I Am So Done


#1

This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.

Oh, yay, another post about my heartache with the 670g system. If you haven’t already, please read all my previous posts on this topic in order to have the entire story. It WAS Going So Well, The Awesome is Back!, And It Goes On, and On, and On…, And, Poof, Problem Solved.

I have been going back and forth between frustration and praise over the 670g. When it works, it works beautifully. But the problem is, it often doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

Since my last post everything was OK, not great, but much better for a while. I’ve had continuing, albeit not constant, issues with sensor accuracy. I’ve come to realize that the inaccuracies with the sensors is what triggers the loop traps (no, duh, Tamra). But why is every single sensor I put in so friggin’ inaccurate? I find it hard to believe that every single sensor I get is faulty. I’m not using them wrong, I follow the rules exactly for insertion and care. Is it my body? I’ve spoken with a couple other people who had terrible accuracy issues with these sensors and one of them said their rep and doctor theorized that it was maybe her hormone issues that were causing the sensors to be inaccurate. I do have multiple hormone issues. But there is no proof this is the problem. Is it my chub? I am overweight. I’ve tried both abdomen and arm placements and neither make a difference with accuracy.

When I say the sensors are inaccurate I am not only talking about the first day which would be understandable. I am talking about the entire week. The first day may or may not come with accuracy issues, but the problem tends to fluctuate all week long. It’s accurate for a short time, then massively inaccurate, then fine, then bad, then fine…all week long.

You see the frustration.

OK, you might want to know exactly what I mean when I talk about the sensor inaccuracies causing the loop traps. So here is a step-by-step rundown of how things go down:

-Either I decide to check my BG on my own, or the pump beeps and asks me to “enter BG for Auto Mode”, or “Calibration required”, or any other reason. It doesn’t matter why I’m checking my BG, the point is I am.

-I check BG and the meter sends it to the pump. My sensor reads anywhere from 30 to 100 points lower than my blood meter. Anything from 0 to 29 points difference doesn’t lead to issues. Anything above 29 points difference sets the issues into play. (remember, CGM and blood readings should be different, but close).

-This discrepancy sends the pump (I don’t know the exact system- sensor, transmitter, Auto Mode, etc…) into a tissy trying to correct the issue. This is played out in the form of a loop trap (Enter BG for Auto Mode…repeated several times if I play along, but I don’t, I just ignore it or turn off Auto Mode for awhile). The point is, it’s all messed up.

-Sometimes I will get the whole “Sensor updating, do not calibrate, this may take up to 3 three hours” scenario which actually lasts upwards of 6 or more hours.

-Sometimes, but rarely, that will end with “Sensor failed, change sensor”. Most of the time, though, everything will just go back to the sensor being super inaccurate.

The little bit of time I’m able to spend in Auto Mode is not as awesome anymore as it used to be because Auto Mode goes by the sensor reading and since it is so inaccurate I often end up with high BG.

Also, I often get low alarms that are false because the sensors are so inaccurate they think I’m low when I am in the 100’s!!! So friggin’ annoying!

Also the calibration timer for my sensors as of late seems to be set to 6 hours instead of 12 hour intervals. The six hour calibration timer is only supposed to be on the first day of a new sensor. Mine has been everyday, although sometimes it does the 12 hour. Is this common? Does it indicate an issue? What’s the deal here? Annoying to say the least.

Also the clock on my pump runs fast. Every month or so I have to correct the clock because it’s running 5, 6, 7 minutes fast again. This may indicate something, but mostly it’s just another little annoyance.

And I’ve had a couple instances where I dropped out of Auto Mode unannounced. This means the pump didn’t let me know it exited Auto Mode and didn’t ask me to do anything (check BG, calibrate, etc.). When I checked SmartGaurd it said Auto Mode was turned on (this just means it was turned on, not that it was active). And when I went into the Auto Mode Readiness screen it was all green check marks, which means everything was working fine and nothing was needed to be done. Well then why am I not in Auto Mode and why did it kick me out?! I decided to upload my pump and look over my reports and see what was going on during this time. The report did indicate an Auto Mode exit. It listed the reason as “Unidentified”.

OMG, WTF?! Even the system can’t explain it’s own actions.

OK, it is summertime and I live in a very hot area (often gets into the 100’s). Could this be a factor? Although I spend the vast majority of my time in air-conditioned areas so I’m not out in the heat and getting all sweaty. And I store all my medical supplies in temperature controlled places.

What if the sensors are accurate and your blood meter is the one that’s off? No. And the reason I say no is because when my sensor tells me I’m low and my meter tells me I’m fine, I pay attention to my body and how it feels. I feel fine, I have zero symptoms of low BG. Likewise, when my sensor tells me I’m fine but my blood meter tells me I’m high, I pay attention to my body and I often feel high. This is not a 100% accurate test to go by, but it’s consistent for me and I trust it enough to tell me the sensor’s are the issue, and the blood meter is fine.

It would be easy for me to blame Medtronic (or the FDA for approving them) for terrible products, but I have no idea if the issue is their products, or some incompatibility with my body, or something else all together.

Might I add here that I had the same issues with inaccuracy when I used Dexcom. The first few months were awesome with accuracy, but then it all went downhill until I finally stopped using it. So maybe it really is my body?

