Blog Entries With Tag: Ping


Posted: Feb 4, 2015

I'm hooked on you … despite it being out of pocket … I can’t resist the urge to push the button of Bowie, my Dexcom receiver to see how I’m doing.  It’s slightly addictive in away.  I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Another friend of mine, Sarah who lives here in Montreal, and just started pumping for the first time, lucked in on getting approval for the Animas Vibe (unlike myself where I didn’t).  The odd thing, she still has to pay for the sensors, but it’s much less expensive than going the route I will be with averaging about $5K a year with the stand alone system  that I have (which as I wrote earlier – was a “gift” from an islet cell recipient who no longer needs it.

So far the first sensor that I’d placed on my abdomen on December 22nd, 2014 remained working faithfully away until I pulled it off on January 22, 2015. 

Then Sarah questioned me about skin health under our sensor/tape that was holds the sensor/transmitter it in place. I thought, why take a chance, bad things maybe happening underneath and removed the sensor despite it still working. You'd never know anything was on my skin, and I hadn't seen what the sensor bit looked like (I only knew it was width of hair strand).  So cool - it's a piece of metal (anyone reading this - saying ... duh - didn't she know this from the start ... uhmmm no - I just jumped in with my eyes closed when I started using the Dexcom ... no educator ... just did it my way like I have done with the insulin pump).

I am really enjoying this experience with the Dexcom while it lasts.  It is giving me the complete picture of how I am using my insulin, how stress, etc. can affect my blood sugars.  I mean, I always knew why things went up and down with my blood sugars, but never saw the complete picture to fully understand it, but the trend graph doesn’t lie.  Or at least so far it hasn’t.

I’m looking forward to giving this a go when I start to finally get the courage to start working out with more intensity.  In the past, I’ve been having problems sticking to an exercise routine because I’ll be all gun hoe, then I crash either before or during the exercise period.  That’s because I was not using my insulin correctly!  I’ve done a few basal tests, which the CGMS helps (I can actually sleep through the night time one – which in the past meant getting up every hour).

Again, like the insulin pump, YOU are the brains behind how this device works.  It does have a set low alarm, which sadly in the beginning was going off a lot, due to my having the incorrect basal settings for overnight.  I’ve now got my basal settings for the night at my happy zone (I like to be between 5-6.5 mmol/l or 90-120 mg/dl). One thing I find with the Dexcom, is when it warns you are starting to go low. If you treat it right away with the correct amount of carbs (I prefer apple juice during the night) – I no longer wake up with a high reading like I used to.  Nipping it early in the bud makes a big difference, or at least it does for me.

Near the third week of my first sensors life I had it taped up with various items to keep the sensor from coming off (I found the weight of the transmitter could literally make it fall off if I didn’t have it secured on this way).  I found Bioclusive transparency patches that I use for my infusion sets from time to time. which I had cut a hole in the center on the second week, works the best as you see in the picture below (note the grey area off to the right of the sensor - is old adhesive from surgical tape that just didn't work).

Originally I had the sensor on my stomach which is the only place that Dexcom recommends you putting it on (it was tested for use on stomach only according to their manual).  I’ve read of many other people placing it in other spots, which still give them good results.  Arms, thighs, back side, even the breast.  Women who have placed the sensor there say they find it less in the way.  When it came to my 2nd sensor, I was game at the time to try it, but then I chickened out at the last minute. Instead I placed it just below where the band of my bra is, and initially it hurt like heck when the introducer needle put the sensor in (I felt like screaming, then got a slight case of feeling light headed) – but that quickly passed.  I’m now approaching my 3rd week – and it’s actually holding up much better in this area, with tape not lifting up at all.

I’m still on the fence post about wearing the Dexcom during my upcoming holidays.  Whether I pack a replacement transmitter with me for the time I’m away is still something I’m not sure about.  I either take my chance, or hope my sensor lasts thru’ the weeks holidays, or when it dies; I just go without it for a few days until I get back home.

Dang, I’ve kind of fallen in love with Bowie (sorry – had to give my CGMS yet another name … remember … he’s part of the gang that hang around with me 24/7 --- Ziggy (Animas Ping) – and my One Touch blood meter … Stardust.

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Posted: Dec 23, 2014

... my new Animas One Touch PING (I think of the game ping pong with that name) insulin pump that I started on yesterday aka Ziggy and his side kick Stardust - the OneTouch meter remote (no more lifting my skirts up to reveal my knickers to the world when I want to do a bolus).  

It will take abit of getting used to how much blood Stardust uses compared to Limoncello - my FreeStyle Lite (who will remain as my standby for days I can't squeeze out large droplets of vampire blood.

I had wanted to change to the Vibe, which has the CGMS option on it's screen which is an extra $200 (the PING is $6,995).  I paid for it on my credit card that is allowing an extra 1 year warranty on it on top of the 4 year warranty you get with the pump (having had previous probs with the 2020 - I wanted to ensure I had 1 extra year more).  I'm one smart cookie aren't I?  Well, you won't think so after reading the following.

Laws here in Canada do NOT allow you to change your mind once you've purchased a pump ... even if the box isn't opened - live and learn - or move to US of A - where you have better consumer protection - from some of the thread discussion I've read on forums.   

