What CGM system are you using?

Tell us a little about the system you’re using.

What make is it?
When did you start using it?
Did you use a previous system?
What do you like the most about it?
What really needs improvement?
How has it helped you?

I’ll start this off.

What make is it? Dexcom STS. The 3-day one.
When did you start using it? Late March 2007. I’ve been on it constantly since then.
Did you use a previous system? Nope.
What do you like the most about it? Being able to see the trends. The alarms are helpful during the night, but they’re noisy.
What really needs improvement?The display is too small. Much better software needed. I’d like to be able to have different alarm levels and sounds. And the insertion needles is ouch! A smaller receiver would be nice.
How has it helped you? Much fewer lows. When I’m exercising I can watch my blood sugars and stop before they drop too much. My wife likes it because she can monitor my numbers while I’m driving!

What make is it? Dexcom STS. The 3-day
When did you start using it? June 2007
Did you use a previous system? I tried out the MM CGMS for a week, thanks to a good friend that loaned hers to me - that sold me completely.
What do you like the most about it? The trends.
What really needs improvement? Would love to have a 24 hour trend graph.
How has it helped you? No more waking up at 30mg. Stopping highs and lows before they get to high/low. He’s made me very aware of the importance of taking insulin 15-20 minute before I eat-the difference is shocking.

My 9 year old son, Westin, started using the MM Real Time around the 15th of May, 2007. We love it! He is allowed a little more freedom and I am allowed some peace of mind. We are consistantly getting 6 days out of it, then after that it seems to go all over the place. We are working on that!

I am anxious for the “parent unit” to be released. It is really hard to hear alarms at night, impossible if he is under the covers.

What really needs to be improved? I wish, on the MM system with the pump, that you couldn’t calibrate in the bolus wizard. I would love to be able to keep my paradigm link “talking” to the pump. I can’t do that as I am afraid of accidentally calibrating. Also, I am afraid to have Westin bolus and correct himself as he might accidentally calibrate. Also, as noted before, if we didn’t have to disconnect after day 6 we could easily go much longer on a sensor, as that seems to be when our problems hit. I am sure there are many other things that need improving, but that is on my mind at this time.

We haven’t had our first A1C since starting, but it is coming up in a few weeks. We have never been below 7.8. I am so anxious to see where we are now. I know that I let him ride at 100, where usually I would think he was going to go low and give him food. At night I didn’t like him under 150, or I would worry. If he was busy playing with friends, I would pump him full of carbs before hand, worry he would drop and not notice. All that has changed. We still have quite a few finger pokes, but not like before. I check enough to make sure things are still accurate, then I run with it. This device has changed our lives!

Oh, by the way, we are paying out of pocket. Can’t afford it, but family has been nice enough to pitch in as they can see how it has changed our lives too.

Make? Minimed 522 using the new & improved small transmitter
Started? about April 1, 2007
Previoius CMG? Minimed pump user since Sept 2000, but no CGM before this
Likes? Since using this, I had the lowest A1C ever for me and absolutely no lows that I didn’t detect and treat myself.
Improvements? I can’t wait until Minimed has an artifical pancreas, meaning a pump and sensor that work without my involvement. I had some problems with too many weak signal alerts. A Minimed customer support rep (who also uses a pump) told me that. after inserting a new sensor in my skin and before pulling the pin out, I should press the skin around the site in to remove any air. The sensor likes very close contact with the surrounding tissue.

July 7th marks my one year anniversary of CGM!

I started out on the Guardian RT which was loaned by a friend who had upgraded to the 522. I used that system until September 2007 when I was loaned a Medtronic 722 by my hospital, which was then traded a month or so later for a 522. I got the Minilink shortly after its UK launch. All the hardware has been provided to me but I continue to self fund the sensors. The UK cost is £55 per sensor (at current exchange rates this is over US$100!!) Up until this month I have been lucky enough to be able to import the sensors at US cost but will now be getting them at home. I typically get two weeks from each sensor though, and I figure I can’t put a price on this technology.

I started using CGM just days after my diagnosis with Addison’s disease and a run with severe hypoglycaemia as a result. Last July I was the recipient of some 18 injections of Glucagon! This led, unsurprisingly, to serious hypo unawareness. CGM enabled me to go back to work as a dentist much sooner than I might have and it acts as an early warning system since I live alone. It also helped me to get to grips with radically revised basal rates after my Addison’s diagnosis. The good news is that I have managed to recover much of my hypo awareness by completely avoiding low numbers for a month or so. CGM helped make this possible without significantly raising my A1c.

