Saturday, November 23, 2013

Choosing An Insulin Pump, Continued.

[Find the first post here.]

Wheels have been turning! Here's where things stand.

After checking with my insurance carrier, I got the first-round standard answer that the pumps they're willing to cover amount to the four "more established" brands: Animas, Medtronic, Insulet (Omnipod) and Accu-chek.

But, in talking with the remaining two companies (Tandem and Asante), those options could potentially be back on the table coverage-wise. Paperwork has been submitted for both (solely for insurance verification purposes) because I'd like to know if my choices are less limited than that since I don't have $6,000-ish just laying around to buy a pump at full retail cost. Like just about everyone else with diabetes, my options are limited to what my insurance carrier decides. (And luckily for us PWDs, those device manufacturers are willing to do most of the heavy lifting with insurance companies to ensure coverage - less work for me!)

That said, I'm fairly sure that I've narrowed my decision (insurance coverage pending) to three: Ping, t:slim, or Snap.

I've been in the fortunate position where some of these companies have reached out to me to see how they could help me decide, and as a result I'll be trying some stuff out. I've already met with my local Tandem rep (Hi Nathan!) to ask more questions and experience the t:slim up close again, and I'm looking into seeing Medtronic's new "530G with Enlite" LGS system (notice how I'm NOT calling it an "artificial pancreas"?) in person. I'm waiting to hear back from my endo, but things should be in place to do a short trial with the Snap pump, as well. (And I'm definitely planning to share my experiences with the Snap, as soon as I can get my mitts on one.)

And speaking of devices - I hadn't realized that I was already out of warranty with my Dexcom system, but that's all straightened out now and I have my new system (black receiver this time!) sitting in the living room, waiting to be unboxed.

To add to the chaos, I'm also seriously considering a switch to Verio meters over my well-loved iBGStar. More on that later.

Apparently I like to overhaul all of my diabetes gear at the same time.

Go big or go home, or something.


  1. I love the Tandem T-Slim. It's very easy to use, light and my favorite part.... rechargeable!! Also Tandem and Dexcom are working together so that the systems work together.

    I might be biased I love my T-Slim

  2. Oprah approves.

    And you get a pump... and you get a pump...

  3. my Medtronic is under warranty for one more year. . . I'm interested in finding out what's going to be on the market a year from now and what everyone's experiences are before I choose my next device (or, like you, devices -- may change everything, too!)

  4. I just did the same upgrades--new pump and new Dexcom (was someone supposed to tell me the transmitter battery is only good for 6 mos?!). I picked the t-slim and have been very happy with it so far. I had the Ping before and never really liked it--so much button pushing and menu navigating. And I missed my missed meal bolus alarms from the Cozmo (got em back on the t-slim). Good luck in your decision!

  5. I have a tslim and an animas, thanks to Tandem's benefit matching program when they were just released. I like using the tslim more, but I trust the insulin delivery of the Animas more. The tslim has so many rage-inducing little things about it, that I've taken numerous breaks during my 9 months with it. The user interface is definitely better, but for me, there are so many little quirks (like an extra step to stop all deliveries when loading and an extra step to restart delivery at the end, a load process that takes too long, a really unhelpful announcement that I'm high and would I like some extra insulin to go with that high blood sugar any time I enter a number over 110, and FAR to frequent occulsion errors and cartridge errors that have forced me to abandon the pump mid-day at work or even head home) that I truly do hate it about 10% of the time. 80% of the time I don't think about it, and 10% of the time, I like how easy it is to do stuff on it. I miss my subtle, through the shirt bolusing of my Ping's audio bolus button. I trialed the Snap as a way to make my tslim jealous (it didn't work, the damn thing just makes me irrational!), and while I like the load process and all the menus were clear and easy to use, it just didn't feel...finished. It was very plasticky and too long, and almost half baked. Maybe in two years. I want to love my tslim, but I'm really happy I still have an in-warranty Ping to fall back on. Also, I love the Verio IQ - I swear it reads higher than any other meter I've used, and my A1C's have come down as a result. It's great! Best management technique I've ever tried.

  6. I love my tslim! I would never go back to Medtronic after the ease of using this one.

  7. Hey Kim,

    I just switched to T-Slim from Animas under the security of the 30 day trail period. I also switched back to ping after two weeks just to compare, but only for a couple of days. Here is my personal rundown of items that haven't already been mentioned:

    T-Slim: Likes - extra parts (battery cap, AA Battery) required. 2. recharging in the car is pretty awesome 3. 300U insulin reservoir 4. touch screen and menus are very easy (ok, already mentioned) 5. IOB is on home screen. 6. Carb Ration breaks down to 0.5 units instead of whole #s only...a very big deal for me. 7. It does store your bg #s when you enter them through the bolus menu.

    T-Slim: Cons - 1. Slow delivery rate for bolus (1 unit per 30 seconds) makes me think I'm back on Humalog and need to bolus 10 min before dinner, i.e. a 14U bolus would take 7minutes to deliver. This also causes a problem w/ extended bolus. If you want to extend 15U over 30 minutes, it will tell you that a minimum of 58 minutes is required. 2. Mentioned I trust this mechanism that "pushes" the insulin through the tubing? I'm not completely there 100%. The ping mechanism was so simple to understand. 3. Because you can't see the reservoir - are there air bubbles in there??? I have primed out as many as 30U to remove air bubbles when changing the cartridge (which I don't find to be a big deal otherwise).

    Hope this is useful for you, I believe I will stick with this T-Slim.

    Happy Thanksgiving
    Jason in Orlando.


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