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 14, 2009

Last of the Mohicans

After six months on the current Pres insurance plan, and five appeals it finally happened. I got a brand new pump of my very own.

With Smiths on the rocks, I had to make a decision to either go home with the girl I brought to the dance, or….

It was not an easy call.

I’ve worn OmniPod and liked it a great deal, but I’m a klutz and kept knocking pods off. I lost three in one day and my wife reminded me that in all my years of tethered pumping I never pulled out a single set. I also had some issues that I think were caused by the two wireless devices. I’d lose telemetry between pod and PDM. It shouldn’t matter, you don’t necessarily need to have your PDM with you; but in my case it would lock up, crash, and I’d have to reset everything, including date and time, and put a new pod on. It was a pain in the ass. That said, I’ve got quite a few patients on Pods and lovin’ them.

Animas looks pretty sexy. Nice shape. Color screen, not that you need one on an insulin pump. I like the Ping concept. Tethered pump, but controllable from the glucometer. Kind of best of both worlds in terms of no pod problems but off-the-belt control. You could even wear the pump under clothing. But I’ve never worn one. I have asked at least three times to try one out… but it never happens. Not going to commit myself for a life-time to something I haven’t road-tested. I’m told by my various spies that insurance plans are increasingly starting to refuse to replace out-of-warranty pumps. As long as it works, you are stuck with it. That also means when you break down, and you will, you’ll be pumpless for quite some time while you fight with your insurance for a new one. Animas wise, I was also worried that while Pres would probably pay for the pump, they would not cover the strips (One Touch) that would make the Ping so much fun to play with.

Med-T is too big a pain in the ass to use, and the CGM features I adore from the Guardian aren’t part of the package yet. If the next-Gen pump ever comes out and has Guardian-like features I could happily learn to deal with any shortcomings to have one box on my belt; but at this point it is not worth it.

And bottom line, the Cozmo pump rocks. It is the only pump that calculates insulin on board in an intelligent manner. It has the awesome disconnect feature that replaces missing basal while unhooked. It tells me how many carbs to eat to get out of a hypo without rebounding when the shit hits the fan. It is reliable and rugged. The menus are simple, clear, and direct. Even though it is an endangered species, I love it enough to take the last one. I know that I’ll be fully supported for exactly 1, 460 days. And then I’ll be on my own. Maybe some smart lean little company will come along and manufacture Cozmo pump cartridges for us until the last duct-taped Cozmo bites the dust. Who knows? I may be Cozmo pumping for a decade. Maybe until the cure, but I doubt it.

You may think I’m crazy. But I’m happy take that last Cozmo pump, thank you very much.


Blogger Christine-Megan said...

That picture actually brought tears to my eyes, knowing I'll never get to open another box like that.


8:15 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

I'm right there with you man. I'm going to keep mine running with duct tape and super glue if I have to.

9:59 AM  
Blogger CALpumper said...

You're not crazy.

While I love my Animas the more I read about the Cozmo the more I wanted one.
Now I can't get it.
Such sadness yet happiness all in one seeing that picture.
Thanks for sharing.
And really, if you're T1 a little crazy is needed for balance. ;-)

10:57 AM  
Blogger Sarah S. said...

I got a reconditioned one in the last four months and I'm not giving mine up without a fight either. I think I'm just going to stock up on cartridges and hope they last. Do you think any of the other companies will add some of Cozmo's features now that Smiths won't be making pumps any more?

11:01 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Congrats!! We've only had our Cozmo a month but it was love at first sight :) Kacey refuses to part with "Herbie" now. 3 years and 11 months left for us :)

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

You are just one lucky duck. I am stuck with an animas not happily.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

I guess it's not a popular decision, but I'm trading in my 2 yr old Cozmo for the Minimed Realtime pump/cgm combo. The no cost part of the trade in/survey deal got the better of my bargain hunter ways. My reason: Some CGM now (free unit) is better than no CGM, even if I give up a feature or two on my pump. It's only a 2 yr deal for me, and then I'm at a decision point again. Already experiencing a bit of the disjointedness of the minimed cust service I've heard so much about. Pump is on it's way here, but CGM has not officially been approved by my insurance even though they told me earlier it had been. Turns out they need a different script for that than the one my doc already filled out that included the CGM and pump(huh?). If the CGM does't work out, the pump is going right back to them, and I'll be duct taping my Cozmo like everyone else.

I really appreciate you sharing your experiences here. Loved the side by side comparison of the Guardian vs. Navigator!

8:16 PM  

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