I use CGM as a prompt to tell me to perform a fingerstick at times that I might otherwise not, and I also use it to track trends. Although the absolute values can be off I have never yet known a trend to be wrong. This is the biggest benefit to me, since there is a big difference between 5mmol/l (90mg/dL) going up, 5 holding steady and 5 going down!

Improvements I would like to see are louder alarms and a bigger display with more than just the 3 hour and 24 hour graphs. I’d like trend alarms, but I’d also like the trend analysis to be a little more sophisticated than simply comparing 20 minute pairs of data.

I won’t be giving up CGM any time soon though, that is for sure.

What make is it? Medtronic Paradigm 722 Real-time with the Minilink Tansmitter.
When did you start using it? April 2007 (Plan to get one for my T1 daughter who is six before school starts)
Did you use a previous system? I was involved in a three month trial for the Freestyle Navigator CGM from Dec - March 2007.
What do you like the most about it? I love knowing what my blood sugar is–it is 206 right now–Oops! forgot to bolus for a snack.
What really needs improvement? Minimed needs to work on better communicating trends and predicting lows or highs. That was something I loved about the Navigator. I was warned BEFORE I got low.
How has it helped you? My A1C during the trial dropped 10 percent. I go to the doctor Friday for my latest results, but that 10 percent drop was the difference between knowing and not knowing. I didn’t take that much better care of myself. I just knew what was going on at all times. It wasn’t until the end of the trial that I got serious about adjusting my basal and bolus ratios. (I tracked LOTS of info during the trail on my blog, as well as my expereinces with the Minilink: www.diabetesselfcare.blogspot.com)

I love the Minimed, but am not married to it. If another company has something significantly more advanced when this transmitter expires, I will buy it. I will absloutely require that a pump and CGM are in one unit, though. Minimed needs to step it up on all fronts–the way the pump looks, the screen, and the trend indicators. I must say though, that I wouldn’t trade this CGM for anything.

I am SOOO happy to know what my blood sugars are. I can be a slacker and not be a slacker at the exact same time! Whoopie!

Thanks for starting this Bernard.

i will be hooked up to a CGMS as of august. kind of apprehensive, so any advice/tips will be welcome.

aoife

I use the Minimed 522 pump with the minilink transmitter. I started in August 2006.

This was the first CGM system I have tried. I like the freedom of knowing what my BGL is, and not having my BGL creep up into the teens (mmol/l) without me knowing…better control makes me feel healthier!

Improvements: Display too small, transmitters too expensive, insurance companies in Canada rarely covering the systems, different alarms needed, recognition of trends…I have a long list…but regardless, I still enjoy the system and its benefits!

It has helped me. The A1c shows it, and I feel better!

What make is it? Medtronic Paradigm 522Real-time with the Minilink Tansmitter.
When did you start using it?July 12th 2007
Did you use a previous system? NO
What do you like the most about it? I love knowing what my blood sugar is–it is 110 right now-and has been 110-115 for the past 2 hrs
What really needs improvement? It has only been a few days so I have nothing to complain about yet .
How has it helped you? It has eased my anxiety about my bgs alot Im having my A1c done next week so the next three mths will be all CGMS and I will see a true reading as to if it helps with that .

I will be getting the Minilink system to go with my Paradigm 522 as soon as the paperwork goes through!

In the meantime, I get to try out a Dexcom (the 3-day one I assume) thanks to my endocrinologist - starting this Wednesday. Very excited to have an opportunity to compare the two systems!

I have been using the MM Paradigm CGMS since October. I have been pumping with Minimed since 1995. I have become totally dependent on the CGMS, watching my post meal BG closely and adjusting a lot sooner than I would if I were using only finger sticks. It has caught many nighttime lows that I probably would have slept through. I have adjusted my basal based on the wonderful reports on Carelink.Minimed.com.
My A1C with the CGMS was 6.5, down from 6.8 with just the pump. That’s a bigger difference than it seems, because the CGMS has decreased the wide swings in my BG dramatically.

