Again, disclosure: I work with Animas and have a sponsorship contract. Here are more details on my disclosures. And this is the Mr. Plow theme song. Mr. Plow would be great, about now, since the snow keeps dumping down outside.
It’s been several weeks since I’ve switched to the Animas Vibe insulin pump (with integrated CGM technology – doesn’t that sound like a rehearsed phrase? How about “insulin thing with CGM thing built in and have you seen my coffee, pleaseandthankyou.”), and I thought I’d take a crack at some second impressions, since the first impressions were only compiled after a few days.
Talking ‘Bout CGM: I am still into the concept and application of having one device that does the work of two. While the Vibe still requires that I wear an insulin pump infusion set and a CGM sensor as two separate insertions, it removes the need for an external CGM receiver. I wrote about this last time, but to reiterate: I am okay with not using the separate receiver. I’ve traveled a lot in the last few weeks and the first few trips, I brought along my CGM receiver so I could plug it into the SHARE port.
For the record, I still haven’t upgraded to the 505 software. Judge all you want. Which may explain my identical CGM graphs. (And, also for the record, I’m really, really excited to see the new Dexcom receiver. That may change how I feel about clouding, as it would be much simpler.)
But then Chris and I came to realize that we aren’t good at this whole “data sharing” thing. As much as it sounds like a good plan in theory, we aren’t good at the application of it. I think this becomes a patient-specific preference sort of thing, and for this PWD, I’m not a data-sharer. But as I mentioned with that previous dead horse that I keep flogging, I like options. Love them, actually. And anything that gives data options – LIFE options – to people touched by diabetes, I am all for it.
(That sentence was a grammatical nightmare. Ignore the sloppy parts and move on, yes?)
The data collection portion is cumbersome. I hate dongles and charging cords and all the extra beeps and wires required to make sense of diabetes data. (Which is why I’m such a fan of the Verio Sync idea, which uses bluetooth technology to automagically suck the results off my meter and spit them into my iPhone, but there are issues with that system, too, because it’s only iOS compatible. Pluses in one way, minuses in another. But see aforementioned “I love options” sentiment, because it still applies.) But I did download my pump data, which also downloaded my CGM data. And, because I was feeling ambitious, I uploaded my glucose meter, too.
So this was my first time looking at Diasend with information about my insulin doses, glucose meter results, and CGM results on the same screen. (No, I am not sharing my results. My numbers have been absolute shit lately and I’m not going to pepper my blog with confirmation that I have diabetes. I’ll let the c-peptide test that’s required by my insurance in order to cover my insulin pump serve as that confirmation. Yes, that’s a thing. Yes, more on that later.)
Diasend is good for granular information, but the information on the “compilation” tab was ace for me. Seeing my blood sugar averages based on time of day was powerful. (I have midnight to 11 am nailed and awesome. Everything not in that time frame needs a solid snuggle these days.) As a Mac user who hasn’t explored the new Dexcom/Mac Portrait (I’m woefully behind on everything that doesn’t involve Birdy these days), seeing my Dexcom data on my laptop is amazing. I’ll be exploring Portrait in the next few days but in the meantime, I’m happy that information can be siphoned over to Diasend. And it puts the constant flow of data into digestible context.
Pump Stuff. Since I was a Ping user before, using the Vibe feels familiar and easy. I’m still glad this sucker is waterproof and the button clicking process is familiar to me. All of that feels the same. One thing I have noticed is that the more my CGM needs attention, the faster the battery in my pump needs replacing. This is annoying, but makes sense despite the annoyance. For the first time ever, I’ve invested in lithium batteries for my pump and it seems to hold much better than the alkaline ones I have been using for the last … forever. But overall, the pump feels familiar and comfortable, and since I hate change, that familiarity is a plus for me.
Alarms, for whatever reason, remain easier to hear and feel when they are coming from the pump. This was a huge concern of mine because I thought the pump alarms would be muffled by clothes and bedding, making them hard to catch. But I actually respond to low and high alarms more readily on the Vibe. I am not sure why. Maybe because it’s attached to my hip and I feel the vibration?
What remains to be seen is how the changing state of Dexcom progress will affect my feelings about this pump. Right now, it’s the only one integrated with the CGM I already use, so that’s a huge plus. But I am concerned about the fact that the software in the Vibe is already behind on the current Dexcom system. I know the FDA process creates hurdles that are hard to clear, but since the Vibe has already cleared the Big One, can I expect that updates and upgrades will come fast and furious? As a PWD using the Animas product, I hope this is the case.
And lastly, I’m hoping to have this pump covered by my insurance company. I’m still trying to get a c-peptide test done (travel, snow, and issues with fasting) to fulfill the requirements issued by Blue Cross Blue Shield, so that journey remains ongoing.
Thankfully, I’m still pretty effing sure I have diabetes. So yay? Yay.