What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports was Medtronic thinking?

I am increasingly frustrated with my CGMS from Medtronic. Here’s why:

#1. Having to turn off the wireless interface between my Onetouch Ultralink meter and my MM 722 pump. The reason? Because the CGMS interprets every single test performed as a calibration reading. Too many calibrations “confuse” the CGMS, resulting in bad readings. That whole last statement really doesn’t pass the smell test with me, but anyway.

Why is this frustrating you ask? Here’s why: It is one more damn thing I have to do. Instead of my reading showing automagically on the bolus wizard, now I have to enter it manually. Then I get a screen asking me if I want to use that as a calibration reading.

I now have to upload my pump AND my meter to the Carelink software I use instead of just the pump, so there is another damn thing.

Oh, and if I have to do a correction bolus? I’m already irritated that I have to correct and now I have to do another damn thing and manually enter a number, probably a large one, into the meter, just irritating me more?

Did I mention the damn cable I had to buy for my meter and now keep track of? Holy cow that’s another damn thing.

Seriously, how did this even get on the market? Didn’t you do any type of usability testing where these issues came up?

It should work like this: Leave wireless on. When a reading is sent from meter to pump, pop up the screen then, not in the bolus wizard (or even both), asking if it is a calibration reading. If I pull out my pump and hit yes, it is. If I don’t pull out the pump, the screen times out and it isn’t considered one.

Lesson here: Make things that actually make life easier for the folks who actually have to do it day in and day out.

#2. Accuracy.
When this thing is on, it is dead on. When it is not? Who knows? I still test 8-10 damn times a day to make sure the CGMS is accurate. Yea, that’s damn convenient. Oh, when it starts alaming that I’m at 50 in the middle of the nite and my meter says I’m at 90, that makes me damn happy. Training says that I should set the alarm level at 75, I have it set at 60. It is either that or keep the damn thing turned off. The low glucose alarm is a damn good idea that didn’t live up to it’s damn potential for me. And they now have a pump that will shut off the insulin flow based on these numbers?

#3. Sensor life.
I can usually get about 6 days out of a sensor. What kills me tho is the sensor will start to be way off about 2.5 days in. If I simply restart it as a new sensor, I can get another 2.5 days out of it before it starts to drift again? WTF?? To me, that is not a sensor issue, it is a software issue. To me it seems that there are issues with their calibration algorithms between that and the “too many calibrations” line. Again, how the hell did this even get on the market? And yes I know that they are only supposed to be in for 3 days. I also know that Medtronic has applied to get them approved for 5-day usage. That will be interesting to watch.

Now that I’ve vented, I can’t deny that the CGMS has helped get my basal rates adjusted better to avoid some of the lows that I used to get, especially in the middle of the nite. I just can’t see using it continuously as I have been since May. I probably will not buy any more sensors when these are gone, or perhaps just a box now and then to check my patterns 2 or 3 times a year. But I’m still supposed to buy a new transmitter annually and it only comes with a 6 month warranty. It just seems too costly for the return I’m getting from it.

That is all,

Today’s snarky comment: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a noise? Of course it does! It’s a damn tree!

Your three reasons are why I jumped the Minimed CGM ship and went over to DexCom. As someone who has used both (used MM for over a year), I KNOW that DexCom has the superior technology.

One of my main reasons for getting a MM pump was the wireless communication between pump and meter. I LOVED that concept, and until I got the CGM, it was great. But, having to discontinue use of that feature was a pretty lousy trade-off.

Since I got my DexCom, I’ve not had a single false reading. Not one. When it alarms, I know it’s real. MM used to wake me up in the middle of the night constantly.

I’m on day nine of my current DexCom sensor, and it’s as accurate as it was on day two. My MM sensors would lose accuracy gradually, but DexCom keeps going until it dies (or comes unstuck, which is my problem).

Seriously, Scott, look into DexCom. It made a huge difference for me (avg. BG on MM = 164 mg/dl, avg. BG on Dex = 123 mg/dl). It’s just better.

yep Scott – all of this is happening to me too. I want to trial the other 2 brands of cgms when I am home over winter break. It’s a pain in my butt! … Also… I know not everyone has this issue, but for me the biggest dealbreaker with my mm cgm is how painful it is. I admit that I am slender, but I have yet to find a site that does not give me excruciating pain…even when I use EMLA, after it wears off… pain. I’m at my wits end.

Sophie, I’m not all that slender, and the MM sensors hurt me, too. I had half a dozen (at best) that didn’t hurt during or after insertion. Don’t even get me started on the bleeding . . .

I wonder when enough people will realize that MM is scamming people with their CGM and demand accountability? Like, you know, complaining to the FDA and stuff like that? Is there a group for former MM users who were more than displeased with the discrepancy between the advertised CGM and the real (crappy) data that the CGM delivers?

For those who didn’t know, I started with the MM CGM and gave up after 3 weeks in utter disgust. I tried the Dexcom 7+ and have been extremely satisfied with their CGM.

I am pretty sure I am the only person in the world who likes Minimed. The sensor never hurts me. I have only bled one time. Sometimes it takes awhile to “soak” but once it works, I rarely have a problem with accuracy. I’d say 90% of the time I’m between 10-15 points and that’s pretty standard even with meters. Sometimes when I’m over 300 there is a bigger gap, but that’s just because there is a 5 minute lag time and I’m usually moving. I calibrate 3 times a day - breakfast, mid-afternoon and bedtime.

I don’t mind, personally, having to enter my BGs into my pump, though I agree that was kinda stupid. I have not noticed accuracy failing after 2 days. I get 6 days and then I take it out, only because my skin starts to get irritated, but I have the same problem with my sets after more than 3 or 4 days.