I manage to have very accurate readings on the CGMS by limiting the number of calibrations and only doing them when my BG is STABLE.
I hope they will change the programming so that we do not have to start a ‘new’ sensor after 3 days of use. So many of us use them for 7 days or more, I wish they would allow the ‘same’ sensor to keep going for 7 days.

My main gripe is that it takes the system 10 - 15 minutes to ‘digest’ a calibration, making it so critical that your BG will stay the same for that time. It would be great if they could shorten that timeframe.

I often have a problem with ‘false’ lows during the first 24 hours the sensor is inserted. The ISIG (the measure of glucose in the Interstitial fluid) will go very low and I will get an incorrect low alarm. I have read that others have the same problem. That’s another thing I wish they could fix.

Overall, I think the system is wonderful. I am expecting my first shipment of the new sensors that do not need to be refrigerated in a couple of days. I hope they work as well as the older version.

What make is it? Dexcom 7
When did you start using it? July 18, 2007
Did you use a previous system? nope first one (this is a loaner)
What do you like the most about it? Being able to watch the trends
What really needs improvement? The “lag time” between trends in the blood glucose and in the interstitial fluid always presents a bit of an accuracy problem; I understand they’ve better accommodated for this in the 7 vs. the STS, but it still needs a lot of improvement. Also, yesterday an alarming thing happened (pardon the pun) - according to the Dex I was dropping and hit 79 (BUZZ) then 55 (BUZZ) the value on the screen then dropped to 40 and stayed there for about 20 minutes. NO MORE ALARMS GO OFF. According to the Dexcom sales rep this thing has a really aggressive alarm once you hit 55 and stay there… wonder if the new version is still a little buggy? BTW, my meter BG was holding steady at about 110 during this whole episode. Also, it would be great to be able to customize “extra” alarms, i.e. in case you need to make sure your BG does go down after a correction when you’re trying to sleep.
How has it helped you? I love being able to see the trends and effects of different variables on my BG. Buggy though it is i think there’s no going back now that I’ve tried the technology! I keep draining the battery on this poor thing because I can’t leave it alone. Every time it goes to sleep I’m poking at it again to see what’s happening. My favorite thing is not worrying about going low in the night - I’m comfortable going to bed in a much lower range now.

Aoife

Which system will you be trying out? The Dexcom or the Minimed. Do you think you’ll move to using a pump?

Whereabouts in Dublin are you? I used to live in Dundrum.

Yes, I am still amazed at how long it takes for insulin to kick in. For the first time in my diabetic career, I am trying very hard to bolus ahead of eating. It makes such a difference in the graphs.

Minimed 522/Minilink Reat Time CGM

I have been using insulin pumps since 7/2000 and started CGM 8/20/2007.

This is the first system.

I like the ability to not always worrying in the back of my mind “Am I going low”

I know in the future it will be a closed system… but there is nothing that I would recommend for immediate improvement.

So far, I have not needed asistance for any lows. This has really got my basals much closer to perfect. When I eat something that raised my BG, it is only there for minimal time. Only have had 2 readings above 300.

I should add that my April A1C (just after starting) was 8.4. My July A1C was 7.0. Before the Dexcom I’ve only seen an A1C that low very rarely. And I’m getting very few lows.

Maura

When you’re using Tylenol, you may just want to put the Dexcom in a different room for about 4 hours or so. That way when the Tylenol is out of your system the Dexcom should just restart working fine. And you won’t be distracted by wacky readings.

Hello,

I have the Minimed 522 pump with the minilink transmitter. I have been on a pump for about ten years and on the CGM for a little over a week. So far I am very happy with the minilink. It is great to know where your BS is at all the time, especially during my bike riding and racing. At first before I started to hook up to the CGM I was kind of nervous because it seamed like a lot to learn. After using it for a while I found that it was very helpfull and I was glad that I started to use it!!! So now I am looking forward to the 105 mile ride in Death Valley CA along with my new minilink.

Dexcom 7
6-30-07
Tried out a Dexcom 3 day system from my CDE
Software, need data points for exercise, carbs, and boluses, i.e. like the UltraSmart Meter, this would greatly improve the tool for endos, CDE, etc.
While cycling, It is great to reach in my back jersey pocket, read, and not have to stop and do a finger stick. How about a carrying pouch for such a purpose.