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AccuChek Spirit Pump: Help!

Hey guys.  I'm sending out the BatSignal for a reader who is looking for some information:Sueprfriends, unite!

Hi Kerri,
 
I'm looking for information on the AccuChek Spirit pump.  I currently wear a Cozmo insulin pump and LOVE it, but my new insurance only covers Medtronic and Disetronic insulin pumps.  I have worn a MiniMed pump in the past, so I know what that's like, but I'm looking for any user experiences or advice on the Accu-Chek pump.
 
Thanks very much!
Jenni
If you are an AccuCheck pump user, or if you have any advice regarding this pump, please leave some love for Jenni.  Let's show her what this community can do (which is to show what real life with diabetes is all about)! 

Comments

Kerri, I also use a Minimed pump, but there is a great chatroom on myspace and a great deal of good information is shared and anyone can post and no questions are ignored. I sure that someone there can share their experience with the Spirit pump.

http://groups.myspace.com/pumpers

I would steer clear. The Accu-chek pump is stark in features compared to other current pumps. There's no on pump bolus calculator. Basal segments must be programmed for each hour of the day (and can't be changed on the half hour). Basal and bolus increments are both 0.1 compared to 0.05 on the Cozmo or 0.05 for basal and 0.1 for bolus on the Minimed. I found the programming to be confusing on the Spirit using the virtual pump.

But the worst thing about it is that is shuts off after 6 years no matter what.

That being said, the people I know who use it like it, however, it's a first pump for all of them. It would feel like a downgrade from the Cozmo.

Thanks for posting this, Kerri! And thanks for the comments, commenters. It's so great to have this community to turn to in times of need!

Jenni

I use the Accu-chek Spirit pump and have been very happy with it. I have used three different Disetronic pump for over 7 years, and the Spirit is definitely my favorite. Some of the features I like are: a backup pump, frequent technical inspections (last time I got a new pump when I sent in mine to be inspected), backlighting, the different ways to bolus and set basal rates, the size, use of AA batteries, and alarm clock. They have really friendly customer service, too.

Jenni

Why not talk with the Cozmo insurance folks? Maybe they can work with the insurance company to try and get coverage - I know this is a long shot.

How long have you had the Cozmo? If your state mandates coverage for diabetes equipment and your Coz is still under warranty maybe you can talk with you state attorney general to see if they can 'require' the company to cover the supplies.

Alternately why not start the appeal process with the insurance company? If the Cozmo is still good for, say, 2 years then I think it would cost the company less to cover the supplies for the remaining time than to cover a new pump and the supplies it needs.

Finally you might want to talk with the HR department of your company. They sometimes can twist the arm of the insurance company to change things.

Best of luck.

Great suggesetions! Bernard - I just got the pump less than a year ago, so it should still be under warranty. I will try some (or all) of your suggestions. Thanks!

Jenni

Accu-Check is Disetronic now.... Abbott purchased Disetronic in 2003.

I have used disetronic pumps for almost 19 years. I have the new spirit, and I love it. Having the backup pump is the reason I would never change. It really gives me peace-of-mind. I've never had to go on shots in 19 years..I wouldn't even have the slightest idea how to do it. Once when we were in the British Virgin Islands, I dove in the water not realizing I had a hairline crack in the pump housing. I immediately switched to my backup pump, and called the 800 number. The next day I had another pump sent to me in the BVIs...Yes, they are programmed to expire, but you get warnings weeks in advance, so you can call and get a new one sent to you before the old one expires. The spirit, I think, has plenty of bells and whistles, and comes with a palm pda so you can send all your bgs and boluses etc to the computer. it also has a bolus calculator on the palm.

Been using the Accu-Chek spirit pump for 3wks and
it's good to me had no
problems easy to use, I LOVE IT but I am a 1st time pump user, but a longterm diabetic of 28yrs. Yes it does shut down after 6yrs, but I will be ready for a new
updated pump by then.

Hi Jenni,

I have been using the Spirit pump for about 1 1/2 yrs. now and couldn't imagine using another pump. The pump has all the bells and whistles I need to take care of my diabetes. It does have bolus and basal increments of .1 but unless you are extremely insulin sensitive, .1 works as well as .05. After all, it's a .05 units spread out over 60 minutes. To me it was a negligible amount.

The bolus calculator is on a pda device which is nice for me because I can don't have to take my pump out and do the calculations on it. The screen is bigger on the pda and it can do much more than what can be done on other pumps because it has a much larger memory.

The pump is very easy to use. In fact, I can program it without ever taking it out of my pocket. I travel a lot for work so quick programming is important for me.

The back-up pump is the coup-de-grace. All pumps break. My MiniMed averaged one failure a year. As others have posted, the back up pump is something all companies should think about providing. Although I haven't had to use it yet, it sure gives me peace of mind being prepared for anything.

Good luck with your decision.

Hey,
I have the accu chek spirit pump - i live in Ireland and its one of only a small number available. Im on it two months now and find it great (however its my first pump so that could explain things) other people that know of people who are on pumps think its HUGE but its not that bad - about half the size of mobile phone. It wont tell you what your blood sugars are either so think its more for someone like me starting off. It has temperary basel rates and you can programme in different rates for different days. I think its great contact me if you want more info!

Hello. I use a Spirit pump and I am really pleased with it. It has helped me a great deal.

