I’ve been a member of this forum for a long time but haven’t really participated. I’m 36 and have had T1 for 18 years. For 15 years I’ve used Minimed pumps and have gotten along great with them. Now I’m using the 530g CGMS and am having a lot of frustrations with it. Last year I used it for about three months, off and on, and just as I seemed to be getting the hang of it, I misplaced the transmitter. Now I’m back on it and having the same frustrations again. I have a hard time finding a comfortable place for it, especially since I like to sleep on my stomach and that seems to send the sensors all out of whack. After reading here about the Dexcom CGMS, I’m wondering if I’ve made a mistake and should have tried that one. Can anyone offer some helpful tips?
Oy vey! Where to begin? How to respond.
I expect one of the most likely comments you’ll get about the Enlite will be along the lines of a caption I read on a Tumblr pic a few months ago: “throws Enlite sensor into the trash where it clucking belongs” with hashtags #enlite sensor #medtronic #i’m done with this mothersomething shtuff
In other words, you’re not first person to be frustrated by Medtronic’s CGM.
However, it is possible to get better results from an Enlite. Maybe not as good as the Dexcom, but certainly better than the wild swings and irrelevant results I have also seen at times.
My guess is that the biggest problem with the Enlite is not so much the underlying tech as the, well, stupid physical layout of the sensor and the Minilink transmitter. Medtronic’s design looks to my eyes too much like a “lever” with the sensor probe at the far end. It’s too easy for it to be pulled in/out … what some Medtronic help reps call “pistoning” … which results in trash Sensor Glucose (SG) results.
Speaking in generalities, my thinking (guess) at this time is that getting good results is a combination between inserting properly at a “good” site and then taping properly to keep the sensor probe from being disturbed. In other words, the Medtronic CGM is annoyingly to frustratingly finicky. That alone may be enough for you to pack it in and just switch to the Dexcom.
But on the chance that you might like to at least try to use up your current Enlite supplies, I’ll try to point towards some “hints” I’ve run into.
First, if you haven’t seen them, I recommend looking at the training videos from Medtronic Australasia (ANZ). Here is a link to a post I made a while ago which has links to these videos.
I’ll share another link in a follow-up post because I’ve had problems when I put more than one URL in a post.
Just a few more thoughts I didn’t get to in my previous post.
In my experience, picking a good spot to inert the Enlite is perplexing hard. It’s relatively easy enough … once you get used to it … to insert the Enlite. Finding a spot that will give you good results for at least 6 days (or longer) … well, for me, this is still a work in progress.
But it wasn’t clear from your OP if you were aware that you can use sites other than the abdomen. Medtronic won’t sanction this, of course. They are limited (by regulation?) to only using the sensor on abdomen sites because that’s the only spot which was used (apparently) during the clinical test trials they conducted with the 530G & the Enlite sensors.
If you use a site other than the abdomen, then I don’t believe Medtronic will replace your sensor for you if you don’t get good results (6 days of at least 20% accuracy?) from it. I think this just results in everyone who calls turning out to have been using their abdomen whether or not they really were.
For whatever it may be worth, below is a link to a YouTube video blog from a fellow in England who shows how to insert in his upper buttocks. (It’s towards the end of this video). He also covers some “tips” that he heard while at an ATTD (Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes) conference in February of this year.
Improve Enlite Accuracy: 7 Tips from ATTD Conference
The person doing the blog/vlog is actually focusing primarily on his experience using the new Medtronic Minimed 640G pump. It’s available in England now but probably won’t be available in the US until (late?) 2016. But the video above is mostly about the Enlite and the version of the sensor he’s using is essentially the same as what we use in the US. Just know that whenever he refers to the “Guardian Link” he’s means the transmitter or MiniLink for us. The internals are slightly different, but it’s the same shape & size as our transmitter.
Oh, there is also this PDF (link below) which is on the website of Integrated Diabetes Services, the company which Gary Scheiner is associated with. I’m not sure how helpful it might be or how much I “trust” some of the bullet points. But figured it wouldn’t hurt to point towards it for whatever it may worth.
Tips for Success with the Medtronic 530G Enlite Sensor
Hi all, I had the Sof Sensor CGMs from Medtronic about 3 or 4 years ago, and it was a horrible experience. The insertion was a long needle and it was very painful, the alarms were always going off and they were annoying, and the readings seemed extremely inaccurate. After a week or two I stopped using it.
Last summer, when I was looking into getting a CGM, I still had a bad taste in my mouth from the last Medtronic CGM, although the 530G I’ve heard has many improvements. After much debate and doing research and reading reviews, I decided to go with the Dexcom CGM. So far it’s been a good experience.
The only thing that’s been annoying that I still have my Medtronic pump and have to carry the Dexcom unit separately. Other than that it’s been amazing. It’s so accurate and I almost never sit in the high or low range for too long. I can’t compare it to the 530G system, but I definitely recommend Dexcom.
Responding to the last few posts -I have been a fan of Medtronic and had their pump and CGM for years. However, like some I was getting frustrated with the erratic readings.[I just posted under the Dexcom heading.] I finally made the switch to using the Dexcom along with my Revel pump. Yes, having another gadget is a pain but having numbers within 2 or 3 points of my meter is well worth it especially since I have hypoglycemic unawareness. You can read my post under the Dexcom G4 Platinum heading that goes into more detail on the “Share” option on the Dexcom. Good luck!
I also changed to dexcom with a mini med pump I tried the new elites and liked them well enough but the dexcom seems to be always on target