Adjusting to My Pump, and Problems With Medtronic

Medtronic’s customer service and transition teams are leaving a lot to be desired. Also, I’ve been riding the BG rollercoaster this past week.

it took me 6 months of work to get my pump the way I liked it and my control to stabilize. I found working with the CDE and a pump trainer was better than trying to call my endo or the manufacturer.

My A1c went up the first quarter after starting the pump too.

I also found that the book - “Pumping Insulin” was the single most important help in making the pump do what I wanted it to do. Amazon Link - Pumping insulin

Good luck!

Awesome. I appreciate the feedback, and the link, Joe.

After I was first diagnosed, I attended endocrinology clinic at a children’s hospital every 3 months for 10 years until I was 17. We never called them in between visits. My mom and I would keep detailed records of my glucose readings, exercise, etc and do our best to prevent the extremes (with probably minimal success, but I don’t know because I only took 2 to 3 readings a day).
After 4 years of pumping, I’ve come to realize that my pump and CGM are just tools for data collection. The endo, diabetes teams and Medtronic are just there for support if there are trends that can be adjusted for. I can do the same thing for a whole week and have 2 days of excellent readings and 5 days of rollercoaster. The last time I saw my endocrinologist she said she couldn’t do anything with my readings and to record all my food intake and exercise for another week and send her the CGM readings. Still no suggestions. So just doing more data collection. In an ideal world we would live in a bubble with no stressors or changes from day to day, but the smallest things can push things out of whack. It’s all like a science experiment.

I am woken up frequently by my pump going off too. The biggest issue I have with Low Alerts overnight is that my sensor glucose is reading much lower (<70) than my blood glucose (usually >100 in these situations). This usually means that I will have a low blood glucose in the next couple of hours so I eat a small amount like a fruit leather (about 12 g of carbs) but I have to deal with 2 or 3 more alerts over the next hour or 2. I am still on my first Enlite sensor and I have not turned on the Threshold Suspend feature yet because I know that would drive me crazy.

Anyway, despite all the issues and the lack of support from Medtronic, even if I had to pay more than my current copays, I would keep my pump and CGM any day, rather than going back on Lantus. I was a much bigger mess on Lantus!

Just keep going on and try what you can. Something should work at some point!

Minimed is just there to supply your pump and replace it if it breaks. They’re great at that but can’t do much to help with your personal management.

Your diabetes educator will get you started, but you’ll do best adjusting your pump settings on your own. There are different theories on ideal basal patterns and suggested insulin senstivity factors based on body weight, but your person needs will vary greatly from the formulas. So start with the suggestions, then make small changes on your own.

Joes’ suggestion of “Pumping Insulin” is smart. “Think Like a Pancreas” has good pump suggestions too and its author, Gary Scheiner, sometimes offers online classes on pump settings at www.type1university.com

I’ve been pumping about 12 years and still tweak my basal settings often. A pump isn’t effortless, but it usually provides a lot better insulin delivery (more like what the pancreas would do) than injections of long and short acting. Let us know how your adjustment goes.

I’ve been a Medtronic pumper for almost 14 years and have had a pump with a sensor for about 5 years. Medtronic has always been fabulous when I had an issue with a broken pump. I wasn’t able to read your whole blog history, but other people who have responded are right. Medtronic is not there to help you adjust your basal rates or other dosing factors.

The book “Think Like a Pancreas” was also a great resource for me–totally changed my perspective on pumping!

Thanks for the feedback.

I never expected Medtronic to help me adjust my basal rates, or anything like that. However, I did expect them to set up my training. They didn’t until I made a fuss about it, two weeks after receiving my pump and CGM.

I expect them to be honest in the way they’re shipping items to me. (If they say the item doesn’t require a signature, and then it isn’t delivered because the UPS driver determined a signature was required, I blame Medtronic.)

I expect them to follow up when they tell me they will. If I’m told I’ll get a call to see how I’m doing before Christmas and I still have yet to hear from them, then I’ll blame Medtronic.

I spoke with their VP of Client Relations a few weeks ago. She was very nice. She told me they received more orders than they expected. If they can’t provide the support and service necessary, they shouldn’t take the orders.

Every time I’ve dealt with Medtronic I’ve been disappointed. They need to revamp their customer service completely, in my opinion. I work in client relations with my company. If I did what their reps are doing, every time I call them, my company would no longer have any clients.

Just my opinion.

Hi @hegartyb,

I agree with you completely. If Medtronic tells you that they will call you, and they don’t follow through then Yes, I blame Medtronic too. I am sorry you have had a bad experience with them, and hope they will fix their customer relations department.

Personally, I have NEVER had any problems with Medtronic, and I have been using their pump for 13 years. You are not the first person that I’ve heard these type of complaints from. It boggles my mind because it’s never happened to me and I always feel horrible for others.

