Well, guys, I did it. I made the switch. This summer I started using a Tandem T:Slim insulin pump. I figured this is the best time since I am home all of the time (still) and eating pretty much the same things all the time (still) It would be much easier to make the transition now vs when our lives get crazy again. I was super nervous at first because it looked and felt so drastically different than the Medtronic pump I’d used since 1998. It’s been coming up on 3 months now and I truly have no real complaints up to this point. I don’t do well with change (it’s a mental thing, don’t judge me 😉 ) but this one has been very smooth. It might have helped that I had been back on MDI for almost 2 years so it was like starting on a pump for the first time vs switching pumps, not sure. In fact, the only issue I’ve had up to this point is placement of the pump- and that is only because I have so much scar tissue that I have limited real estate -same issue I had when I was pumping before.
One of my favorite things about Medtronic was their customer service- I have always been pleased with it and always felt like they went above and beyond. I wasn’t sure Tandem was going to be able to beat that because it was such a high bar. But the first time I had to call their customer service at 11pm one evening, I was not disappointed. I was changing my site for the first time solo (without the trainer, and yes I know it’s not ideal to change my site at 11pm) and I was watching the videos (yes, I’m that person) and doing all the right things. But the rep finally helped me troubleshoot that there was an issue with the cannula when it was inserted so the insulin was not being delivered during the fill process so he walked me through how to start over, then he said he’d send me a new infusion set. Even though the issue wasn’t likely with the set itself. In the mail a day later I had 2 new sets – that was unexpected and very appreciated.
I am still wearing a Dexcom G5 because I had a few sensors left and I didn’t want to waste them, but this week I got my G6 in and so soon I will be also implementing the Control IQ and I’ve gotta be honest, that one scares me a bit. I know that it’s incredible technology and it is one of the main reasons that I wanted to move over to Tandem – all of the feedback I’d read/heard/received from friends and articles I’d read about people who have used the Loop system vs Control IQ were unanimously in favor of the Tandem system. So that helped make my decision easier. It just makes me nervous to “hand over the reigns” so to speak. I have been in charge of my blood sugars and treating them for 28 years so it’s an odd thought to me to let a device make those decisions for me. I compare it to one time I was driving a rental vehicle, and when I started to swerve a little to the left the car jerked back into my lane for me- this was several years ago and at that time I’d never heard of such a thing .. and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the idea of a vehicle making those choices for me. I was driving, so I needed to be the one in control.
I know that times have changed and again, it is incredible technology that we have that can enable us to not have to think about our diabetes 24/7. I have a very good friend who has a T1 daughter and she told me that has been the best part about her daughter being on the Control IQ system – they hardly ever have to think about diabetes anymore. (shout out, Suzanne!). I can’t even imagine at this point NOT thinking about it all the time – but I have to admit it sounds like a great thing. So that’s why I am making baby steps.
I will keep you all posted on how things go with the Control IQ but I have a great feeling about it. And I also feel like it is important that I say that it was truly a difficult decision for me to leave my Medtronic pump behind – they are a GREAT company and I always felt like my Paradigm was my trusty sidekick for decades. If you are deciding to use a pump for the first time I would highly recommend you consider Medtronic. For me, personally, it was more about the technology and enhancements – Tandem is just ahead of the game right now and I wanted to start making forward progress. I also liked that when they have pump software updates/enhancements, I can just plug my pump into my computer and voila, my pump is updated. With my old pump, I would have to wait 4 years for the software updates when my warranty was up and I was eligible for an upgrade.
Everyone is different and your diabetes my vary (YDMV) but I am so far happy with my choice and albeit a little nervous, I am excited about trying out the Control IQ next.
Keep you posted… stay tuned. 🙂
Hey I am glad it is working for you. Having a great pump is such a blessing.
Thanks! And I couldn’t agree more! Hope you are doing well, Rick!