My husband just started using the t-slim. He has arthritis and neuropathy in his hands, so dexterity is very limited. Anyone have ideas how to make filling the cartridge easier or hacks to hold the cartridge while filling?
What exactly is the problem? Is it physically holding the cartridge, aiming the syringe at the white dot, something else? Something I never considered before, so will have to give it some thought, but I can see how it would be difficult with limited dexterity.
Sorry it has taken me so long to thank you…the problem is holding the cartridge for filling and also holding syringe, vial of insulin and at the same time tapping the syringe to expel air bubbles. thanks so much for interest and if you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!!!
(My husband had been using a medtronic paradigm pump and that was much easier to fill.)
That’s one of the many reasons I decided to go with the 670G instead of an X2-the fill procedure for the X2 looks primitive and ridiculous to me. That, and the fact that Tandem didn’t respond in time to my request for a pump after my 530G broke at the part that holds the reservoir in place. I had my fill of using bare needles when I used the old Medtronic pumps, back in the 90’s. Why on earth Tandem saw fit to design such a reservoir makes me question their engineering. And, NO, I don’t use Automode on the 670… I’m a Dexcom user and don’t get good results from Medtronic sensors.
Have you asked Tandem (suggest you speak with your regional rep instead of TS)? I have to assume they have other people in situations similar to your husbands and may have a solution.
The design makes the slimmer pump profile possible. A standard round reservoir would have a larger diameter. It is more complex, but it’s one feature of the pump. I wouldn’t buy one for that reason alone. The pump’s functional features made it was my choice.
If he can hold the syringe and cartrage long enough to stab the white dot, that’s the last time you need to hold both. The cartridge can dangle freely below the syringe and not fall off.
Some aids that might help stabilize the process:
Insul-cap - https://www.amazon.com/Insul-Cap-item-IC200SQ-AmbiMedInc/dp/B07YBM6PQT/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?keywords=insul-cap&qid=1576698518&sr=8-4
Securitee Blanket - you’ll have to do a Google search, because available sizes/colors vary, but they’re a fat sleeve that might make holding the insulin vial easier.
Unwrap new cartridge, syringe, and needle. Screw needle onto syringe and uncap.
Draw air into syringe, inject into insulin vial. Flip vial upside down and draw insulin as usual. (There should be no air bubbles at this time.)
Stab white dot on cartridge, seat syringe until you feel resistance, and keep upright. Let go of cartridge and let it dangle from the syringe. Use one hand to withdraw plunger to it’s fullest extent, removing excess air from cartrage. Use second hand to flick syringe, forcing air bubbles to the plunger-end of syringe. Release plunger, and it will suck back in to the syringe. Repeat til confident no air remains in cartridge
Inject insulin into cartridge. Stop pushing the plunger when the air bubble reaches the needle. Usually I can fully press the plunger, because the air bubble fills the void of the needle connection (no wasted insulin there.)
If he can stab the white dot and isn’t trying to hold onto the cartridge all the time, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Unfortunately, it is a very tiny target to aim for. I don’t have a lot of help for that problem, except having someone else pre-fill cartridges for him, and refrigerating them until ready to load.
That last option will never be recommended by tandem because they haven’t studied that process nor been cleared by the FDA to suggest doing such, but I’ve seen it mentioned in various sites that people do it without problem.
The tandem pumps are more prone to occlusion alarms precisely because of the engineering that went into the infusion method they chose. I’m not on board with “functionality” that includes the distinct likelihood that I’ll have my insulin flow stopping due to a pump’s design. I don’t know if the back pressure sensor is too sensitive, or if the pump simply doesn’t have the “oomph” to push insulin thru the tubing (it matters little to the user, as the result is stoppage of insulin), the set, and into the body with enough consistency to avoid “no delivery” failures. I’d hate for that to happen early-on while I’m asleep, meaning I could go more than 6 hours w/o basal. I had issues with Medtronic pumps when I used Quick Sets, which would KINK, cutting off the flow of insulin. It takes quite a while for a pump to alarm, and in the meantime—no insulin. I’m not much of a gambler, so I prefer the pumping mechanism that Medtronic uses.
Sorry - I’ve never had this issue and more than on my previous Animas and Disetronic pumps. To each his own when you choose a pump. I know from various posts that you’re not a fan of the product. But tandem isn’t growing like gangbusters because its an inherently flawed product. Your comments on how it performs and on design-engineering would have a lot more impact if you had actually used the product.
I base my comments on looking at the pump with a rep, and upon reading MANY, MANY complaints about occlusion alarms. I don’t need to jump off of a bridge in order to know that the jump is hazardous.
