I hate Animas- now time for a new pump, but which? Tandem?

I am not sure if I've ever posted here at all, but I figured it was about time.  I'm 29 years old and have had Type 1 for maybe 27 years.  I have been on a pump for the past 15 or 16 years so I have a lot of experience.  I have had many different pumps and most recently the Animas (OneTouch) Ping.  Before that I had the previous Animas model too and maybe even the model before that. 

Over the years, Animas as a company has definitely gone downhill.  Their customer "service" has basically hit rock bottom in my opinion.  Their financial department has zero communication with other departments and things get screwed up because of it.  Add to that the fact that I haven't been able to get one person on the line every time I call billing who seems to actually be from this country and is able to speak the language fluently.

The pump itself is not even an upgrade over their previous model because of my needs.  The integrated glucose monitor wireless handset was a big draw, but after a weeks use, it was useless to me.  It is bulky, SLOW in every way (slower to bolus wirelessly than to just use the pump!), the built in carbohydrate values are useless since it is quicker to calculate it myself, the meter takes more blood than what I prefer, etc.  So basically I went back to my faithful Freestyle Lite and pretty much upgraded to a color screen. Oh, they've also been promising CGM integration for YEARS while others have been using it for years.  They are way behind in terms of technology from what they've shown.

My issues with Animas and their pump aside, it's time for me to get a new one.  I've checked out comparisons, and it doesn't seem like much has changed with the exception of the Tandem pump, and that's not even huge.

What am I looking for?  Size- I want a small, slim, unobtrusive pump.  Speed- I want to bolus quickly.  FAST.  I don't want to spend all day trying to enter information (it is a huge hindrance in my mind to scroll to the correct bs or carb amount as opposed to the t:slim's touch screen entry which is very easy to use quickly).  Durability- speaks for itself.  Customer Service- ditto.  Reservoir size: the Ping is only 200 units or so- mine gets down to 175-190 after priming. I'd prefer 300.  Possibility of a CGM in the future- I know Medtronic has a CGM built in and Omnipod has their plans to work with Dexcom... the Omnipod pump currently is way too bulky for me though.  I'm a slim male who doesn't carry a purse, so a large pump or insulin reservoir strapped to my body isn't appealing.  I know they are coming out with a smaller reservoir in the near future though, but when and how small?

Anyway, I've done a lot of research and it still seems like you just need to pick whatever seems best for you because there are always better aspects in other pumps.  Any thoughts out there?  I don't know much about the Accu-chek Spirit if that's even still out, etc... Has anyone tried the t:slim for a month so far since it has been out?  It seems most appealing to me and my needs, especially since it has teamed with Dexcom supposedly.  The pod idea in pumps is also super-appealing, but too bulky for me currently.  I know better than to trust "oh, this will be coming out in 6 months, so just wait for it" too, but really, should I just hold off for a while?  I think I just don't want to give Animas my business anymore!  Haha

Based on what you've said I'd check out the tSlim.  It's a gamble because they are new to the pump business, but so far I have been extremely impressed by the level of communication they've had working with my insurance.  I get email updates every week or 2 on the status of my order (it's been delayed because my insurance requires they use a certain distribution company and Tandem is still working on the contract for the distributor).

Reservoir holds 300u.  You can charge it while you're in the shower or driving.  Easy to enter tests or carbs if you want to track that stuff.  I like that it's smaller and looks like an iPhone rather than a pager.  Their online testimonials were impressive and it was nice to hear from an actual pump user, not a salesman.

If I ever get the pump I'll definitely post about it.  

Hey Philadelphia,

I too HATE the Animas billing department.  I can't even tell how much I owe them because the billing is so messed up.  I did confirm that it is outsourced to India which is more frustrating.  I just started ordering my supplies from Edge Park which has all offices in the U.S.  

I checked out the T-Slim at CWD Conference in July.  It is very cool, my favorite feature was the + bolus feature.  Instead of holding a button down to dial up carbs, you can simply hit the + sign and then the number for that food item.  The key pad seemed more accurate than my phone key pad when I tried to actually hit the wrong buttons on purpose.   I didn't ask about water proof vs water resistant.  That is a nice feature of the ping.

Good Luck,

Jason

Thanks for the reply Jenna and Jason.  I'm meeting with a rep on friday from t:slim and he is a pump user who has worked for numerous companies.  I'm looking forward to it.  They said it is rated at 3 feet for 30 minutes underwater.  Good enough for me, considering every Animas pump I have had has developed a crack where the battery cap is... no, not from over tightening.

Active group we have here, huh?  I can tell by all the replies!

I waited at least two years for pump update from all the companies and nothing was upgraded - or not in any appreciable manner including the T-Slim.  I finally got the Ping because it is the best of what is available for me.  I have good insurance so if a new model comes out - I think I can replace after one year and will be covered.  Don't wait on the CGM.  They are far from accurate and can't be trusted for Insulin dosing or meals.  Only use the CGM for trends.  I have the Dexcom G4 Platinum and it has nicer case, better connector, etc. than the 7Plus but accuracy is the same or worse.

I hear you, JAudio. At least T:slim is already partnered with Dexcom after having a pump on the market for what, 5 months? It took Animas years. I agree about CGMs. I've tried them and also had a terrible time with accuracy and even accurate trending. I'd like to try the G4, but am not expecting much better.

I have near zero hypoglycemia awareness, therefore the CGM is very useful most of the time.  There are times I curse it for being way off from my glucose meter but overall I think it's a valuable tool.

I frequently curse pump manufacturers and nearly everything related to DM.  Why can anyone on the planet get a cell phone upgrade every three months - yet a life function device such as an Insulin pump requires a half dozen years for an update?  Costs aside of course.  I realize the limited customer market significantly reduces the buiness feasability of modernizing medicine.

After 48 years with injections, I am going to a pump.  I am "test-driving" the t:slim now (2 days) and like its size and ease in bolusing.  The only problem I've had so far is that the reservoir reading is way off.  It was loaded with 120 u for my test run and I have used maybe 4o u, yet the reservoir shows only 21 u left.  I have been assured that there was 120 u and that the problem is in the way the cartridge works.  

I also have a Dexcom 7 and it is NOT integrated with the t:slim.  When I called Tandem, I was told that they do not know when the integration will happen.  They did say they have one in Europe that is integrated and working well, but they don't have to deal with the FDA in Europe.  Your experience with Animas has me wondering as my doctor (also T-1) currently uses the Ping and really likes it.  

Since this is the first time with a pump, I want to get it right so I guess I'll have to do more "test-driving" before I make a decision.

That's really strange! I haven't had any problem like that with the pump at all. I would try calling your local rep if you have one. They would probably be more suited to check out the problem and diagnose it with you. Maybe the cartridges are only designed to be filled to 300u to give an accurate reading? I know that you cannot "refill" the cartridges once they have been loaded in the pump- that will mess up the reading I believe.

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