Cgm/ pumps what to do?

my 11 year old is coming up on his one year anniversary. So of course pumps are now being talked about. The idea seems overwhelming to me... I was thinking about starting with a cgm first and seeing how that goes. Is that stupid.? It seems like it would be great to know his blood sugar all the time because he is constantly checking it with sports etc... If we decide to try a pump what is  the best one. Is there a site to go on that compares each pump for advantages and disadvantages..I have no idea where to start.  Also which cgm is good. thanks

Hi Kerry

The Animas website (makers of the Ping) does a 4 way comparison with different pumps. That helped me make our decison when chosing a pump.

As for pumps there is no best one just the best one for you. Some think highly of the Omni Pod because it has no tubing but what is nice the makers of the Omnipod will send a non working unit to you at no charge so your child can try it for a few days to see how how well it fits their lifestyle.

For some like my son - age 14 - he thought the omnipod was uncomfortable to sleep with and really just never liked it from the start. No reason - just his personal choice. I had asked the endo what she thought about various pumps and she had no preferences at all. She said it is an individual choice.

We chose the Ping for a number of reasons - one is the basel increment and the remote meter. It also has a number of very nice features. We have found the tubing to be no problem.  I tried to talk my son into the Omni pod but glad he fought it  - I like the Ping a lot and so does he. 

Our endo clinic has a series of pump prep classes that you need to take before they will start you on a pump. You aren't obligated to start the pump just because you take the class, and they didn't advocate one type over another during the classes. I'd suggest checking if your clinic offers anything similar. I'd also read thru this group's past discussions because there are several similar questions.

It really is not that overwhelming, the pumps basically do the same things. (I am thinking about buying a new TV, and find THAT overwhelming.) There are only 3 or 4 companies that make pumps. Medtronic, OmniPod and Animas. So you could go to those sites and just start poking around.

I'd also talk with your endo or a CDE about your questions too.

For my son, (who is 4), we chose the Animas Ping. I like that I can control his pump from the meter remote, so he can go right back to playing or eating right after I check his BG. Then I can punch in the insulin amounts and deliver it remotely. You can do all the pump control on the pump too, so even if we lost the meter or something, we can just use an old meter to just check BGs.  I also like that the Ping is waterproof. He hasn't had it long enough to go swimming with it, but I just figure that a little boy will at somepoint get totally soaked "by accident" and I don't want his pump to malfunction because of it. :)

Right now, Medtronic is the only pump maker with a compatible sensor. Next year (or so), Animas is coming out with a new pump/cgm that is supposed to function like a pancrease. Just thought I would throw that out there!

There are a lot of choices. Some parents really like the Omni Pod due to the tubeless delivery system. It will be integrated with a Dexcom sensor technology in the next year. Beware of the Minimed reps - their company is known in the industry as the most aggressive and sales-driven team of all of the company. Once you buy the product, your access to them is limited. Animas employs mostly representatives with diabetes. Their pump has the lowest infusion rate and is waterproof. It will soon be integrated with the Dexcom CGM technology.

Having worn the available CGM devices, I personally believe Dexcom is more accurate and is preferable to kids. The average lag time between fingerstick glucose reading and Dexcom reading is 5-7 minutes. For Minimed the lag is 15-20 minutes. The latter is good for trending, the former for real-time safeguards and catching the highs and lows early. Both have been proven to augment glycemic control. Finally, the Dexcom sensor is the smallest and least painful to insert. it is still somewhat painful initially, but since the sensor lasts 7 days (rather than Minimed's 3) the pain is less frequent. AND you can extend the life of each sensor.

You may see my bias above. I actually bought a minimed pump after I started wearing the Dexcom simply because I wanted an integrated system (and I was suckered into it by the Minimed rep - they ARE great salespeople!!).  When I tried the CGM, I realized why so many people have thrown it in a drawer. Switched to Animas at the first opportunity and have been very pleased.