The pump has some good features and some not so good issues which I’ll not litigate at the moment. The 670 also has issues. There are not a lot of pumps to choose from, so we pick our poison. As I’ve said before, had Tandem not failed to provide a pump in a timely fashion, I’d likely be able to discuss it’s issues in a manner in which you would approve; namely as a current user of that pump.
This was probably my biggest issue with the pump when I was deciding which one to get. I’ve used the pager style medtronic pump for 16 years, and used the 530G with the enlite sensors for the past 4 years. The whole process of filling the cartridge looks way more complicated and cumbersome than it should have been. I have been running the X2 with the G6 for about 3 weeks now and after the first 2 fills it is not an issue at all. For me it looks more complicated than it actually is and it doesn’t take me any longer to fill the X2 than it did my 530G.
I understand that everyone’s preferences are different and almost everything here is anecdotal, but choosing the X2 has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can’t say enough about how well the pump and G6 work for me. Even better I received an email last week that Tandem will be releasing their Control-IQ beginning in January.
I’m happy to hear it worked out well for you!
I recently switched from the medtronic to the tandem and I do agree that the entire infusion set process is much easier with medtronic. I am consistently annoyed with the complicated set changes with the tandem.
Thanks for you input re: refilling the Tanden T-slim…we did mention it to the rep when hubby was getting initial training but I think you’re right, worth bringing up again!
Wow, thank you sooo much for all this info. Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back on here and see what you wrote. I will definitely check all this out. He can hold it so the needle is in the white spot on the cartridge but we hadn’t thought that alone would be strong enough to hold the cartridge up. Will try. And will investigate the rest. Will let you know how it goes on next fill-up!
Thanks for your input here…nice to know we’re not the only ones who think this process could be made easier…if only these various companies would take the best from each!
Thanks for you input…glad to hear the process is getting easier; my husband is finding that also, at least for remembering all the steps. It’s the fine motor issues that have presented problems.
They can’t do that without getting sued for patent infringement and getting put out of business.
@Dave44 is this something you have experienced personally, or an anecdotal statement based on dubious information? I personally have has 2 occlusion alarms in 3 years and have a hard time accepting this as genuine information based on my experiences.
Dubious information? Anecdotal? I could turn that around and say that YOUR comment is also “anecdotal”. Keep in mind that I scour a lot of sites for pump information and comments. I’ve read a lot of complaints about occulsion alarms. Something that doesn’t come up much at all with Medtronic pumps, UNLESS the user uses cannula sets. I’m not stupid enough to only take into account Tandem pump occlusion issues if the user uses cannula sets, as they are almost always the source of the problem. I’ve seen complaints re the Tandem pumps even when one uses steel sets.
Furthermore, years ago I used cannula sets exclusively and while they didn’t at first cause many occlusion alarms, over the years the problems began occuring a couple of times per week. Upon learning from a newsgroup that Medtronic sold Sure-T’s and that would solve the problem, I ordered samples and to my great relief, I could see that they were the answer to the problem. I’ve used them ever since, and have about one occlusion alarm roughly every year and a half to two years apart. It always is clear upon removal of the set that something actually did block the flow of insulin right in the needle.
@Dave44 My post was not intended as an attack or an insult to you. If that is how it was received, please accept my apologies. My intent was to separate statements based on personal experience and verified actual information from internet troll misinformation. I too have read many many posts about the occlusions on Tandem pumps, and at the end of the day for me it boils down to this: It’s an actual Tandem user experience, a cannula issue, or a troll with misleading info. A Tandem user ranks highest in my believablity index as they have actual Tandem experience. If it’s a Fiasp issue, than so what, Fiasp is contraindicated with a Tandem pump. If it’s a cannula issue, again so what. Almost every pump manufacturer buys from Unomedical and the issues are the same regardless of brand If it’s an unverified internet troll repeated unfounded claims from a source that never used a Tandem pump - well you can probably guess where I stand on that issue.
My question to you was not an attack, but a question to validate the source of your statement. Tandem did have an issue - ages ago. In the last 5 years there have been few if any validated complaints that I personally have seen on the internet. My personal experiences mirror those of many many Tandem users - occlusions are just not a thing that are more significant than with any other pump brand. Hence my ask.
I too use steel sets as nylon cannulas just do not do well for me in general. Do I still use them? Yes - in certain locations, and usually with a 30 degree set and I never have issues. With the auto sets… I regularly have issues. This though is a Unomedical issue and an not a Tandem issue. Again, hence my ask.
I am super happy you like your pump. Most users would probably say the exact same about theirs too. Those that don’t are probably looking for something else as we post. Our community should not be divided by unverified information that is posted from anecdotal sources. We have strength. We have voices. Let’s use them in harmony spreading truth and not fiction.