April 8, 2014
I have been waiting to write this column for weeks. Unfortunately, it’s not going to have the tone I was planning on. Let me first put out this disclaimer: This is just my opinion. I know there are people out there who love the device I’m about to discuss.
You see, I recently received the Medtronic 530G with Enlite coined as the first step toward the Artificial Pancreas. I was bursting at the seams to tell you but wanted to wait until I did the training and had the pump attached. For those of you who may not remember my excitement-filled column when the device came out let me explain what it does and why I placed so much hope in it.
The 530G is an insulin pump. The Enlite is a Continuous Glucose Monitor. The CGM, tells the wearer what their sugar is every five minutes. It can alarm if the sugar is too high or low and if the wearer is dropping or rising. This sensor technology isn’t new. However, this one will actually work with the pump and suspend insulin delivery if the sugar drops too low. I’m always worried about going low, passing out and being the only adult with the kids. I thought this pump would supply so much relief and better management of my sugars.
Before I get into the horror stories, let me say it did have moments of greatness and some aspects are fantastic! But, here are some problems I encountered:
Example 1: I was sitting at Cub Scouts with Jackson the other night. I felt like I was dropping but the CGM kept telling me I was staying steady in the 90s. When I stood up to help Bella pick up her toys, I knew that I was indeed low. A finger check showed that I was 48. The CGM said 92! I couldn’t help but think “Where were you on that one?” My fellow Billy Madison fans will get that quote.
Example 2: Following dinner one night I got an alarm from the pump. I was 91 according to the CGM and it predicted a low. I did a finger check and I was actually 148. Guess a low wasn’t in the immediate future after all.
And example 3: One of the downsides of having a CGM is that it can keep you up all night with its alarms. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when it kept me up saying I was in the 60s. A finger check showed I was actually 144!
So I decided to return it and I felt like a little part of me died inside. On one hand though making the decision to get rid of it, certainly gave me some much needed mental clarity. You see, it was driving me crazy and I was driving everyone else crazy (sorry Mom and Justin!) Every time it would be right, my thoughts would shift and my hope would build. Every time it would be wrong, I would be overwhelmed with disappointment. This resulted in quite a few tears (Did I mention I was on my period during all of this cause you know that’s how life is).
So then this morning I get a call from the local Medtronic rep and the whole thing is back up to the surface. He wants me to be trained by their trainer and says he’s had people in my position who now love the device. I guess I don’t have anything to lose so I’ll do the training (again) cause you know I have so much free time. Hopes and prayers that I’m able to actually keep my sanity between now and then would be greatly appreciated!