LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Box, Chapter 2

Damn. I’m over here and the Box, if it came, is over there. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are my clinic days. 8am to 6pm. When I started a year ago the clinic had 88 diabetes patients. We now have 177 and growing every day. That was in no way relevant, I just wanted to brag.

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays I’m still at the Lab/ Studio.

Thursdays are the wild card day.

I haven’t developed a split personality yet, but I’m sure it is only a matter of time.

Oooooops. Got off track again. Regular readers know my mind tends to wander, and my typing fingers with it… Back to the Box. I’m told the Box is coming today. I had it sent to the lab ‘cause the clinic is a busy, crazy, frantic place where packages seem to go astray and I sure as hell didn’t want this one going astray.

So I gotta wait till I get home to see if it came. To open it. To ooooooo and ahhhhhhhh over it’s contents. Christmas in April.

I love my job, but I really want to go home and open the box! The Box with my new pump and CGM. Well, not necessary mine for ever, but mine to use.

So I’m pretty excited about giving the MiniMed pump a try. I’ve often been asked why I chose the pump I chose. Well, that was a couple of years ago and I can barely remember last Tuesday…but as I recall it all happened very fast and went something like this:

I was visiting my Endo when the subject of a pump came up. My pharmacist was on a pump and she told me “ask your Doc about pumps.” So I did. I only had the haziest understanding of what pumping was all about at the time.

My Endo thought I’d be a great pumper, and was very enthusiastic. She sent me home with three info packs. One MiniMed, One CoZmo, One Animas. Call me in a few days and I’ll get the paper work going. She told me most patients where on MiniMeds, but that the CoZmo was good for control enthusiasts like me. She had only met the Animas rep a few days before, but the pump looked OK to her.

I had a terrible cold at the time. I remember lying in bed with my laptop and the three info kits. I never met with any pump reps, never got to see or handle the devices, or even talk to someone who used a pump. Hard to compare features when you don’t understand the technology.

But it went something like this. I liked the Medtronic, especially the look and overall size. At the time the wireless BG monitor had just been released and sounded cool, but it was getting a bad rap online. It also seemed enormous compared to my little Freestyle Flash. The CoZmo had the clip on meter, and I liked that all-in-one idea. I liked the look of the Animas (the old one) the best, and it was the thinnest. It also had a built in carb data base and I liked that idea. However, their info kit was worthless. Their pump also had no way of receiving BG data other than entering it manually. They were out.

Using an out-of-date comparison chart on the web, I mistakenly thought the MiniMed pump took button batteries (the old ones did, but not true anymore), so I really liked the fact that the CoZmo took the most common battery in the world: AAA.

The CoZmo was water proof too, and the MiniMed only water-resistant. I don’t know why that mattered to me, ‘cause I generally don’t go swimming. However, I’ve twice been swept away by flood waters in my old career as a photojournalist…so maybe that came in to play in my subconscious.

As it turns out, the point is moot. Once you put the CoZmonitor on it the rig is no longer water proof, or even water-resistant in the least. I liked the fact that CoZmo used a lurer lock, rather than a propriety system. I had no idea what length of tubing, or how big an insulin supply I’d need.

The thing that won me over in the end, was the fact that the CoZmo info kit had the actual start-up video/CD included. The Medtronic kit only had a promotional CD about the joys of pumping. I was already sold on pumping, I wanted to know how the damn thing worked. The CoZmo CD took me though how it worked in pain-staking detail. Oh, yeah!

So I chose the Smith Deltec CoZmo because it had an attached glucomonitor, was water proof (I thought), used a universal infusion set, used readily available batteries (except for the aforementioned glucomonitor, which luckily uses the same button batteries that my son’s pocket electronic battleship game uses), and it had a cool belt clip.

I got the pump and hated it almost immediately. First off the belt clip I liked didn’t work with the meter on. The meter, “only as thick as a few sticks of gum,” made the damn thing pretty thick to live with. The software was awful. You could program the pump easily, but the glucose reports only came in log-book form. No graphics. My sugar went bonkers and I didn’t get a handle on the whole pumping thing until Abbott released Co-Pilot with a CoZmo down load feature.

They also took foooooooorever to get me pump training.

But I adapted and got use to it. I like the pump just fine, but I’m looking forward to a new adventure. To a new approach to the same problems. I think it will be fun to compare and contrast the two pump systems. But let’s not forget the icing on the cake. This new machine is more than a pump. It is PumpPlus. It will monitor my BG and give me a head’s up when things go south. Or north. Or east. Or west. Speaking of east of here…

I wonder if the box is there yet?


Anonymous Jana said...

I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the Paradigm. I have been using the 522 (minus CGM) since December, and I like it pretty well, but it's always interesting to compare notes... And let me warn you in advance about the Carelink system Minimed has online...while there are some nice graphic representations of data, the logbook utterly sucks. There's no way to enter comments without entering in either a meal or exercise!

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Hey Wil,

I've been a lurker on your blog for a little under a year, even through the periods where you have not written. I am quite glad that you have stepped back into the ring and started blogging again. I'm really excited to read about the Paradigm!

I remember back when I was researching pumps, it was quite a fiasco, trying to keep track of which pump had which features, pages upon pages of info on each pump... I really hope you like the paradigm a lot more than the Cozmo right off the bat. It looks like a very nice system. :-)

1:08 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...

What is it with these companies and the darn software.

I posted a scathing review on my blog about the lousy software for my Dexcom.

This is not rocket science, yet the device makers refuse to get better at this. Sorry for venting.

Hey, welcome back.

3:41 PM  
Blogger julia said...

Whooo! Welcome back! I'm jealous (again) but I can't wait to hear about your experiences with your new hardware.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

The thing that stinks is that your complaints about Cozmo are the same as mine. Sucks, but otherwise I like it. I gave up on the Cozmonitor. I love my Cozmo overall, and I really feel like all of the pumps have their annoyances. I can't wait to hear about the Minimed. I'm trying a Minimed this summer, so it should be interesting.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I have the minimed pump and I hate it!!! The service is crap, the link-to-pump doesn't work halfway decent and the whole thing sucks!! It said I was 9.7 when I was actually 2.1!!!I am waiting to try the Deltec cause it really interests me and the service is already way better. The paradigm is not that great. I had the 508 by minimed before and it bugged up all the time and this one is allready showing signs of it!!! And I got it less than 4 months ago!!

4:07 PM  

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