Continuous Glucose Monitor and me…part 3

Medtronic's CGMS

“What is that beeping sound? It is very annoying.”

That was one of the comments of one of the Brownie Girl Scouts in my troop. I had to agree, it was very annoying. It was my pump – beeping at me again. Actually, it was the CGM part of my pump. As I mentioned in other posts, I do like the CGM, but I find it awfully needy. (So needy that I stopped using it for a while because the beeping was driving me crazy.)

It beeps when it needs another meter reading for calibration of it’s data. It beeps when it loses signal from the sensor. It beeps when the sensor is done. It beeps with a high blood sugar. It beeps with a low blood sugar. This time, it was thinking that I was having a low blood sugar. Since I just had a cupcake to correct a low, I checked my blood sugar with my meter. Luckily I double checked with my meter, because the CGM was WAY off. My blood sugar was actually high from me over correcting.

In general, I find that the CGM is mostly accurate. But, on days when I have the wildest swings in blood sugar, those are the days that it is the least accurate. Of course, it is the days with the big swings that I need the most accuracy. Well, honestly, I want accuracy every day.

Continuous Glucose Monitor and me…part 2

Medtronic's CGM

This is part 2 of my discussion of the Medtronic CGM. This post is devoted to one of my least favorite warning signals — the weak signal warning.

The weak signal warning shows up when the pump is having trouble reading the transmitter. It is an important alarm. But, it seems that the transmitter is not very strong at all.

If I go to the gym (which is one of the more important places where I would want the CGM to work), I have to make sure my pump is as close to the transmitter as possible. I guess all the electronic equipment at the gym causes problems. Ugh.

I could live with that — but it also has problems in computer labs. Well, since I teach in computer labs, you can see that it would be important to me. Grrr.

Well, how about at home? It seems if my pump goes underneath me (when sleeping for example), it also gets a weak signal. Blah!

Now, if you look at the documentation, it would seem that a weak signal wouldn’t cause that much of a problem. It claims that it keeps up to 40 minutes of data which it would upload once it gets the signal. But, in my pump that isn’t the way it works. If it loses signal for more than 15 minutes, (and then get it back) it then goes back in the “Start” sequence. That means up to 2 hours of no glucose readings. Then it will need to be re-calibrated, again.

Perhaps it acts wacky because I have a Paradigm 722 and not a Revel. I really hope so.



Medtronic has announced a new product – mySentry.

MySentry is a remote glucose monitor — so a parent can look at a monitor in a different room and see the Continuous Glucose Monitor’s latest reading of their child’s blood sugar.

mySentry works with a patients MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System. mySentry’s monitor can be in the room of caregiver and the patient can be in a different location in the house. The caregiver can glance at the monitor to see if anything is wrong – if there are any alarms, low or high blood sugar, and more. No longer do parents have to wake their child up several times at night to check their blood sugar. They don’t even have to stay in the same room so they can hear the continuous glucose monitor’s alarms.  Pretty cool.

Continuous Glucose Monitor and me…part 1

iPro, after insertion - looks like the regular CGM sensor

I’ve been using my continuous glucose monitor again. I stopped when I was working because it was beeping at me way too much. It either needed to be calibrated, or lost signal and was very insistent that I do something about it. But, it is break, so I am starting up again.

If you don’t know, I am using a Medtronic Continuous Glucose monitor. When it is working, it is amazing. I have found many times with problem blood sugar and didn’t know about. I have to say that I would much rather have it than not have it. These are just some of my issues.

Issue one: Where to connect the sensor. You have to insert a sensor into your body in an area with fat. Medtronic has a page with the suggested sites — right here. It looks like quite a few sites, but for me it is a lot less. I can’t have it under my navel, since that area tends to rub against clothing. Also, I tend to bleed (a lot) when items are placed there. (Yep, I have inserted at the right angle. For some reason that area is not good for me.). I don’t have a lot of fat on my legs, and I can’t bend well enough to put it on my butt. So, that just leaves the area on my belly above my navel. But, it also needs to be 2 inches away from my insulin pump site, which reduces the location even more. What I need is a shorter needle/sensor. That would add more places for me to use.

On a slightly different note, Abby posted at Six Until Me about her experience doing the closed loop clinical trial. See here for the post. I found it quite interesting. I’m wondering how much the closed system would help my issues.

Blood tests

Today was my three month doctor visit. Since I have a chronic illness, I need to have my blood tested 4 times a year.

So, as you would guess, I have had my blood tested an awful lot. What makes it harder is that I have what the phlebotomists call difficult veins. It isn’t my fault, I didn’t make them this way. But, some of the phlebotomists treat me that way. Sort of like they are thinking “Why are you making my day difficult”.

It is hard enough getting your HbA1C tested. You are worried that your numbers are okay, and you feel like you are going to be judged. Having an annoyed phlebotomist doesn’t help matters.

Luckily, I didn’t get an annoyed phlebotomist…I got one in training. So, instead of annoyed, she got all flustered. Honestly, I don’t do it on purpose. My veins are just small.

On a better note, I heard a couple of things from my doctor. He has heard that continuous glucose monitoring has started to be covered by health insurance. A Medtronic rep will be in his office soon, and I can talk to her about the possibility of getting one. Yay!

Ultralink is now being sent to Paradigm 512/712/515 and 715 owners

Medtronic Minimed Paradigm insulin pump with a One Touch Ultralink meterYay! I just got a letter yesterday from Medtronic Minimed. They have finished mailing the One Touch Ultralink meter to the owners of 722/522 and now have started sending them out to those who own the 512/712/515 and 715 model. (The letter said that people with those models should be getting the Ultralink FREE by August 30, 2008.)

I am so happy! I really liked the way the BD link meter worked, but I didn’t like the cost of the strips. (It was covered by my insurance, but with a much higher copay than the Ultra strips. Since I test around 8-10 times a day, it can make a HUGE difference. )

I’ll put a review here once I get it.

Here is a link to Medtronic’s announcement, if you would like to read it: