I've had two different Minimed pumps in the last 15 years. I despise the company and want nothing to do with them. However, because I have a total lack of awareness when my sugars drop and most of the paramedics know me on a first name basis (yes, in THREE different areas... home, work, and general city staff), my doctor says I need to go on a CGM and back on a pump. I was fine with that idea until he said it had to be the Minimed because they're the only ones who offer a pump AND CGM that work together. I spoke with Dexcom and they said they're pairing with Animas and that incarnation should be released in September. I'm trying to decide whether or not to beg my doctor to approve a DexCom CGM with the understanding that as soon as the combo comes out in September, or if I should just suck it up and go back to Minimed. I've read/heard that the Minimed CGM is not terribly accurate, isn't as good at catching really, really low sugars, and doesn't have an alarm that's loud enough to wake me out of bout of unconsciousness or get the attention of others. I also know that the Minimed stuff is more expensive than the competition and I have found their insertion sets uncomfortable. So, I'm looking for feedback. If you've had positive/negative experience with any of the CGMs, I'd love to hear about it.
I love my MM722 and CGMS combo.....but who says your DR has to pick the pump you go with? As long as YOU are willing to carry 2 devices *(pump and CGMS) in your pockets...it should NOT matter to your DR which CGMS you decide to go with. The only advantage to the MM system is that is all in one single device. As long as you don't mind carrying two around....go for it.
You have to go with what YOU are comfortable with....and what you can afford, or what insurance will cover if you have it! IT is a very personal decision which device to go with.....and you should investigate ALL options. Call the Dexcom people and see about doing a 1-2 week trial to see if it works for you. Same thing with Navigator and MM.
As for an actual date that Animas is going to pair up with Dex.........they've been promising that for quite some time...and if I'd held My breath for that to happen....i'd be dead!
do your own research and find out which system will MOST LIKELY work best for you. You are the final decision maker in this matter. The pump does not have to be integrated to the CGMS ...but it sure makes it nice to only have to carry one thing along. With my MM....I always know my pump is on and attached to my body...and that I can't forget the transmittor...because it's part of the pump.
I agree with McBaio. You need to go with what makes you happy. In the end, it should not be up to your doctor to tell you what pump and cgm to go with. Mind you, he/she could only know about the one pump out there or could just be over marketed by Medtronic. While it can be a pain to have two different things to carry around, I have a Ping from Animas and the Dexcom CGM, I felt the benefits for it outweighed the fact that I had two different things in my pockets. I feel that the Dexcom is a little more accurate and catches things quicker but that is a personal preference and nothing else. Any CGM is going to do a decent job in the long run.
I think your doctor has probably been suckered by the Minimed salespeople. Many are. They could sell icecubes to Eskimos. I think sending your doctor the information about the JDRF partnering with Animas/Dexcom for the artificial pancreas project would speak volumes. Everyone is right, it is not his decision. It really is up to you (and your insurance company) to decide.
There are big differences between systems. Minimed CGM can be helpful for people to identify trends but the 20 minute lag time is somewhat prohibitive in making is useful for catching lows in time. Dexcom has a 5 minute lag time and is FDA approved for detecting lows for those with hypoglycemia unawareness. I find the Dexcom so reliable that I use it as a replacement for a glucometer in the daytime (which is not FDA-approved and not advised by Dexcom).
Its not news that I'm a big fan of Dexcom having worn both (and was myself suckered by a MM rep). Many I've known have had lots of regrets if they go with that option. If you go with Animas & Dexcom, you'll be able to switch (with maybe a small upgrade fee) to the integrated system as soon as its available.
Feel free to PM me if you have questions with navigating this with your physician and making a decision.
I've been on a minimed pump for 20+ years (5 different pumps...new one every 4 years when the warranty was up...currently 722). I got the CGMS as soon as it came out and used it up until last year (insurance never covered it... plus major adhesive issues). I really don't understand why so many people dislike minimed--not just here, but on other forums as well. In all my years with minimed, I have never had any bad experiences. They have always been extremely helpful and accommodating. Granted, I have never tried a different company, but don't have any reason to...I'm very happy. My current pump warranty is up in August and plan on sticking with minimed.
As far as the CGMS, I always did a finger stick if it started going low (or high) before treating. I never expected it to match a fingerstick (because of the lag time) but found the trends and graph very helpful...especially prior to driving (car and motorcycle). If I was 130 or less and it was heading downward, I would eat something to make sure it wouldn't go any lower....I'm much more comfortable keeping my blood sugar on the higher side rather than the lower side....have done it that way forever.
