I’m working some serious swass.”

Short of moving to a colder climate or dousing myself in aerosol antiperspirant on a daily basis, I’m at a loss. It hurts to lose a s(w)ensor before you feel you’ve milked it for every last semi-accurate transmission possible. And it never feels good to know that, in addition to your pump and your glucose meter and your glucose tabs, you’re walking around with little patch of gross on your person.

The good news? I’m still working toward meeting my health insurance deductible for the year, and every single swensor gets me a tiny, sweaty bit closer.

8 comments on “It’s Swensor Season

  1. Martin Wood says:

    When you figure out how to get that swensor to stay on, let me know. I have a date with Home Depot this weekend to get a heavy duty stapler for my CGM sensor I think. I can’t make it past 24 hours before it falls off. @jessmeandd recommended Transpore tape. While I’m at Home Depot, maybe I’ll grab some professional grade epoxy while I’m at it.

  2. Beth says:

    Hav eyou ever heard of Skin-Tac? It’s a liquid adhesive that will literally glue the sensor to your skin. Of course then you need a special dissolver to get it off or it will pull your skin off whe you rip the sensor out! Anyway, a friend of mine who is a kayak instructor swears by it…..

  3. Scully says:

    Oh for fucksake! I can’t, for the life of me, get my sensors to stay more than a few days in summer. SO FAR I haven’t worn one in a couple weeks because of that. I’m pretty sure you wear the Metronic CGM? that thing is a piece of SHIT when sweat enters the equation. I haven’t found anything, NOTHING that will keep it on through my sweaty workouts for more than a few days. So I usually go without (as I pay for it out of pocket, 3 days for $50 is just not worth it). Seriously, if you find anything out, tell me!!

  4. Holly says:

    How about when you use Tegaderm tape to keep the sensor on more than 5 days and you end up collecting days worth of sweat underneath it? Make for a stinky site change, lemme tell you!

  5. AJ says:

    I second the skin tac. So helpful.

  6. StaceyT says:

    I’m a Tegaderm user myself – under my infusion sites and over my sensors. Evenso my current Dex sensor – current is relative given that I’m halfway thru my second week – is barely hanging on even with a coating of Tegaderm.

    And I hear ya on the pain of high deductible insurance plans – I’m THIS CLOSE to meeting my deductible and was planning to knock it out with a Novolog refill when I found out that I have to pay, not only the remaining deductible of $325, but also the copay – read: Novolog refill = $460. UGH

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