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.