CGM Dilemma

I have been wearing a Medtronic pump for years – off and on since 1998 (consistently since 2007). I love my pump. Took a slight detour with another pump company when my warranty was out a few years ago, and quickly returned that one and came back within a month. I also wore the Medtronic CGM for quite a while. I loved having that data so accessible. But what I did not love was wearing the actual sensor. Inserting it was like using a torture device. And there were several other things I did not care for. I kept hearing about this new system that was coming down the pipeline .. but I was “stuck” (pun intended) with what I had until I was out of warranty.

Earlier this year I switched to Dexcom, based on a recommendation from my new Endocrinologist. And I LOVED it from the first moment the nurse put the trial one on me. I love the fact that it doesn’t hurt at all to insert it. I can put it in my right arm, using my left hand (I’m right handed) with no problems. I can get a good 14 days out of the sensor (even though the FDA recommendation is 7 days. YDMV.) I have found the data to be consistently accurate. I love that I can share my blood sugars with my husband and a couple of close friends (which is now available via Medtronic’s new system – keep reading.)

Yesterday I got an email from the distributor where I buy my Dexcom sensors and they told me that I am eligible for an upgrade to the new G5, because my current G4 will be out of warranty this month. So I approved the upgrade and it’s shipped and is already headed my way. (Sorry to those that are having to wait so long for theirs!!) 😦

Fast forward a couple of hours and I get a call from Medtronic. Reminding me that my pump is also out of warranty this month (that 4 years FLEW by) and started telling me about the new Enlite 530g system. The guy was super friendly. Even when I told him I wear a Dexcom and I love it.

But here’s where my dilemma comes into play.

I can “upgrade” my current pump and get a brand new one same as the one I have (Paradigm). But this pump will not talk to the new sensors, should I ever try them out.

Or I can upgrade to the new Enlite 530g system. The only way to do that, though, is to get a box of sensors with my pump. And I’m not sure if insurance will cover the sensors since I just placed an order for my Dexcom sensors. But the downside is – I don’t want to go with the Paradigm and then decide a year or two down the road that I really want to try out the Enlite system and not be able to until my 4 year warranty is up. I’d like to know whether or not I like the Enlite system before I commit to another 4 year pump warranty …….

Decisions … decisions …..

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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5 Responses to CGM Dilemma

  1. Scott E says:

    You and I both started the Dexcom around the same time, so it’s no surprise you got the email (I got a call) saying my transmitter warranty is expiring and encouraging me to order a new one. We had the discussion about insurance coverage and the like, and then I said to go ahead with the order. Then I asked “it would be another G4, right?”. He told me that no, it’s the G5 — and without hesitation I requested – no, insisted – it be the G4. Different discussion for a different time.

    My Medtronic pump is also out of warranty — has been for about half a year. I’m fine with that as long as it works; I’ve got an older (even more out of warranty) pump as a backup in case I need it. I had the privilege to try the Enlite and I liked it, but then when I switched to the Dex I liked it more. As you said, far more comfortable to insert and much more reliable (more accurate to a point, but the reliability is the key for me. There’s a subtle difference). Also, the sensor-change is so much easier and FASTER; and I can do it at night before going to bed without waking up at 3am to calibrate (though I don’t need to, since it’s fast enough to chane in the morning before work)! Personally, I’m not going back unless Medtronic changes the physical form factor altogether, and from what I’ve seen of their future plans, they’re not.

    Anyway, I don’t know what I’ll do now if my pump needs replacement. There’s nothing so alluring out there now that I’m ready for a 4-year commitment, so I’ll wait.

    But if you’re looking to try the 530G/Enlite, your sensor issue is an easy one to solve. Assuming you can wear each 1-week sensor for 2-weeks, you should be able to amass a 6-month supply in only three months. (I’ve got a nice backup stash myself, already). So if you have a three-month surplus of Dexcom sensors, you can order a three-month supply of Enlites with no worries (except that it will REALLY last three months)– and you’ll be sufficiently covered if you decide to go back to Dexcom at any time in the process.

    What I’ve learned through all this, and did not at all expect, is how much I don’t like the pump and CGM being joined at the hip. In less than one year of using Enlite, Dexcom made three significant improvements to their system: smaller transmitter, upgraded algorithm, and Share. When you mate the receiver with the pump, two of those improvements are no longer available on a 1-year cycle (warranty of a receiver), but on a 4-year cycle (warranty of a pump). I’m happy to keep them separate — I never really liked Threshold Suspend anway.

    But that’s a lot more than you asked for.

    • Shannon says:

      All VERY good info – thank you!!! I should have elaborated on the insurance/sensor info, though. The MedT rep I spoke to yesterday said it may be an issue that insurance just approved my Dexcom sensors, and therefore may not approve the 1 box of Enlite sensors that would be required should I upgrade to the 503g system. Does that make more sense? The way he worded it was I don’t have to even use the sensors, but they would be required in order to get the 530g. Or I could stick with Paradigm. It hasn’t *knock on wood* failed me yet and I don’t need all the other bells and whistles, especially if I’m not going to use the integrated CGM.

  2. n1iwr says:

    DONT DO IT!!!! Enlisted is horrible, IMHO!!! I have the 530 G system and my experience w Enlite was horrible!! It was NEVER accurate for me!! I love my Medtronics pump but their CGM didn’t work for me!! LOVE my Dex!!! Good luck!!!

  3. SarahK says:

    I personally did not have luck at all with the Enlite system. Dexcom will always have my business. That being said – you can always try for approval and see for yourself. But honestly, with other platforms like Tidepool and Glooko paving the way for data upload into one cohesive report from Medtronic pumps and Dexcom CGM, if you like the Paradigm pump, stick with that version.

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