Category Archives: Insulin pumps

The Hype.

It seems that the latest hype in the diabetes community is the announcement of the Animas Vibe insulin pump that was announced as receiving European CE Mark approval last week.  I have to admit that like so many others, I am very excited about this.  Being both an Animas pump and Dexcom user, of course I will be happy when the two become integrated.  I took a stab quite a while back at the Medtronic integrated CGMS when it was the Paradigm.  Unfortunately it did not provide accurate results or comfort for me.  But I did really like that the pump and sensors fed the same device.

From the information I’ve gathered, this won’t be available in the US until late this year or next.  I am very disappointed about this.  While I appreciate the process of ensuring medical devices are safe for consumers here in the states, I find it frustrating that they hold up the availability of such devices that would improve the management of blood glucose for those living with diabetes. If it’s safe enough for those living in Europe, what makes the citizens of US different?

There was also a new meter introduced by Animas Canada recently.  I found this out from fellow D Momma, Sherry.

It looks very similar to the Ping meter that’s in use in the US today except the screen is color, just like the pump.  That’s pretty cool isn’t it? 😉 Now if there isn’t much change to the meter, why would the FDA be holding this up too?  I’ve heard that when the Vibe comes to the US it will not have the “Ping” feature meaning that you will not be able to bolus from the meter.  Does that mean the new color screen meter will not be coming with the pump?  Will Animas US offer the new meter before the Vibe?  I’d love to not have to guess the answers to these questions that I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering about.  Come on already FDA!

(note: the pictures are all courtesy of Animas and their Vibe press release)

Pump failure. Or maybe not.

It was Friday night around 12:30 (or technically Saturday morning).  Joe and I had just gotten home from a night out for dinner and drinks.  I was tired and wanted to go to sleep right away.  However there were only less than 10 units left in my insulin pump cartridge which I knew wouldn’t last me the entire night since I planned to sleep as last as possible.  So it was time to change my infusion set and fill a new cartridge.  As I started the process that I do every 3 days and the pump was rewinding, it stopped.  It made some alarm kind of sound and a call service, no delivery message came on the screen.  Not really what I had in mind for a set change.  Especially at almost 1 in the morning.  I tried pushing all the buttons and nothing happened.  My pump is broke!  And the freaking out set in.

I have to admit that I felt very unprepared for a situation like this.  Thankfully I have another pump to use as a back up.  In the four+ years that I have been pumping, I’ve been fortunate to not have any issues really.  I got out my Minimed pump and started a set change.  My bg was hanging out around 230 mg/dL at that time so I know I couldn’t waste time getting my insulin delivery going.  The only thing that bothered me was that I wasn’t sure if the MM had my current basal rates since it’s been some time since I’ve used it.  And I couldn’t compare it to my Animas since it wasn’t currently working.  Great.  I figured at the time that some insulin was better than none.  I got hooked up and what I did next was call Animas’ 24 hour tech support.  I explained to the female representative what happened and that my pump had malfunctioned.  I told her the error number that came up on the screen when she said “oh that’s not a malfunction” and preceded to tell me that it was  a safety test the pump performs.  All I had to do was unscrew the battery cap and re-screw it on which reloaded the pump and voila.  The pump was working again.  As relieved as I was that the pump wasn’t broken, I don’t really get the idea of having some safety test performed that shuts the pump down mid-set change.  Since I’ve never experienced this before, I’m hoping not to again.  Or at least not often.

What I did learn though is to write down my basal and bolus rates outside of the pump itself to have readily available, which I did the very next morning.  And I would recommend that to anyone who uses a pump for those just in case moments since we do rely on pieces of technology. I’d love to know if any other Animas users has experienced this sort of thing.

Sorry Animas, I wasn’t too happy with you on this one.

The Mio

Some of you may already know, I am extremely fortunate to own both the Animas Ping and the Medtronic Revel insulin pumps.  I’m not even quite sure how that worked out but I have both and do switch between the two.  Some of you may be wondering which one is better and in my opinion they are both very good devices, each with their own “perks” as you could call it.

One of the things I’ve always liked about the Ping is the Inset infusion sets.  They are colorful, a bit smaller on your body and come in their own insertion device.  I am one of those pump users who refuses to insert an infusion set manually.  Despite the fact that I took injections for about 25 years, jabbing an infusion set into my skin just makes me shudder!  All the years I used the Medtronic Quicksets, before using the Ping, I always used the serter device and had numerous in my possession in case one were to break.  Then a few months ago, they introduced the Mio set which to me looked very similar to the Animas Inset.  In the last order from MM, I got the Mios instead of the Quicksets and to be quite honest, they are exactly a replica of the Inset.

The picture above shows the Medtronic Mio on the left and the Animas Inset on the right.  See, they are exactly the same.  Which for someone like me, is a good thing.  The only differences (at least at the time I got them) is that Medtronic only offers the colors in the 6mm canula size where Animas offers both 6 and 9mm as well as Animas having an additional color to offer, green.  I was pleased with the new product and would recommend them to other Medtronic users.

(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with either Medtronic or Animas and this post is just from my personal experience with either infusion set.)

Cheating

Yesterday was a day that I felt like a bottom-less pit.  I indulged in a few more snacks than usual (not all bad ones!) and most of the day my bg stayed in check.  That was until last night when I overdid it with the pretzel m&m’s.  Before I went to bed, my bg was 221 mg/dL.  Not completely horrible but not ideal either.  Darn those m&m’s!  I then thought to myself “ that’s what you get for cheating”.  I’m not sure where that thought even came from but it’s something I haven’t considered for quite some time.  And it got me thinking.  When I was a child with diabetes in the 80’s, there was no such thing as the bolus or carb counting we know today.  I took probably 2 injections a day, as set times, at least for my regimen.  There was no “covering” food with insulin.  So you had to be more careful about what food you consumed to prevent high bg.  And that’s probably where the concept of cheating came from.  If you consumed more food than what was “allowed”, your high bg was a result of cheating.  If you look up the definition of the word cheating, you will find: an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition.  And I think most would agree that the purpose of one’s cheating is usually to gain an advantage of some sort.  Eating that results in a high bg, not so much an advantage.  Those times when I was little and used to sneakily eat candy or cookies, then lie about it – that’s deceitful so yeah I’d say that’s cheating.  But I cannot for the life of me figure out how eating too many carbs is “cheating”.  So from this point on, despite the amount of carbs I may consume, I will take out my portable pancreas, calculate the insulin I should take and will *not* consider the word cheating ever again.