Change of Plans

First, let me say that Medtronic has a good insulin pump. The features that it offers – bg-check reminders, missed bolus alerts, an optional CGM component, ability to see almost anything you’d want to see from any menu you have available in regards to basal, bolus, average bg, insulin on board, etc – are great. It’s also a very durable pump as I have knocked, dropped, and sat on the darn thing on not so soft of surfaces and it has held up. I have put it through the ringer, I promise, and it has proved to be a very durable, reliable insulin pump. My only complaints that I can find about it are 1) it’s only water resistant, not waterproof, and 2) there is no remote-bolus option – two things that are very important to me, but can be worked around.

The ease of ordering supplies either by phone or ON my phone via the myMedtronic app has been great. I’ve also had the pleasure of calling the reorder department about an order that I already had received but needed to change the set and they were able to do that. I don’t believe I have encountered any other company that works so extremely well with customers and getting the supplies they need.

Oh, and their customer service line? One word: Awesome. I never ever had an issue with them. I’ve worked with other companies that, when I encountered an issue, the problem would be placed back on what I had done or was made out that their product was perfect as is and it was obviously my problem (drip that with sarcasm). Granted, I have spoken with customer support before about my calibration issues with the CGM portion, and that is still something I cannot figure out why I can’t get right on a consistent enough basis, but they put up with me through it, making as many suggestions as possible, and even following up on my complaint later.

Which leads to my point of this post….

While I believe that Medtronic is a good company who has excellent customer service and a good insulin pump product, I personally do not choose to use the pump as a pump+CGM combo any longer. The issues of the CGM that I was beginning to have led to more frustration than I wanted to have.

Since the end of June, I started becoming more and more dissatisfied with the CGM and the requirements of calibrations for it. I tried everything and made a full honest effort to stick to the rules, but it just wasn’t working out for me. Granted, I absolutely LOVED that it is integrated into the pump. That part is absofreakinlutely the most awesome thing ever to have both a pump and CGM in one and not have to worry about an extra device to keep up with. Accuracy wasn’t too bad at all either as long as you calibrated as required. Most of the time, I’d say, probably about 80-90% of the time, it was almost spot-on or within the allowed 20% deviation range. The only time I had issues were when I either hit a bad bleeder, the sensor wasn’t all the way in, or if the area chosen was just not a good placement. I had a pretty good system of being able to insert it manually and cover it with tape in a way that prevented most of those problems, but sometimes it still happened.

After speaking with Erik over the past few weeks and with my endocrinologist, we have made the decision to switch back to the Dexcom. This was not an easy decision to make as I hemed and hawed, thought and thought, even made a spreadsheet to help me reasonably make a choice that would be the best for me and what I needed. The only reasons are that it seems to work better at following my low or high swings, the pain of insertion is not nearly as bad, and the sensor lasts 7 days. Granted, it’s a pain in the butt having an extra device to carry around as I’ve already left it at home a couple of times on lunch break, but I don’t mind it being separate over all. I also don’t like that I have to avoid Tylenol again, which was one of the biggest factors of the Minimed CGM that I loved other than integration– no Tylenol restriction!

This has not been an easy post to write. As a matter of fact, it has been in my draft que for days and gone through several revisions because even though I made the switch over to Dexcom, that does not mean that I believe any less in Medtronic’s products. I contemplated not saying anything at all, but I also know that as a blogger, I believe in honesty and disclosure to my readers. Things that I have blogged about in the past in reference to how I may or may not have liked the Revel system as a whole still are true, but reflect my feelings as of the date of the posting. Things change. People change. Our needs change. And the change from the Minimed CGM to the Dexcom is just one of those changes for me.

I haven’t totally given up on the Minimed CGM though. I still have supplies for it and if I want to hook it back up, I can. But I feel that right now, I have to do what’s best for me and my diabetes treatment and, most of all, my sanity. And who knows? Next year, hopefully when the Enlite sensor is out, I can try it out and I may switch back. Just depends on how it compares and how it works for me.

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The past year, as mentioned in my Disclosure, I have been a blogger for Medtronic on their site, The Loop Blog. Working with Karrie, Amanda and the Medtronic team has been enjoyable as well as a learning experience. I am so grateful to have had that opportunity. The contract has ended, but I hope that the friendship can still remain. A few posts that have been submitted for review may appear later on their site (which is up to their discretion), and do reflect my view of the topic honestly at the time of the writing.

6 thoughts on “Change of Plans”

  1. When I used the MM CGM back in 2007, I couldn’t get it to work for me either. Between the pain of wearing the sensors and its inaccuracy, I honestly couldn’t wait to give it up. You are not alone and although the integration of the pump + CGM is awesome, you have to use what works best for you. I know their new sensors are in the works for here in the US but the fact that it’s been 5 years (or longer) for them to have a new one to offer is sad. I hope some of the stress of CGMing is less for you now with the switch.

  2. I made the switch from MM to Dexcom for a lot of these same reasons – I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you, but welcome back the the Dexcom family! 🙂

  3. I have the dexcom and can usually get 2 weeks our of one sensor. The sensors are approx $60 or so a piece so quite pricey.

  4. I want integration so badly. But I will not give up accuracy for integration. I am still working on my “three month supply” that I ordered in February. I work every penny out of those things!

  5. I completely agree, and worse yet my Endo is clueless (or refuses to acknowledge) about the problems with the Minimed CGM. When I complain to her she doesn’t listen and simply tells me I need to use it anyway … WOW

    I pay for my own medical insurance, it’s costly, the Revel system was costly and cannot be returned. I feel taken advantage of.

  6. I just finished a 90 day clinical trial with Revel/Enlite combo. One word – awesome. Incredibly accurate and user friendly. No pain at insertion and calibration was simple. Only had one calibration error in 90 days and I think it was just a bad sensor. I replaced it and the problem was solved.

Tell me what you think!