I have worn an insulin pump for over 19 years. When the company had less people on the pump I feel that they were a better company. I feel that they have lowered their standards as far as customer service since the company has gotten bigger. Years ago, they were personable and held to their word. In a nutshell, I got married in May 2012 in Barbados and my pump broke the night of my wedding (had to leave my wedding dinner to go back to resort to get insulin and syringes an call Medtronic). I did not have the best back up plan…I had 2 syringes and rapid acting insulin only. I ended up doing about 10-12 injections a day for 12 days without a pump. When I originally called them the night of my wedding I was told the global team does not work on the weekends. Then they said they could not get a pump to me because of customs. I have spoken to several people at Medtronic about it but no one has reached out to me at all and demonstrated any type of concern about their major failure!!! Extremely disappointing…

I have been a pump user for 8 years. Originally was on Deltc Cozmore pump for the reason that Laura P stated about a smaller company. Had my pick of alot of companies but, chose them due to similar technology but smaller and more personalized. Was doing great on pump and support was going great until 2years into it the company went belly up and dropped pretty much all support except for supplies. So, You take chances with the smaller companies nowadays. Went to Medtronic and noticed that you are pretty much on your own and makes it much harder for 1st time pump users to understand everything and make the changes that are necessary for good control 24hrs a day. Cannot beat the technology though. So, as everyone has stated I too agree about the CS of Medtronic but, worth the gamble to get my control on my life and health for me. Wish all best of luck!

I am new to the world of health insurance. I have been diabetic for 47 years. 7 years ago, I received a Mini Med pump that was donated to the clinic I used when the owner of the pump died. It is a marvelous invention and I am so grateful.

I now have health insurance and had to switch doctors. I saw a physician’s assistant last week. She got me a Contour Next meter immediately, but it does not talk to my pump because the pump is too old. She called Medtronic to see if I would qualify for a new pump. The health insurance will pay for most of a new pump. But I have some concerns and would really like to hear input from people with experience.

Medtronic will only sell me a meter with CGM. They are pushing the 530G with Enlite, of course.

  1. Is it possible to use this pump without the CGM if I lose the insurance and cannot afford to purchase the sensors?
  2. Does the sensor have a completely separate insertion site? I use abdominal quadrants and one of them cannot absorb insulin any more after too many years of multiple daily injections and then insertions. (47 years ago insulin destroyed skin tissue but no one was concerned about it because Type 1 diabetics weren’t expected to live very long anyway. They told my parents when I was 5 that I would not graduate from high school.) So do you put the pump insertion in 1 quadrant and the sensor in a different quadrant? Then do you have lines connecting to the pump from 2 places?
  3. Has anyone tried inserting the CGM sensor into a site that won’t absorb insulin?
  4. I ordered reservoirs and infusion sets last week. I only ordered a 1 month supply since I knew the doctor was thinking I needed a pump upgrade. When the lady at Medtronic supplies tried to send me a 3 month supply, which is what my insurance company wants, I said no in case I switched pumps. Yesterday the saleswoman said that all Medtronic pumps use the same reservoirs and insertion sets. I mean, it makes sense to me to do things that way but car manufacturers sure don’t work like that. Is it true? And if it is, how much trouble am I in when I want to order supplies again next month?
  5. What do I not even know that I need to ask?

I appreciate your input more than you can possibly know.

  1. Is it possible to use this pump without the CGM if I lose the insurance and cannot afford to purchase the sensors?
    Yes, You can use it without the sensors. Many people do not use the sensor part of the pump.

  2. Does the sensor have a completely separate insertion site?
    Yes, unfortunately…there are two separate infusion sites. You can use your arms for sensors if you are comfortable doing that. It actually gets pretty great absorption, for me anyways.

  3. Has anyone tried inserting the CGM sensor into a site that won’t absorb insulin?
    The CGM sensor doesn’t absorb insulin. But, to answer your question you sometimes have to change out the sensor because it isn’t working in that site, which is frustrating but, there really is no way in knowing if the sensor isn’t working in that spot till you use it.

  4. I ordered reservoirs and infusion sets last week. I only ordered a 1 month supply since I knew the doctor was thinking I needed a pump upgrade. When the lady at Medtronic supplies tried to send me a 3 month supply, which is what my insurance company wants, I said no in case I switched pumps. Yesterday the saleswoman said that all Medtronic pumps use the same reservoirs and insertion sets. I mean, it makes sense to me to do things that way but car manufacturers sure don’t work like that. Is it true? And if it is, how much trouble am I in when I want to order supplies again next month?
    You can just call the number on the back of the pump and change anything you would like to usually. Personally, I would have gotten the 3-month supply tried it for that time period and then changed pumps if I didn’t like it. It will come out cheaper if you do the 3 months.

Have you been the the Minimed website yet? They have some great reading material that could also possibly answer some of your questions about MM Elite as well. http://minimed.com/treatment-and-products/insulin-pump-therapy

I hope I helped!