The only problems I had had to do with comfort...I'd end up ripping the sensor out before the 3 days were up....it just cost too much to continue using it...I don't know how some people can get 2 weeks+ on one sensor. Although, I don't have any issues with the infusion sets. I should mention that I don't have much of a problem with lows or lack of awareness when I'm low...never had to call the paramedics or been to the emergency room due to a low...knocking loudly on wood! (I was diagnosed 42 years ago at age 8)....And the alarms always woke me (or my husband), whether low or high, when I was sleeping.
Hope this helps.
Thank you all for your response! I met with someone at the hospital last week about pumps and CGMs. The clinician didn't seem to like Medtronic, either, and when I expressed a less-than-enthusiastic attitude, she said she understood and suggested I go with the DexCom CGM since their results in the extreme highs/lows ranked more accurate. I agreed. I also got to feel the Minimed, Animas, Omnipod, and Spirit pumps. They all were too similar to matter much. The Minimeds literally looked EXACTLY like the ones I had more than five years ago so I discounted them. If their technology hasn't advanced much (and it hasn't- they still used exactly the same infusion sets!), I didn't want to work with them again. The Omnipod would have felt a bit odd to me- plus it didn't hold much insulin. The Spirit, I loved but they're going out of business (if I understood that part correctly). The Animas impressed me. It didn't hold as much insulin as the Minimed but their infusion sets offered more variety. The adhesives were always a problem for me and they offer something (though Minimed makes a similar one now, too) that basically sticks to you in two spots: the first is where the catheter goes in and the second is about an inch away from it. That way, if you drop or snag your pump on something, the insertion site never gets pulled out. They still offer the one adhesive option, but I really liked to double. It seems like it would solve many of the problems I had before. I also really liked the technology on the Animas, the communication with the blood tester (they interact), and I LOVED the fact that Animas and DexCom will pair at some point in the future and I will be allowed to upgrade my pump "for a small fee". I had most of my research confirmed by the medical staff. I'd already been studying which CGM got the best results in which ranges, which pumps were most durable, which customer service departments seemed most attentive. Plus, I'd left messages at every pump company to see who would respond. DexCom was immediate, as was Animas. The Animas rep drove two and a half hours to meet with me and actually wore his DexCom CGM and brought me some insertion site stuff so I could see what it looked like (even though HE doesn't represent them). I thought that was great. As you all said, it's not really my doctor's decision which equipment I will wear. I have to pay for all of it (hopefully, most covered by my insurance) so I nee to make an educated decision. I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about wearing/buying a pump OR CGM to go out and research everything. I got totally inaccurate info from a couple of the companies and when I called them on their inaccurate info, they backed down and admitted their bias. Feeling the machines, as stupid as it sounds, really made me feel better, too. I've already worn two pumps but I was really not enthused about doing it again. After this four-hour session, I felt really good about my decision AND felt as though I'd gotten all the info I wanted (I brought my computer and a list of questions). LOL
In my opinion, You should be the person who decides which pump you'll get; your insurance company may also have an opinion on this but if you want to change to Animas or another pump company, that should be your decision and not necessarily your doctor's. I've had a Minimed pump and an Animas one and I've been very pleased with either. I currently have an Animas Ping and a Navigator CGMS and hope to get the integrated Ping/Dexcom system when my warranty expires next year. I can't really comment on the Minimed CGMS since I don't have it. I have hypoglycemia unawareness, too, and the Navigator has been very helpful to me. I still check my BG about 13 times daily to help prevent the lows; I still have them but not near as many as I used to. In my opinion again, the pump companies have a lot of influence with the doctors; when my Minimed warranty expired, my endo really wanted me to renew it, but I really wanted an Animas pump and I told him strongly that's what I wanted and I gave him my reasons. I'm the person who uses the pump and CGMS, not him. I've been very pleased with the Animas Ping and Navigator; I know others are pleased with the Minimed/CGMS system; still others like the Dexcom stand-alone system. I'd call each company, like you did with Dexcom, and ask for a demonstration. I'd go with whatever you think is best for you. Hopefully your doctor will go along with what you want. Keith
I went with the Animas Ping and the DexCom 7. I love it all. It's not perfect and it's sort of hard to remember to put all the stuff on all the time BUT it's helping. I am hoping that DexCom and Animas really DO release a combination model in the near future. Oh- and for those with insurance concerns- mine (an HMO) covered EVERYTHING. I had a letter from my doctor, a letter/form from Animas and Dexcom that clearly indicated I was low constantly, and a letter from a Diabetic Educator. The insurance company didn't even question the referral- just paid. I had a $90 co-pay for the CGM and 90 days of sensors and a $90 co-pay for the pump and 90 days worth of insertion sets and syringes. I was pleasantly surprised. Many insurance companies are now considering pumps and CGMs preventative therapy and they'd rather pay for THAT rather than hospitalizations or (in my case) prescriptions for 20 glucagon kits per month.