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!