It’s been quite awhile since I made the decision to keep the 530G/Enlite (pump/CGM) system. If you followed me through the process earlier in the year, you know it was not an easy decision. Not by a long shot.
But I gave it every benefit of the doubt during my trial, and the Medtronic team tried really hard to get me to like it. And you know what? It worked. Over the past several months, I’ve really grown to like the system and have been very comfortable with my decision.
The sensor works well for me, and I understand how to make it well. The pump is comfortable and familiar, and talks to all of my other devices. The CGM is not as lumpy as its biggest competitor, and when I get out of the pool or ocean and back in range of the receiver-pump, it backfills the last 40 minutes of readings so i know what’s going on. The ISIGs give me a window into the CGM’s workings and lets me know if my sensor is performing well even if it’s got a bad calibration. The proprietary non-Luer connector makes the reservoir easier to fill than with the more common method. The pump’s raised blister-like buttons make it easy to operate without looking at it (don’t try this at home). And the clear/white case gives it a cool and modern look that I had never before anticipated – nor cared about. And CareLink!
Try to take it away and replace it with another pump or CGM, and you’ll be in for a fight.
And now, after all of the angst and turmoil of my trial, they’re telling me I can’t keep it.
They is my insurance company — an insurance company that has treated me fairly since I first got on one of their policies 17 years ago. I’ve changed employers, plans, and coverages, but always were fortunate to have the same company administering them. They, through my current (wife’s) employer-sponsored plan, have been really good at providing coverage to keep me healthy rather than simply keep me alive until the next open-enrollment period.
As I write this (Tuesday night), I’m down to my last nine Bayer ContourNext strips.
You may remember my saga with the test strips, and insurance battles, from my last post.
Actually, that’s not quite accurate. I’ve got 22 unopened boxes of strips (for a total of 1100 fingerstick tests; or if you play by the rules, 1078 fingerstick tests and twenty-two control-solution tests). I’ve also got a return-label to send those strips back to Edgepark, and a standing prescription to get 22 identical boxes of strips from CVS Caremark. So I can’t quite open those boxes just yet, or it could cost me dearly.
An envelope arrived in the mail the other day. It was from my medical insurance company.
In it was a check made payable for close to a thousand dollars.
I knew what it meant, and I was fuming.
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On Monday, I’ll be starting a new job. (The job change itself has nothing to do with diabetes, though I still hope to work in a role that somehow relates to it, someday). But the switch does have some diabetes related implications.
First, I’ll be transitioning from a field-related job to a desk job. This means less time on my feet and more time in a chair. It will likely translate into less exercise, and therefore higher blood sugars. That, in turn, will lead to higher basal insulin rates. This is not a good thing.
But, being in an office environment means that I’ll have a desk rather than a backpack. There will be my own space, in a climate-controlled environment, where I can stash backup insulin, glucose tabs, and even meters, without fear of them getting lost, broken, or cooked. That’s a good thing. (It’s also easier on my back!).