Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Pump! (Maybe)

My parents are pestering me to write a new blog post, so here mom and dad, this is dedicated to you. Also, I'm very aware that my last blog post made me seem a little unstable (To be fair, I kind of was at that point.) and well, that is college for you. Change is not my favorite thing on the planet, as I'm sure you all can tell by this point, but college has gotten much better for me since I wrote that post 4 months ago. (So don't worry too much about me, things are looking up!)

Anyways, on to the excitement! I got a new pump! And a shiny, brand-new t:slim X2, no less! Are you waiting for the rave review and for me to tell you how happy I am to have moved into the modern era of pumping from my scratched up, old Animas Ping? Yeah, I'm sure you figured out that isn't how I'm currently feeling about my new pump. I've been on practically the same pump since I began using one 11ish years ago. I started off with an Animas IR1200 and then went to the Ping and have stayed with it until now. I'm also not a giant fan of change, so that is not really helping me out in this situation. The best way for me to explain my feelings, naturally, is through a list of pros and cons, so here, for you is a list of t:slim X2 pros and cons.

Out with the old and in with the new? Maybe?

  • I can finally type in my carbs/ blood sugar super quickly, rather than having to press an up or down arrow for 15 seconds to get a carb count/ blood sugar in my pump.
  • It's smaller and just looks nicer, and (hopefully) there is no paint for me to chip off of this pump.
  • Being able to have profiles that include not only basals, but also I:C ratios, ISF, and bg targets is super nice. I know this will come in handy at camp and being able to change everything for one time point instead of each setting separately is quite convenient.
  • The biggest thing about this pump for me is that it can be updated to keep up with new developments in technology. At this point, just being able to see my CGM on my pump isn't that important, but the possibility of it having an auto-off algorithm for low blood sugars using my CGM is pretty nice. Since updates can roll out for this pump, I will be able to stay caught up with new technology instead of having to purchase a brand new device once the technology becomes available.
  • Tandem's customer service is awesome. When I upgraded, they were super proactive about keeping me updated with any new info involving getting it approved and I like how they can text me now if they need info.

  • The clip on the t:clip case is awful. It sits too low on the pump, so my pump is constantly unclipping from my pants or wherever it is, which is extremely inconvenient. I'm currently using it without the case and putting it in the waistband of my jeans because the clip is basically useless to me. (Thankfully there is a fix: trying one of these attachable clips. I still think that Tandem should have a better one available for consumers.)
  • I can't see the exact amount of insulin in my pump until around less than 50 units. Why? If my IR 1200 could do it 10 years ago, Tandem's pump should be able to, as well. (And why is it that after I first refill my cartridge, all it tells me is 120+ even though I put in around 180 units to start with?)
  • I miss seeing my basal rate on my home screen. I know it's one tap of the screen away, but I like seeing it all the time.
  • I can't feel my pump when it vibrates at night. My Animas was much "louder" in that sense and it was much more likely to wake me up, while this pump barely vibrates and I don't notice it a lot, even when I'm wide awake.
  • All of the warnings are a little obnoxious. I get one warning before I change my temp basal to 0% and then a warning 5 minutes later that I have set my basal below half of my normal basal. Yes. I know. I did that for a reason.
  • Sometimes when I'm putting in carbs or insulin, the touch screen will press the incorrect thing/ I have to press the same place twice or the screen will randomly turn off. I can press the power button and it comes back to where I was, but this is a little obnoxious. 

These are my feelings and Mindy's (I love her, by the way! We talked at camp about me and my CGM obsessiveness, which is a post for another time... ) post on CDN made me feel better about my choice of a new pump, while Kim's post (also love her, she's pretty much been my DOC hero for years) made me worry a little. So basically, I'm still kind of conflicted about the whole thing. A positive step is that I did put my t:slim back on after taking it off last night. (Baby steps!)

I'm pretty sure there is a 30 day grace period for new pumps after training, so hopefully I can figure out what I want to do by then. (And I haven't even been trained yet! Also- please don't operate a pump without training that is against FDA approval and I cannot recommend that. Especially if you've never used a pump before.) 

So there's my hot take on my new pump and my slightly conflicted feelings. Maybe I'll grow to love it or maybe I'll be the only person my age to like old technology better. I guess we'll just have to see. (Don't worry, I'll keep you all updated either way.)


  1. I am surprised you did not go with or give a try out for the new Animas Vibe pump approved in December 2016. I do love the idea of software updates as opposed to hardware updates. I know my CDE loves Tandem pumps.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Rick!

    One of the reasons I went with a t:slim was the timing. My warranty expired right before Animas had their new pump approved, so I didn't actually have much information about when it was going to be approved (besides :it should be any day, now") and I also was told that they would begin manufacturing at shipping out pumps as soon as the new pump was approved, but reps had no clue how long that would take to happen. I'm an incredibly impatient person, (at least I admit it, right?) so that didn't sit well with me.

    My sister has the old t:slim and I wanted one when my pump from four years ago went out of warranty, (but it was too new at the time for my insurance company to approve it) so I've had my eyes on a tandem pump ever since. Once I heard software updates were FDA approved AND they had made a pump that will eventually be able to work with my G5 for artificial pancreas type stuff, I had to give it a try! I was definitely hesitant to go with a new company, as I've been with Animas for 12 years, but the big thing that swayed me was those software updates because hardware updates are expensive and can get very old after a while; especially when technology is evolving so quickly.

    I'm still not 100% in love with this new pump, (and the ridiculous amount of insulin I lose while priming/ loading the cartridge. Like really, where does it all go?) but I'm trying to embrace a little of the change before I write it off. (At least any more than I already have haha)


Enough from me, I want to hear from you!