It’s wiggity, wiggity, wiggity wack

How does the model keep the transmitter from flopping around without ugly tape? Source: Medtronic PR photo

How does the model keep the transmitter from flopping around without IV3000?
Source: Medtronic PR photo

After writing yesterday’s post, I had some time for some more rational thought, and I remembered the reasons I use the suite of diabetes devices that I do.

  1. The meter automatically sends my BG’s to the pump
  2. The meter automatically sends my BG’s to the CGM
  3. The CGM is built-in to the pump
  4. The meter is small, accurate, and uses little blood.
  5. The buttons don’t fall off.

These features are important to me.

  • If I were to switch to the Animas Ping, I’d sacrifice feature numbers 2, 3, and 4.
  • If I were to switch to the Animas Vibe, I’d sacrifice feature numbers 1 and 2. (It’s also not available yet)
  • If I were to switch to the Dexcom G4, I’d sacrifice feature numbers 2 and 3, but the loss of feature 5 would pose a big problem.
  • With the Omnipod and t:slim, which I’m not considering for other reasons, I also have to give up a few features.

Only the Medtronic Revel/TerrorSensor/NextLink combo offers all of the above five features. Plus, since every piece of data from every device gets stored in the pump itself, it can generate some really spiffy reports.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of these things so I don’t act irrationally.

Of course, paramount to all of those features is the requirement that the damn thing works. I’ve never heard of any other pumps generating Motor Error (or equivalent) alarms. Maybe they’re just built better. Maybe these malfunctions DO occur, but those pumps don’t have the technology to detect them. Maybe I just haven’t gotten my cursed hands on them. Other than MM515 (aka “Alpha”), I’ve never met an insulin pump that I couldn’t didn’t break.

* * *

My blood sugars on Thursday, after lunch, were up in the 300s. (Confession #1: my pump motor-errored in the middle of the lunch bolus; confession #2: lunch was pizza). Nearing dinnertime, and still hovering in the 300s, I looked at my reservoir and saw this:


Bubbles don’t photograph well, but trust me when I say there were a lot of them in there! Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones. I’ve never seen so many before! Did the Motor Errors cause the bubbles? Did the bubbles cause the Motor Errors? Who knows… but I’ve read that Novolog is more bubble-prone than Humalog. Just another reason to ask my doc about switching.

A few hours before that, when I first tested and saw my BG was in the 300s, the CGM was on a downward slope in the high 100-range (but soon after, it suspiciously double-arrowed up to the proper level). I have a few suspicions why the CGM was useless (related to the site, not the CGM itself), but still…

On Wednesday, I read lots of blogs with pictures of Dexcom screens. Of all the blogs, pictures, and dialogues I saw, Jess’s post “This Too Shall Pass” made me think. In what could only be described as an infuriatingly frustrating day (it gets better, Jess, but you know that!), the wrote that “the one saving grace…the brand new Dexcom sensor I put in yesterday morning was spot on from the get go.”  These words, by the way,  come from a former Medtronic CGM user.

My experience with Medtronic sensors is that it doesn’t accurately report my BG’s above 250 (it’s very resistant – and late – in reporting those high numbers), and then when my BG comes down, my calibration seems out-of-whack, even if I haven’t calibrated during that so-called “excursion.”

It’s frustrating when things don’t work as they should. But I have to prioritize which things I need to work and which ones I don’t need to work (well). And when it comes to the CGM, I suppose I can accept the imprecise ambiguity of…well… (to quote the late Chris Kelly, the Mac Daddy of the early ’90s kid-rap group):

“How high? …  REAL high!”


This is NOT a good time to calibrate!

* * *

Next week, I’ll be participating in the Fourth Annual Diabetes Blog Week, writing about topics that I’m neither smart enough nor creative enough to come up with all by myself. This means my ongoing pump sagas will be on hold. But you can still catch all the action (if there is any) on the Rolling in the D Facebook page! Mosey on over and click “like”, if you’re so inclined

Posted on May 10, 2013, in Diabetes, Insulin pump, Personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I’ve noticed the lack of accuracy when BGs are 220+ on those sensors too. Glad to know I’m not alone.


  2. I used the MM “Terror Sensor” first and switched to Dexcom. I loved the integration of my MM pump and the sensor, but I could never truly feel like it was ever accurate. (And the sensors? Ow. Ow.) I just stopped using the CGM – and I needed it. Since switching to the Dexcom, I’m not looking back. So much more accurate and so far, the buttons have stayed on. It may be inconvenient to carry another device, but it’s worth it to me. Hope yours gets to calibrating properly soon (and your insulin stops being bubbly…).


    • Somehow I feel the ease of switching to a Dexcom has a bit of gender influence. Whereas women often have the option of a purse to toss it in, I’m already running a deficit when it comes to pockets – between my wallet, phone, keys, and meter, I just haven’t got the space. Now that the warm weather is here and the jackets are being shed, I just don’t have anywhere to put it. (Plenty of men have Dexcoms and love them, I just feel it makes things that much more complicated. And please don’t suggest a fanny-pack or a variant thereof…)


      • I clip it to my belt loop with the carabiner on my Talleygear case. If I threw it in my purse, it would be lost. Forever. With Jimmy Hoffa. Using the case and carabiner on one side and my pump on the other, I do feel like the Borg, but it works for me. (Fanny packs… I’m laughing.)


  1. Pingback: #DBlogWeek ’15 – Day 6 – Lyrical poet | Rolling in the D


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s