Thursday, March 15, 2007

My try at the CGMS thing

Today I met with the minimed nurse/rep, who happened to also be an old camper of mine. Oye, feeling rather old now! (no comments needed from you other old camper-o-mine out there) I wanted more info on the MiniLink system that just came out. (2nd generation CGMS for MiniMed.)

She showed me the new mini link (that she was wearing.) It is SO much smaller and more impressive than the old sensor. (I saw the old sensor and said no way would I want that on me everyday) she showed me the site that stays in your body (it’s the same as the site for the old sensor) and then talked about the features.

Points of interest. You have to calibrate the sensor at least once every 12 hours. It will remind you. You do a calibration via an old fashioned finger stick. The accuracy is around 20% for a differential, So if your meter said you’re 100 anywhere between 80 and 120 is considered accurate. Not sure how I feel about a range that large. To me there is a big difference between 80 and 120. But we’ll see. She suggested that you check around 4x a day to put that in your pump for data points to see how accurate it is. I didn’t thin that this would take away finger sticks, but it was more often that I thought it would be.

It checks your sugar every 10 seconds and then once every 5 minutes the average if those readings displays on the pump. At a quick glance, you can see 3 hours at a time on the screen with a little graph. You can upload the information to the CareLink website and get as many graphs as you would ever need. I use the CareLink site for my general pump and meter readings already, so I am familiar with that.

You can set alerts for high and low blood sugars. It also has arrows that indicate if you are going up or down at a rapid pace.

I am an admitted wimp, so was a little worried about making a scene at Panera (where we had met) but she put the site in pretty easily. It’s in my love handle area, which she said was where she found it to be most comfortable. The FDA says that you can only wear the sensor for 3 days, but she suggest around a week is more realistic. The sensor seems to get better readings (as in more accurate) after the first day.

The new sensor needs to be recharged every 14 days fully (a full charge apparently takes around 2 hours) but she suggested that you charge it for 20 minutes or so when you change the site. you cover the whole thing with a layer of IV tape- but you just need one.

Here is the problem, for me, and many others. How much does it cost?

I have a 715 MiniMed pump, so I would have to upgrade to the 722. I believe she said that was between $3-500.
The initial cost of the sensor is $1000. That comes with the sensor and 10 sites.
Each additional site is $35 each.
The sensor is supposed to last around a year, but is only under warranty for 6 months. So technically you have to buy a new sensor (For around $650) every 6 months or deal with it being out of warranty until it all needs to be replaced. If advancements are made in the sensor, and it is covered by warranty, you will get the new technology.

The true sales guy in my area is going to work out with my insurance how much/if they would cover it. They think I have a good chance if I throw in the whole wanting to have a baby thing. We’ll have to see.

I don’t have any readings yet, since the minimed lady thought I was on a newer pump, but there is one waiting for me at home. I’ll report back on how it is going. So far the site is just fine, it was a little tender after I was poking at it, but that’s to be expected.

More later!

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Blogger Fred (Nic) said...

I am so jealous. I really want to try the CGMS but honestly, I don't think it's something I'd want to use long term. Maybe a week or so to see what my bloodsugars are doing and fine tune insulin stuff. It's the combination of another piece of equipment and another site, and still having to test 4 or 5 times a day. Let me know how it goes!

p.s. I thought of you the other day when I was looking at old cabin pictures. It made me teary (in a good way).

p.p.s. If it makes you feel better, I'm old enough that 30 doesn't seem old to me. You spring chicken, you!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

How ironic, that you ladies would meet at Panera, the ultimate carb-lovers paradise!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Jonah said...

It checks every ten seconds? Can you set it to tell you your average more often than every five minutes?

9:49 PM  
Blogger caren said...

Jonah- I don't think that you can change the settings, it just displays every 5 minutes. It tells you what your blood sugar was 10 minutes ago.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Maura said...

So are you trying it for free?

10:17 AM  
Blogger caren said...

Hi Maura,
yes. there was no charge to try out the set for awhile. I am not sure if it's because I "knew" the nurse/rep or if that is standard if you're intrested in buying it. email me and I can tell you more...

4:29 PM  
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I use the CareLink site for my general pump and meter readings already, so I am familiar with that.
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