The thought that precedes trying


Believe it or not, I was getting ready to go through the process to upgrade to the 530G when the offer to participate in a trial came to my Inbox.

At the time, I perceived my odds of actually going through with the upgrade to be about 50/50. When I inquired several months ago, my insurance company confirmed that I may upgrade after three years, but Medtronic told me I must wait out my current warranty, which means four. I’ve read about the troubles of others who have had inconsistent upgrade-eligibility dates, so I was mentally preparing to embark in full battle-mode and get my new pump. The end of March marked three years for me with the 523-aka-Revel.

(If, after three months, I decide to stick with the 530G – which I expect – we’ll be in full no-holds-barred combat, because there ain’t no way I’m going back to the Sofsensor. I’m already scheduling a bonfire to dispose of my excess supply – message me if you’d like an invitation.)

Despite my earlier wishes to “try before you buy”, I was all set to buy – the other pumps and CGMs on the market just didn’t measure up to what I was looking for and what I valued the most. There was no need to try.

And the thing about a trial (more on that later) is that I would have to play by the rules. I’d have to make sure that I wore the prescribed sensor in the prescribed location, calibrated it with the prescribed meter, bolused with the prescribed infusion set that has sat under my skin for the prescribed amount of time, and not fake-out the sensor by reincarnating it after six days.

meanscottThough Mean Scott tried really hard to have an influence on me, there are still some rules prefer not to follow. Perhaps it’s Medtronic’s fault, giving the previous pump a name that sounds so much like “Rebel”. Who knows.

Did I want to be handcuffed to The Rules? If I erroneously gave the CGM a bad calibration, would I be allowed to restart the sensor to nullify it? (Feedback item #2: I wish calibrations had an UNDO option. Item #1 is the SENSOR END warning that Karen and I discussed in Thursday’s post)

What if the pump is broken, lost, or stolen? I’m now on the hook for that.

Moreover, since this is a trial of some sort, did I want the scientists who are conducting the trial to laugh and point at the data they downloaded? Like my ridiculous 30%:70% basal-to-bolus ratio, or my 80-carb lunches? Would I need to explain my Super-Boluses? Am I even allowed to Super-Bolus??

Will they be downloading my data at all?

And just who’s on trial here anyway? Is it the pump, the CGM, the manufacturer, or me? Who (or what) is conducting the study and who/what is the lab-rat? The whole thing seemed a bit confusing to me. I wasn’t sure if the “goal” of the trial was to get me to ultimately buy the 530G system (sale!), to get me to talk about it (marketing!), to satisfy FDA requirements (which, apparently, are still ongoing), or to get true honest-to-goodness feedback so that they could be better in the future?

Or maybe it was just a really friendly gesture from some really friendly people. (And when I say that, having met them in person in January, I mean that sincerely. They really are friendly people.)

I’d like to think it’s for the feedback opportunity. In fact, the Number One reason I agreed to participate in this trial is for the opportunity to give some constructive feedback in ninety days. (And by constructive, I mean by pointing out solutions as well as problems, and by making my suggestions realistic. I need to be taken seriously. Also, I’m a problem-solver by nature.)

Also, there’s that little Threshold Suspend feature.

I haven’t had a severe overnight low since I started pumping. But now, unlike then, I have two kids at home. Sometimes my wife has to take overnight business trips, which means it’s JUST me and the two kids at home.

I’d be negligent if I didn’t do everything in my power to make sure that didn’t turn into JUST two kids at home.

In fact, the only thing that made me appreciate (and want) the Threshold Suspend feature is when I looked at in the context of my kids. That’s a big reason I was prepared to switch over to the 530G, trial or not.


Posted on April 7, 2014, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Very valid points of discussion on a seemingly complicated topic!

    I like that you know what you want and go get it.


  2. When’s that bonfire? I have SofSensors to burn too.


  3. I realize you were joking when you mentioned scientists looking at your data and laughing, but I’m sure that’s far from the case.

    I keep an eye on the BG readings of ShugaTrak users, so I’m in a similar position to those scientists. It’s a privilege to be able to see that data and extract information-knowledge-wisdom, often accompanied by stabs of sympathy.


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