Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Amazing Pump and Sensor

Vince began wearing a minimed insulin pump about 13 years ago. He wore it for approximately 1 year but had horrible skin irritations and had to resort to using syringes again. He used the old fashioned syringe and vial before switching to insulin pens which was an improvement. Pens provide much more accurate dosing and are more convenient to carry around. As the years went on he began to feel his lows less and less and had some very serious episodes. This was very trying on my nerves as his wife, calling him 10 plus times a day to be sure he was coherent and okay. Let me tell you, trying to treat a diabetic in a weak episode over the phone is no easy task but luckily we are very close and in tune with each other that most of the time I was able to provide help over the phone. There were also times I would have to rush home from work to get him help. One day when visiting Vince's endocrinologist we expressed this problem and they suggest he wear a sensor. When they described what the sensor would do it was like a give from God and music to my ears. Could this device actually predict his lows (and even highs) and alarm him before it became a dangerous situation? Of course we called Medtronic and our insurance right away to see if the insurance would cover the device. The doctor explained it is a very expensive machine and so new to the market that the insurance companies are rarely providing coverage. Luck was on our side. The insurance covered a large portion. We made an appointment with a Minimed (Medtronic) trainer that our doctor works with and soon after began to realize the usefulness of this little amazing machine. I could finally put my mind to rest knowing I didn't have to call Vince on the hour to make sure all was okay. He wore the sensor for about 6 months and when visiting the doctor at a routine appointment they brought up the pump conversation, as was very frequent at the visits. As always Vince expressed his concern since he had a bad experience but they were able to convince him to give it another try, and once we found out that he could wear a pump and sensor in one we were sold. The pump took a lot of training and patience (as did the sensor) but we couldn't be happier with the results, blood sugar control, and convenience it has offered. Vince still experiences extreme lows that the sensor doesn't catch since the sensor is very new technology but the episodes are few and far in-between. I am still on alert for him but I calm down much more knowing he is wearing this amazing device


  1. Sandy,
    I am starting to read through your earlier posts, as I want to read them all. How long has Vince been using the sensor? We have asked about this more than once for my husband, but so far no one seems willing to cover it. Sounds like a Godsend!

  2. Thank you so much! I hope you find somethings helpful or comforting. I know I have gotten lots of comfort by reading others posts. He has ben on the sensor for about a year. First he started on the minimed guardian which is just the sensor. I love the name because it really is like a guardian angel. Then about 6 months later he switched to the minimed revel which is the pump and sensor in one. We were warned about the coverage for the sensor. A lot of companies are not providing coverage since it is a new technology and some feel it's not needed. Luckily we are fortunate to have good insurance and when the doctor explained to the insurance about the hypo unawareness, they provided coverage. The breaking point for us was Vince having a car accident due to a low episode. It was very scary. Keep trying. I think the more time that goes by, the more coverage will be provided. Good luck! I rave about it and I truly think every diabetic should wear a sensor, but it's not perfect technology so it takes some patience to get used to, and it can be expensive. Good luck :)