I'll throw in my two cents worth regarding the Dexcom CGM. I've now had mine for over 6 months and I absolutely love it. I don't really know how I managed everything before getting it. I did some extensive research on these before deciding on the Dexcom and that included face to face interviews with people who used the varous CGMs I think the thing that finally convinced me to try the Dexcom was that I interviewed five different Type 1 diabetic policemen in four cities and all of them had tried various other CGMs and were all sold on the one from Dexcom. They are a tough lot with a tough and stressful job, so I thought if they were that pleased and had success with it how could i go wrong. I haven't regretted my decision.

The most important thing about a CGM is that none of them are perfect. I've caught mine being way, way off in the BG level on occasion, so I highly recommend you calibrate it with a glucometer BG test far more often than what's required. The Dexcom only requires two BG tests per 24 hours, but I calibrate mine 4 times a day at least. The other thing I've noticed is that the better your glucose control is; i.e., less wild swings in BG levels, the more accurate it is. As long as my BG level charts look like a fairly gentle up and down currve, the CGM is about 99% accurate. Once your BG level starts jumping up and down, it can easily get way off and will not be nearly as accurate. Except for my current problem with BG levels rising fast in the morning, my glucose control has been good and the CGM BG reading is almost without exception within 5-7% of my meter tests. Whenever my BG levels swing from say 50 in the early AM to a high of 300 or so by late afternoon, the CGM can get off pretty fast and it usually severely lags what's actually occurring with my BG level.

Sensor insertion each week has not been a problem for me. I hardly feel mine now and is actually less painful than a finger stick. I wear mine almost exclusively on my abdomen and haven't experienced any issues with irritation, etc.

As you can no doubt tell it's obvious I'm sold on the Dexcom Plus system, but I urge you to talk with actual users from wherever you can find them. I doubt they will tell a different story, but you shoud get their stories first hand and not just from emails or on-line discussion groups.

Hope this helps.



Just thought that I would add that the Animas integration is actually with the Dexcom Seven+, and this generation will NOT (to the best of my knowledge) function like a pancreas - it will be very similar to the Medtronics integrated system that is out.

Animas IS working with Dexcom and has gotten major funding for the development of a 1st generation artificial pancreas, but thats still at least a few years off, so I wouldn't hold out for the release.

Personally, I have the Animas Ping (will start pumping the end of this month), and felt that it was the best fit for me and my life, although everyone has their own opinions.  I wanted CGM, but like Animas & Dexcom enough that I'll use my Ping and then pay the $299 upgrade to get the integrated CGMS when it gets final FDA approval and is released (I'll wait a few months for bugs to get worked out first though).

With the OmniPod, if your son is interested, I would definitely contact them because you can get a sample "dummy pod" that he can try out and see what he thinks of it before making the commitment.

Hope this helps...

The only objection I would have to your plan is that it could be more expensive, if you and your son choose to get both the pump and the CGM.  I use the medtronic paradigm pump with the integrated CGM.  I use the pump to read my CGM, so seems expensive to buy a CGM and then a pump later, if you decided to go the medtronic route.  I think that's pretty biased towards my own experience, though - choosing a pump is a fairly big decision.  There are lots of other good pumps out there.  I've heard good things about pretty much all of them...except the omnipod.  Each pump will have it's little problems or things that you wish could be better, along with the things that you love.  If you can get your hands on a few samples that would probably work the best.  Most endo offices have at least 1 pump brand "sample" that they let people try or even take home for the weekend to see how they like it.  Also, ask your son's endo what pump he or she recommends and what pump seems to work best with your specific needs involved.  They work with pumps all day so they have experience.

Like stated above there are several companies and you will have to weigh the features and benefits that fit your life style. Another good analygy would be to cars, there are different companies and models and what is right for you?

I personally went on the Minimed 722 two years ago and absolutely love it, I can't go back to multiple daily injections. I am currently in the process of procuring the Medtronic CGMS system, one of the reasons I choose Minimed at the only integrated pump with CGMS.

I disagree with Hayley about the Minimed reps and CDE. Mine in the KC region are easy to contact, and I have been able to call them at 10:30 pm with questions, not the 1-800 number! I guess it just varies what region you are in. Having worked for a large retailer as an assistant buyer some sales people are good and others are not, and several can be pushy. I guess since I was use to over 75 reps calling on me I can see right thru the BS lines and get to the real issues and questions.

Best of luck in your search.


T1 dx 1982