All-in-all I am done. I am still using the pump, of course, but I no longer even try to use Auto Mode or the CGM. I hope one day I will be able to make use of them again, but for now, no.


#2

One thing that I do is to check my BG meter against a lab blood glucose once per quarter. Immediately after my blood draw, I sit down in the waiting room and do three consecutive finger-sticks. I average these three numbers and compare to the blood glucose number generated by the lab. If I’m within 10%, I feel that my meter is “accurate enough.” I do this because I use my meter to calibrate the CGM sensor.

I’m sorry I have nothing to recommend for your 670G frustration. I’ve read your series of comments about this over the last few months. Since I’ve read many other comments describing a difficult relationship with the 670G, I think this incompatibility is more likely caused by the 670G and not you.

I wish the 670G was a breakthrough product, but it’s not. It is helping some people and I think that’s great. I do hope that lessons will be learned from this and better products will follow. I really think the diabetes tech future will belong to companies and systems that can iterate quickly. We’ll never make timely gains with an iteration period of five years!


#3

Sorry you’re having such a difficult time – no one should have to go thru that.

I spoke with Medtronics this week and ‘we’ decided the best route for me at this time is to live out my Animas warranty and address this next year. Posts like this about the sensors just reinforce that decision. Do I have inaccuracies with Dexcom sensors? Sure - the one I’m wearing now has been a little ‘iffy’ – but never terrible – overall, it’s been a good experience. I’m fairly sure I don’t want to give up a good thing…


#4

Like Thas said, it is a good idea to check the accuracy of your meter.


#5

Yeah, I have yet to run a check on my blood meter. I need to read the manual and see how to do that just to make sure it really is working well. I have no doubt it is just fine, though. But good to check.

As I insinuated in the post, my blood meter has given me no reason to question it’s accuracy. going by my eating and exercising habits, and body feelings, my blood meter checks are always very close to what I guess they’ll be just before I check (that’s a game I’ve always played when I check my BG, LOL).

But, yes, it’s good to check the machines accuracy in the proper scientific way. :slight_smile:


#6

Tamra, don’t feel bad like it is your fault. It is not your fault. It’s not a problem with your meter. Their product really does suck.

What were you using before the 670G? It may work fine for others, but if it is not right for you, it’s okay to move on. Lots of different solutions are available. You just have to find the right one for you.


#7

Before the 670g I was using the Animas Vibe. I have no trouble with the 670g as a standard pump, so at least there I don’t have to worry about getting something different. :slight_smile:


#8

Yeeeeeeuuuup. Same here. “If I could turn back time…”


#9

If I am having trouble and there is even the slightest inkling that hardware might be a contributing factor, then I have to loose the hardware and re-evaluate. Its always super frustrating.


#10

Hello Tamra!
I have the same frustrations with my pump also! I almost burst into tears reading what you wrote. It is extremely frustrating. I thought it was just me!

I get alarms all throughout the night. I mean, it wakes me up at 12:30am, 1:30am, 2:45am, 4:00am etc etc etc. It constantly BZZZing at me. Eventually I had to turn off the alerts at night. I got to the point where I didn’t care if I woke up with a 400 BG (which the pump is SUPPOSE to take care of before it happens for no reason) just as long as I could finally sleep a whole night.

The sensor bruises my body (and I am not a tiny person. I’m 5’4, 173 lbs) It fills with blood and doesnt work. It leaves large black bruises on my legs. When it rarely works the way it is suppose to, its constantly asking me to calibrate, enter new bg for auto mode, enter new bg for auto mode, calibrate, enter new bg for auto mode (I COULD SCREAM, and do, some times :slight_smile:) over & over & over & over. Like, what is the point of that? I just calibrated. Why do I have to enter another BG immediately after? I still don’t understand the significance. That constant and incessant BZZZ BZZZ BZZZ over & over again.

Its taking longer and longer to charge my sensor. It used to only take about 30 minutes 10 months ago. Now it takes anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to charge. Then the sensor usually bursts an artery and I bleed out (haha dramatic, but not far fetched) and then it was all for nothing anyways. I call the customer service hotline weekly to request new sensors which takes up probably a total of 5+ hours a month on the phone with these people. Every time I call I want to just say “Just look up what we talked about last week to save us both some time”

I am sad that other people have to deal with the same stuff I am, but I am also happy to know I am not alone! I am going to stay off Auto Mode this week and try manual mode. I am going to try to adjust my rates myself (or with yalls help! let me know any experience you have!) Best of luck to you Tamra!!


#11

100% agree.

I have a [very] long professional history that has only served to emphasis this point over and over and over again.


#12

I think this Doc just wrote a book because she is touring around. Thank goodness for tech innovation biting at the heals of the medical device companies.

Is there somewhere she could go to have this problem investigated further? Whether its her body OR the tech, wouldn’t somebody be interested in looking into it? She’s an interesting case. Who would she seek out in order to address this?


#13

I had sensors that simply didn’t work. I said screw it, I’m paying for this stuff and it doesn’t even work. I went to my Endo. today and she asked what happened. I told her and she said was that with the new, upgraded transmitter. I told her I know nothing about a new, upgraded transmitter. She sent 1 text and I was contacted by Medtronic. They sent me a link, I filled it out and I’ll be getting the new and (hopefully) improved transmitter… I never heard about this upgrade being introduced. Has anybody else??