So I just ordered my Spirit, and ... sadly I didn't research things much, but i've been using the Diesetronic Htron Plus for over 10 years. (still works fine, the only reason its being replaced is Diesetronic has decided to force its old customers to upgrade by no longer stocking batteries.) It has default bolus increments of 0.5 units. 0.1 seems just plain silly to me. So the fact that its default (or apparently any modern pump) is so small just makes me roll my eyes. But perhaps I haven't known what I was missing. I was shocked to find a PDA in the package, thats just bizarre. I don't see the point unless its somehow smart enough to know how much insulin you've already given yourself to correctly track stacked effects, but even that after any length of time is probably better done in your head anyway. So in short, i'm very very skeptical of all this wiz-bang. I will probably sell the PDA on ebay -- as I cant' see myself making use of it -- i'm just hoping that using it isn't required, or i'll have to return the whole thing. PalmOS is kinda terrible, I used palm pilots before and they just end up collecting dust due to their general lack of usefulness. Plus i'm already a walking electronics store. (cell phone, insulin pump, keys, camera many days, test meter, now a PDA?? please god no.)

Features I care about are things like how easily I can bolus in the dark in a crowded movie theater? How loud is it when pushing? (the old one was quite, but you could definitely hear it in a quite room)

At anyrate, it looks decent enough. I'm shocked and disappointed to learn about the fixed timeline of operation, but 4 or 6 years from now (whenever it is) I'll have another chance to upgrade.

Hi Jenni,

12 year pumper here, and use the Spirt. I get two pumps,one as a backup, and wouldnt change it for the world. I used Cozmo before and switched because it was so bulky and made of gawky plastic material. Originally choosed cozmo because the meter was attached to it, but the meter portion always had mechanical failures and i was frustrated with sending it back for a replacement-a real pain. One fact, once you get approved by your insurance to go on a pump, your insurance allows you to upgrade every 4 years. So the six year timer is negligible and dont worry you will get alarms to remind you its time to upgrade after four years. The prior poster on the Cozmo&Medtronic only tells a onesided story. Most people always upgrade every 4 years. Take my word for it, its nice to have a backup pump on hand in case something goes wrong with your primary pump. It beats going back to manual insulin shots until another pump gets shipped out to you. By the way, Medtronic does not have a back light. I feel its an important feature to have,whether you're out at night, at a movie/theater, or want to check it before going to bed when the lights are out. You realize how important it is once you don't have a backlight. Overall, for me, the Spirit is very simple to use, because I am not a gadget person, so its perfect for me.

I have been a Disetronic H-Tron user for 12 years. I have had my new Spirit pump for about 3 weeks. You can program bolus amounts in increments of .5 or .1 so it helps me to better fine tune my already great control. I love the back light feature and the multi and extended bolus. I count carbs pretty good so I don't need to ask another device how much insulin to bolus. I don't like the fact that it is gauranteed to break in 6 years, but I am confident that the technology then will have me wanting a new one by then. I love the back up pump feature, it's what sold me on it originally. I have never had a bit of problem with my H-Tron and I am confident the Spirit will be the same.

I am new to the pump, got mine in May of 2008. I had uncontrolled high sugar levels A1c of 9 now it is just 6. Without the Spirit pump I dont think I would be here now. I looked at 5 other pumps and decided on the Spirit. the back up pump and the PDA with the bolus calculator is what helped me to decide on this pump. I download my meter and pump into the pda and then to the computer, my Doctor gets the records and can see how good I am doing each time I see him. Being a first time user and not very electronic literate, I find this system easy and manageable. At 60 when the eyses are not so good, small print is hard to read, the Spirit is easy for me and the backlight helps too. I hope you get the benifit from yours that I do from mine.

Hi!
I just got my brand new Accu-Check Spirit insulin pump.I have rejected the training that was offered.I am reading the manuals.I have not been able to access the online website.I have set my basal rate at .5 Is that enough?What do you think?

Hello

Looking for people in London that use accu-chek spirit

I will pay you for your help

thanks

I have been insulin dependent for 32 years and my control has been ok until the last few years. A pump has been recommended but I have no support or help. A fellow in my small town was prescribed an accu-check spirit and he died before it came out of the box. His wife heard of my need and gave it to me with a supply a accessories. It is the full package.
Well the folks at the company said they would not offer me any training and told the educator at my small hospital that their legal department would eat her alive if she helped me out. I was told to never have any contact with her again. They would love to sell me a new one for $11,460.75 with a $1,500.00 rebate though. Lovely people.
Can anyone out there suggest how I could get some help setting this up for myself. I will do it myself if I have to. I know my own body and it's needs but this device is a bit of a puzzle and it would be such a great help to have someone with experience to advise me.
suggestions?

I have had both the Accu Chek and the Medtronic, and I would reccommend the Minimed to everyone. I changed from Minimed because of cost. After 1 1/2 years on Accu Chek I found out I was pregnant. My blood sugar was out of control and I was hospitalised for over 2 months. The baby was stillborn due to blood sugar issues. Afterwards my blood sugar didn't come back under control. At the point my Dr. said it was under enough control we tried again. My blood sugar still was going crazy. During another hospitalisation a different Dr. reccommended a pump issue. We switched back to Medtronic and the next day I was back in the hospital to bring blood sugar back up. That pregnancy was also lost. My blood sugars are now normal. I completely blame Accu Chek for the deaths of my daughter and the unknown child.
If you are looking into a new pump, look for ANYTHING other than an Accu Chek.
Good luck,
Laura

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