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!).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Empty boxes

Hey, what’s in the box? I asked.

The local Med-T rep (Ken, not Barbie) and I were sitting in my office after a meeting with my boss. The rep had come up from Albuquerque to give us overview of the new iPro-2 “professional” CGM. It’s a retrospective device you can slap on a patient for a week or so to track their blood sugar patterns 24-7-365, in five minute increments. Our clinic had the original iPro, which I guess we’ll now have to call iPro-1, but I broke it. Kind of an expense toy to break.

Thankfully, the clinic didn’t dock my paycheck.

Anyway, for any of you clinical folks reading, iPro-2 looks to be an huge upgrade in terms of being easier to use than its predecessor. The original iPro didn’t score many points in the easy-to-use department. The new-and-improved cloud-based software looks to be heaps better, too.

I’ll let you all know later if these impressions bear out, once I have some hands-on time with it, because my boss decided to order one of the three-thousand dollar systems while they were still at the introductory price of only 2K—with the proviso that if I broke this one, too, it sure as hell was coming out of my paycheck this time.

How, exactly, does one break a CGM? By not leaving the stupid transmitter plugged in when you’re not using it, that’s how. Apparently if the rechargeable battery goes completely dead the whole thing dies. No CPR for CGM.

Also, apparently, this can happen to Med-T’s Revel and Paradigm CGM transmitters so if you are taking a CGM break, do yourself a favor and go put a fresh triple-A battery in the little blue changer and just leave the damn seashell transmitter plugged in.

When I complained to Medtronic Why did you warn me? I was told that this little nugget of information was in the manual and a replacement would be eight hundred clams. Who the fuck reads the manual?

But back to the box. “Oh, well, this isn’t your mySentry,” said Ken, “Barbie will bring that up next week, but I thought you’d like to see what it really looks like.”

Sure, I said, wiping the drool from my chin, as he opened the box.

Of course, I’ve seen the official PR pictures, but there’s no substitute for seeing the real thing. It looks like what someone in 1975 might have thought an alarm clock from 2012 would look like. Sexy in an old-fashioned sci-fi movie kinda way. White, back, frosted plastic, and curvy edges. About the size of a box of Kleenex and… Wow! It’s sooooo, light, I marveled out loud.

Ken blushed. “Um, well, uh, that’s because it’s empty.”

I didn’t get it at first. Then, I rolled the plastic box over in my hands. Nothing was coming out of the back where I knew full-well a power plug was supposed to go. Like a kid at Christmas I gave the monitor a little shake. Empty? Then it dawned on me. This is a mockup? What, you didn’t rate a real one?

Ken’s face went from light pink to darker pink and he shrugged his shoulders.

Sure enough. The front is just a sticker showing what the display would look like. I stabbed at a fake button, which was also printed onto the sticker. This button doesn’t seem to be working, I teased.

We ran through all the faux buttons, with the rep (with a straight face) telling me what each did. I’ll wait to fill you in. I think it will go better for me when I have real buttons to press. The sticker, and presumably the real screen in a mySentry with guts in the box, is full color. My rep tells me that various pump status icons change color using a green-yellow-red approach for giving you a heads up about such things as battery life, amount of insulin in the pump, and when the next sensor change is due. The monitor can display the “real-time” CGM reading with a rate of change arrow or the 3-6-12 or 24 hours trace lines. We’ll talk a lot more about this later, of course.

He also had a mockup of the Outpost, the signal booster that essentially turns your home, or at least a good portion of it, depending on the size of your home, into a CGM wireless hotspot. Looking at the photos, I wasn’t sure if it had a plug, or batteries, or what. Turns out it plugs directly into the wall like a night light. In fact, did Ken tell me that it doubles as a night light? Maybe so, I don’t recall.

Anyway, you’ll know in a week when I plug it into my wall. Stay tuned…


Blogger Unknown said...

Dude! What a tease!

6:22 AM  
Blogger Mike Hoskins said...

Yes, such a tease. Looking forward to the "real" reviews.

8:13 PM  

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