I am in need of a new pump and have heard some apprehension over Medtronics CGM system. Can anyone provide feedback? Is it the best system to get? Or would an Omni Pod and some other CGM device serve me better? Since my insurance will require about 1000 dollar deductable, then 80/20, I want to make the best investment. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Dan, I have the Medtronic CGM and it works fine.
The big risk in my opinion is if you never had a CGM and go through the expense of buying one, and then it does not work well for you. I also think it's a risk if a person decides the CGM will provide ample warning for low blood sugar or if they decide to rely on the CGM because of wild blood sugar swings they have all the time. I think for many who need fast and accurate real-time blood sugar monitoring, the CGM can be a bit of a disappointment..
I have found the CGM very useful in trending, especially overnights, to help me tune up my basal rates and occasionally when I am eating at restaurants and have to guess-a-bolus. It's also pretty good for days where I am doing a little more exercise than usual and want to watch for an early downward sugar trend.
Some CGM systems simply don't work for some people - and that's the risk if you never used one. My insurance magically approved the whole thing so I was able to get my hands on my cgm for about $40 total.
maybe you can get your hands on one for a trial run? good luck though. Cheers.
My endo had a Dexcom CGM that I was able to borrow for a couple of weeks to see what I thought and if I'd be interested in making the investment. Maybe you can talk to your endo or your CDE to see if there's anything like that you could take advantage of?
I have been on the Dexcom CGM now for about 3 weeks and love it (it took a little time to like it)! I also just started on Apidra- which is really short/ rapid acting insulin in me, and with both have been able to do a lot more immediate fine-tuning. I think I have really been able to stave off big highs with this, I am still working on learning how to curb the lows, but am heading in that direction I think. I currently have a minimed pump, and give it a thumbs down (been on minimed for about 10 years, too). I have had a lot of issues with getting fractures in it, so depending on your life-style may want to consider water-proof, and durablility. I also had a bunch of supplies recalled- not cool, ruined a day hiking with my sis. Granted that could happen with a lot of different pumps, but I was disappointed in the amount of time it took for medtronic to contact me and tell me of their error. That said, I am leaning towards an Omnipod, for the disposable/ tubeless features for my next upgrade.
I have been using the Dexcom CGM for about 7 months now and I really like it. It took some time getting comfortable with it and I attribute most of my travails to having never used one before plus I didn't lean as hard as I could have on my Dexcom support person. At this point, I'm completely enthralled with it and cannot imagine how I ever did without it. I haven't gotten a pump yet, but am leaning toward getting the Omnipod. There are a couple of important things to remember about using a CGM and the first one is a cardinal rule as far as I'm concerned. 1. Never take an insulin shot (Bolus if you're on a pump) or eat food based on what the CGM says your BG is. Test with your meter first, then react. 2. Mine is very accurate about 95% of the time; i.e., within 5 - 10% of my Glucometer BG readings. It's that other 5% you have to deal with. As long as my BG levels between meals and during the night do not fluctuate wildly, the CGM is often dead-on to what my Glucomter reading is or very close. When ny BG is fluctuating rapidly, the CGM can get out of whack fairly quickly. I think what happens is that the CGM is reading the fluids rather than blood sugar and those lag your actual sugar level by as much as a half hour or more. When your BG level is fluctuating over say half a day, the fluids do not reflect that. I could be wrong, but don't think so.
The trending information the CGM provides is its best feature and that has saved me on more than a few occasions since I've had it. The year prior to getting mine, I had five really bad low sugar episodes and two resulted in trips to the hospital and minor injuries. I haven't had a single incident since and I attribute all of that record to the CGM. So regardless of which CGM brand you may get I think you find it a great thing.
Hope this info helps
My advice would be to NOT base your pump decision on whether or not it is currently integrated with a CGM. Either way you'll be wearing two devices - so pick the pump and CGM based on their individual features.
Wow, it sound's to me like the Dexcom CGM is the favorite of those that have used them. I checked out their website, asked for more info and almost immediately received an email from them. The rep said that Dexcom is working with Animas to tie the their CGM together with Animas's pump and if I purchased one from them, in about a year they would both work similar to what medtronic offers with the exception of the 7 day sensor for the Dexcom. Does the spot you place the sensor get uncomfortable keeping it in one spot for that long? Is it confusing trying to remember what item needs changed on what day, three days for the pump infusion set and a week for the Dexcom?
Thank you all for the info. I am really starting to enjoy this website. It is good for us T-1's to be able to communicate!
