It all started at our bi-annual diabetes circus. That’s what I call it. Of course that’s not its official name. I think the official name is the Diabetes Health Fair. But it is a circus. All we are missing is an elephant and clowns. And cotton candy.
The Lion’s Club has a mobile eye screening lab in a massive RV that can barley make the turn to get into the clinic parking lot. We have a volunteer eye Doc come in and do basic eye screens for the un-insured (most of my patients). One every ten minutes. All day long.
We have a specialty footwear firm come in and do foot screenings and fit custom shoes when needed. The dental side did screenings for gum disease and the like. Drug reps who want some face time with end users set up booths in the lobby. The brand new ambulance was parked out front for everyone to gawk at. We do blood sugar screenings of Type 3s and anyone who happens to drop by.
It’s a long day and I’m the Ring Master.
At lunch one of the foot guys, who happens to be a T-1 like me spied my pump.
That’s when he asked the question: “Which pump do you recommend?”
You know; I don’t know. As a pump, I really don’t think that much of the MiniMed product. I think that as a pump, the CoZmo is light years ahead of the MedT product. It does more and is more user friendly. It’s like in the really old days when you compared the early PCs to the Early Mac computers. PCs were chincy with their info……
You can do things faster (like eat) and with more info at your fingertips with the CoZmo. Medtronic prides itself on being a medical device company. The ParaPump is very much a medical device. On the other hand, I get the feeling that the CoZmo was designed and built by diabetics. It is made with the user in mind. It is friendly.
The ParaPump is built with the mission in mind, user be damned. Medtronic seems to view it as a tool that we must learn to use. Smith’s understands that we must live with these devices 24-7. FOREVER.
I’ve been using ParaPump for quite a while now. Long enough to get use to it, love it, and hate it. It requires all three.
So if I think the CoZmo is better why didn’t I just say so and why is the ParaPump still snuggly on my belt? Three letters: C-G-M.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring. I felt one hypo a while back but I’ve been in the low 50s a dozen times since with no clue save my late-to-the-party alarm system, which never the less saved my bacon each time.
Truth be told: at this point, if I could, I’d go back to wearing my CoZmo pump and my old garage-door-opener Guardian. Too bad the new elegant little MiniLink transmitter won’t talk to the old guard. But, there is no more getting the transmitter for the old system. Even though it was big, ugly, had no graphic screen, and required me to wear two boxes on my belt; it did what I required most. It woke me up when I needed to be woken up. It never failed to command my attention. It was loud enough.
So why do I still wear the ParaPump? Because I’m chicken shit. I’m afraid to be without my CGM. Life is too dangerous without it. I could set it’s basal rate to zero and use it as a stand-alone CGM and then put my CoZmo back on; but its not THAT bad of a pump. Why have two boxes for no real reason? Although I may do that for a while when I run out of my supply of MedT infusion sets. I’ve got four months of CoZmo sets in boxes that I hate to let go to waste….
So maybe this guy doesn’t need CGM. Or maybe he couldn’t afford it if he did (a common problem). But in the back of my mind I was feeling that it was on the cusp of malpractice to recommend anything but the pump that had integrated CGM capability.
Sure the guy could wear a CoZmo and then get the by-all-reports excellent new Guardian with it’s sexy slope alarms. I assume it suffers from being equally shy volume wise, however. Or he could wear a DexCom, although its users don’t seem to stick with it. Or he could wait for the missing-in-action Abbott Navigator. If Navigator ever gets out of the FDA, and If it works, and If Smith’s mates it with a CoZmo then Medtronic will be in trouble. But that’s a lot of “ifs.” It may not happen. Not soon anyway. MedT may have the integrated pump/CGM market to themselves for many years.
But it is too bad to have such a lovely CGM married to such a poor pump.