I’m sure I would like DexCom too, not dissing them at all, but I have had a pretty good time using Minimed. So yeah, that’s me.

I feel your pain!
What the hell were they thinking!

Shannon - Thanks! I’m going to look at the Dexcom when my 1 year period is up and I’m nott sure how many sensors I’ve wasted because it wouldn’t stop bleeding.

Sophie - I know what you mean. I find them to be very uncomfortable when I insert them in my abdomen. I use my thigh now and have little pain on insertion, although bleeding is still an issue at times

Jim - who knows?

Allison - I don’t think you are alone, I just know that it is definitely not living up to my expections

Di - $$$$$$

Everything you have said is happening to me. I’m super stressed all the time because now, I do everything, eat, exercise, not eat, not exercise, etc…all just to please the sensor. And I check my blood over 10x a day mostly because I do not trust the MM CGMS…I could go on and on, but it would be exactly like your post above.

It makes me feel better knowing that it isn’t just me and that there are others (pretty much everyone using MM CGMS) having exactly the same problems. I talked to Dexcom the other week and I’m going to start talking to insurance soon to hopfully (PLEEAASEEEE) get a Dex sooner than the 1 year that I have to be on MM.

I just can’t take it anymore…but at the same time, I don’t like NOT wearing it…vicious cycle…

Elizabeth - let me know how that turns out… I wouldn’t mind switching mine out before next summer

Thanks Scott for the review of MMs cgm. I got a new 522 this year and the purpose was to get MMs cgm because it’s suppose to interface with the pump. But after your assessment it’s not for me. I did try the 7+ cgm and it’s not as confusing as MMs. So if I do purchase a cgm it will be the 7+.

Same problem with Minimed cgm you mentioned. Can you use a DexCom with MM 722 pump?

you can, you just don’t have the integration

Some days I ask myself, “Why haven’t you forked over the moola for a CGM?” Other days, I read posts like yours, Scott, and think “Can’t hurt to wait until the products are more refined.” Of course, my blood vessels may not be so happy with my procrastination, but I do all I can without CGM technology to cater to them :slight_smile:

Oh man, what a pain! Been toying with getting a CGMS, but it’s too much damn work.

Hi Scott: My Minimed Guardian sits in a drawer, because I made a mistake and chose it over the DexCom. I tell everyone I can to not get the Minimed. I am tech savvy, I have been VERY successfully on an insulin pump for 12+ years (now the Animas 2020), I think the MiniMed is terrible. At a Take Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) event in October, I ran into my Minimed trainer. I told her of my problems with it. She promised she would call. It’s more than a month later, she never called.

Scott is right on the mark. I’ll add that the transmitter is really poorly designed. It actually fell off my body on 3 separate occasions while I was running. After much experimenting, I finally found that Tegaderm dressing ($$$) is the only reliable means of keeping the stupid thing attached. It shouldn’t be such a hassle.

Hi Scott, you are so right - it is time to make you heard. They claim that too many calibrations will confuse the CGMS. This may be true but the reason is not the frequency of measurement but the algorithm for sensor calibration in the CGMS. So the only solution must be: the operating software (firmware) for the CGMS needs an update. Since it is a “medical device” it is very unlikely that this can be done at home - if at all. So I would ask Medtronic specifically about fixing the firmware and how the update for your device will be carried out (by sending the device in etc). If they turn your request down and the device is still not working properly then give it back to your insurance company so they can claim their money back from Medtronic. That would make some noise.

I share some of the same irritation–but not to the same extent…my biggest complaint truly is the size of the freakin needle…and the roughness of the sensor itself. I have very sensitive skin and by day three my body wants it out (sometimes sooner), I will not be happy witha 5 day wear–becuase that will mena yet another fight with the insurance co.

I find I am pretty right on as long as my bg are elatively stable–it does not like large swings. And like arm testing it is about 15 min off from finger testing. Also you are trying to calibrate two things together that can have large variances (currently meters/sensors are allowed to have a 30% varianc–I think thats what I read), so if they are at opposite ends of their variances it is easy to see how calibration can be a prob. If they would tighten up the vairnce of both it would help immensely–even with just day-to-day meter usage…I mean think about it–you BG could be 30% off of your meter reading and this is what we are basing our insulin dosages on…I am sure this is where some of those sneaky lows come from…highs too…but the lows for me more dangerous.

The biggest thing for me is that being hypo unaware–it has solved that problem. I have not had any unknown lows while wearing a sensor.

I am a MM sensor wearer and here is number 2 person( ?) , who has accepted the CGMS . I think , that a lot of things can go amiss, if one does not get the proper training , how to use . I went to a Medtronic session last night , " how to get the most out of your pump " and the speaker about the CGMS is a Canadian Olympic Rower, cycled recently from one end of Canada to the opposite; he did a marathon in Victoria ( I know, because I was there ) …I am sure he sweats a lot doing all this . he showed us how to place ( maybe down side up , rather than upside down , so no water will accumulate, when showering , where to place ,not around waistline , how to cover it with tape ( snuggly in the corners and against the sensor ) ; keep skin taught . He mentioned , that he has not lost the sensor , while NOT taping it down . I lost my sensor,( meaning it dropped on the floor in the bathroom ) when I did the marathon in humid Disney World weather, however looking back and what I learned last night , it would not have been the case .
I wish you would have all been there .
I have 2 blood glucose monitors in my kit: one linked to my pump ( skinned GREEN ), the other one I use , when I do NOT calibrate ( is not linked ) , skinned RED …this game has assisted me well in not over calibrating .
I don’t think it is necessary to upload one’s glucometer as well as the pump …however it is another tool , which may help looking at history /trends …that 's what CGMS is all about is n’t it ?