Your post caught my eye, so maybe this info/opinion will help. I've been on an Animas Ping for almost a year and 1/2, with mixed results in control, however not from my pump. I've had other health situations that have been challenging. I was curious to get a CGM and through my CDE, went to a seminar with several different reps there. I chose the Dexcom and have had good results from it, but as was posted earlier, I use it for trends and exercise, more than anything. I've been using it for about 4 months now. I've found the insertion to be tolerable, and it is comfortable to wear. My endo's office does provide "trial" CGM's especially to those who experience really high or low sugars.
Good Luck, M:)
My insertion spot does not get uncomfortable unless it get rubbed or bumped. It is very user friendly, like telling you when to change the sensor and stuff.
My son who is 10 started using the DexCom in December. He has had one on every day since. He is hypoglycemic unaware and I can't tell you what a difference it has made.
For instance. Yesterday was your average day for a 10 year old. Lunch/insulin at noon. Snack in the afternoon. Dinner/Insulin at 6:00. Final Bloodsugar check and CGM calibration at 10:00 bedtime. BS 290. Oh great, another night of being high all night. Can't do anything about it now, so I give him water and go to bed.
At 2 am I am awakened by the alarm on the DexCom (we call him Dex). Dex says 85. Really? No way! So I do a finger stick to verify. Sure enough 95. I give him a small snack to make sure he doesn't drop too low. He dropped to 55 before the snack kicked in; then rose, flattened out, and woke up this morning at 125.
Now, Dex is not ALWAYS SO accurate. But, on a day like that where I normally wouldn't have performed a 2 am check; he saved my bacon (and maybe my son).
P.S. He wears his sensors for a full 7 days, switching from side to side on his abdomen. We try not to hit the exact same spot twice in a row; but his sites have been just fine.
I use the Medtronic pump and CGM system. I have also heard a lot of people say that the numbers are unreliable, but I've found it to be pretty accurate. In fact, once my blood sugar check and CGM said the same exacty number. It has saved me from lows and highs many times. It wakes me up during the night if I'm low, which is awesome, because by the time I wake up on my own, I'm well into the 50's or 40's. When I'm that low, I'm likely to make a poor treatment decision..like say, having 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bowl of cereal. Lol. Seriously, sometimes I swear I'm still asleep. But anyway, it wakes me up when I'm not so low, so I can treat my low in a more appropriate way. ;) It's also great because if I forget to bolus for something, it'll remind me before my blood sugar gets too high. The only other pump system I've used is the Animas, but that was years ago.
There are some negative things: scarring, the beeping can get annoying, having to put in another site. But in my opinion, it's worth it. Also, I don't usually wear it constantly. I'll wear it for a week, then take a break for a week.
Yes, after 37 years with the big D, I too am becomming unable to feel my low's. It's funny, at night I will get restless with lows or highs above 240. I'll reluctanly get up and check my glucose and that is usually why I can;t sleep. My fear is that could go away and I could sleep through a low.
Molly, I know what you are talking about with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal. Treating lows usually makes my glucose go high. This diabetes thing, it's impossible to get it right. But with these tools at least we can get close. I remember testing my urine in the 1970's. I could feel a low and my urine would show bright orange from the test, which means high glucose. Of course later they decided it is best to empty you bladder before you take the sample.
Hey some great input for me here. I've never been so armed before going to see my endo. He's gonna get a reqest for a cgm for me!!! (and a new pump!)
When I got the Dexcom 2 1/2 years ago (before insurance was paying for the equipment), it was also the cheapest on the market. If you're paying for the device out of pocket and they are all equally reliable, that may be the way to go...
Dan, I'm also considering the Medtronics version for the same reasons. I've heard some really negative things about their CGMs and their inaccuracy. It seems that the CGM that get the highest independent ratings are the DexCom machines. My doc wants me to agree to go back on the Minimed pump and CGM. I'm resisting. I've worn two different Minimeds with really negative experiences. Like you, I would have to invest a lot of money in the machines and don't want to make the wrong decision. I'm still unconvinced but am leaning towards getting an Animas pump and just waiting until September, when they're going to release a CGM/pump combination in a partnership with DexCom. Animas said that I would be able to trade my pump in for the combination set. I love that idea!
I echo what others have said about picking each based upon what you need. I have the Animas Ping and Dexcom, however I started with the Medtronic and their CGM. Personally I have had more luck with the Dexcom, the pump was more or less the same for both. The Dexcom is a little more sturdy and does not flap around as much as the medtronic.I rarely notice my sensor. I usually rotate it between my abdomen and my arms (granted dexcom has not been approved for the arms it works great there). The trends are valuable and I am so glad that they work for me. I am more aware of high's and low's being hypo unaware. Any questions ask. One day I will get around to updating a review of the two pumps and systems, however you can find it on my blog on this site.