My First Three Weeks With The MiniMed 670G
Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 11:03
This is a guest post written by Rob Palmer*, the resident type 1 columnist for Diabetic Living. This story was shared on their May/June 2019 edition of the magazine.
It may seem trivial to someone whose body is clever enough to monitor and regulate its own glucose levels, but one of the many frustrating things I find about type 1 is the lack of control I have once the day is done and I shut down for as many trouble-free hours of sleep as I can manage.
We all try to meet BGL targets, and it’s a happy bedtime if your BGL is 5, 6 or 7 – provided you haven’t got insulin or a bedtime snack ready to ruin it. The cruncher comes when you wake up dry and busting for a wee with a BGL of 15 at 3am for no apparent reason. Or, if you have a CGM and a pump and the alarm wakes you to ask you to get a lid on your rising sugar. Sure, it’s great to be notified, but uninterrupted sleep has just gone by the wayside.
Right now I am as excited as a six-year-old on Christmas Eve. The so-called loop of diabetes management is as close to closed as it has ever been. Tomorrow [at time of writing] I’ll strap into the new Medtronic 670 pump. I’m yet to learn its powers fully, but am hopeful of diabetic Jedi status soon. The anticipation is epic and the thought of a device making subtle changes to insulin delivery, keeping my BGL stable as I dream of a world made of chocolate, is positive in the extreme. Stand by for a three-week assessment...
Week 1: Right. It’s. Awesome. Albeit a little finicky at first. The pluses of the pump are immense and I can watch the mechanics of it, as it works, on the mini screen. It sees sensor glucoselevels changing thanks to the link with the CGM and administers or withholds insulin accordingly. Basal or background insulin is now a thing of the past. This pump seems to act more like a normal pancreas than anything before it. I still need to tell it what I am eating, though, as sharp rises in BSL are too much for the pump to cope with without my instruction. I found the hardest thing initially was to let the pump run its race.
Week 2: I was so determined to see the pump work on its own I starved myself for two days just to watch it maintain a flat glucose line (we all know how satisfying they are). Also, it’s really worth getting your carbohydrate count right. Use a carb count app such as CalorieKing to make sure what you tell the pump is, in fact, right and make sure your carb:insulin ratio is correct. When possible, give your pre-meal bolus 15 minutes to work before eating, too. Getting the carbs wrong a few times was pretty frustrating at first, but you do adapt pretty quickly, and good communication with your diabetes educator is essential.
Week 3: I transitioned into a control over my sugar I have never had. I spent 85 per cent of my time in my target range after just two weeks on the 670 pump. Moving ahead I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been about my new-found freedom and the opportunity and longevity it may provide.
*The patient is a member of the Medtronic Patient Ambassador Program. This patient testimonial relates an account of an individual’s response to the treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, the individual’s response does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. The response other persons have to the treatment could be different. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient. Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits, indications, precautions, clinical results and other important medical information that pertains to the therapy or products discussed.