So, tonight - it's installing a Dexcom G4 sensor - the transmitter and receiver was given to me by islet cell transplant - who now insulin free (whoo! whoo!)  from Alberta.   I may continue to use it out of pocket once the Christmas present of box of sensors that my Animas rep gave to me (ususallly a box of 4 will set you back $340 for a month supply - cha ching) - runs out.

One thing I am finding out about the Dexcom ... after reading/watching the videos on their site.  They keep on telling you that ... the CGMS does not replace your blood meter ... that whatever your CGMS tell you - that you should go with what your finger prick #BGNow number is.  This is one thing I did not realise when looking into the CGMS.  I knew a blood test had to be done a few times a day - but not some of what I came across at this link.  Therefore, you still have to purchase perhaps as many blood test strips as you had before, in order to stay in a good BG zone.

So, between testing still with the finger sticks as some of us call them - and then to justify the the $7K yearly cost is abit scary (like buying a used car every year as my DH put it to me - men are so practical when it comes to justifying a purchase).   Thank goodness for DTC here in Canada as well, but we have yet to see how much we can claim since I was approved a few years ago ... it's sitting down ... pulling out past income taxes, etc. etc.  aka - we'd rather be sailing - than crunching numbers.  Though my DH says he'll keep on working as long as he has to for affording these items - but the rotten thing is ... he's able to retire next year after 35 years. 

GUILT!!!

Can you tell that I feel so guilty that my DH has to work longer due to my diabetes at times?  That shows you how much someone loves you when they give up their retirement plans for you (his are sailing around the world - but you never know - maybe we'll be able to do it).

So, here's to the next adventure with devices from Animas .... 

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Posted: Dec 13, 2013

Right now it seems that it is just the separate CGMS remote that you find in this link as the Animas insulin pump called the Vibe that you see below - has yet to be approved for use here.  

The good thing?  Once the Vibe is approved (Canada only has the Ping at the moment for sale) - you will be able to use the transmitters without the separate remote (or at least that is what I've read at various places online).

Animas Vibe with Dexcom G4

 

The main thing is - we finally have APPROVAL (an online petition by Nathalia Stanichevsky may have helped push it faster).  For those of us who can afford it (either thru' work insurance coverage) or ability to afford out of pocket.  We are one more step ahead of the game plan.

I had seen it a few years ago at a diabetic conference - and was quite impressed (the excuses given by the rep as to why it was so slow to come to our country made my eyes role as normal - we're a smaller population than USA, the French/English bit, the list goes on).  I even met up with an American that was using it - and she showed how well it worked for her when she was visiting Montreal this summer.  I liked the screen - ease of looking at it - just like the Animas pumps are - compared to the Medtronic that I'd tested out earlier in my pumping years (I'm a late bloomer - starting in 2008 after 40+ years of multiple dosage injections).

The good thing is - now we have two systems  available to us in Canada (the other is Medtronic).  For those of us who are hypo unaware (your blood sugar suddenly drops) or just want to have a better visual of what your blood sugars (BG) are doing - more power to you!

Curently, you have to contact Animas Canada for more info - go to this link to request more info .... http://www.animas.ca/dexcom

Psst, if you find out more info than I'm gathering up at this moment - please let me/us know - either via this post - or privately!

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Posted: Feb 23, 2013
Moi (in my mind) saying

Well, as I type this out, I have Careless Whisper from George Michael playing in the background.  It's been almost 2 months now that I disconnected from him - my Animas 2020 pump - in preparation for my holidays I took - where I didn't want him compromised by more s/w issues that my past 2020 pumps have experienced when going thru' the security systems at the airports.

Before I'd left on my holidays, I had finally heard back from Animas Corporation in the USA on my issues that I've been calling them about / blogging about / talking to them since mid-December.   I was told by Francis Crane who is Supervisor of Animas Customer Support (lovely lady from Georgia - but your sweet accent doesn't fool me ) I'd have an answer answer on January 28, 2013.  I told her I'd be away at that time so  she said she would call me when I got back.  Of course, as soon as I got back home, I called Ms. Crane, left 2 voice messages over almost a week.  When I heard back from her, she could not give me an answer <disappointment>, and that it had been given to someone by the name of Alecia now, in the technical department area, and I would have my answer no later then Friday (Feb 22/13).  

That call has never occurred.  

My question to Animas Canada - is why did they wipe their hands clean of me - and send me over to Animas Corporation in the USA?  I purchased my pump here in Canada, not the USA.  It also scares the heck out of me due to T1D's in the USA who have had their pumps "gone bad" replaced with a "reconditioned pump(s)".  One such American said that within 3 months - they were given each time a reconditioned PING pump - in the end - they gave up on the pump all together due to continual technical problems and went back to MDI (multiple dosage injections)..  Here in Canada, when I had called up about this a few years ago, apparently our laws differ from the USA.  Canadians are given a new pump when they receive a replacement - phew.   Though, I'm not sure if that is a good "phew" or a bad "phew".

I still to this day - as I posted in my other blogs/discussons on this situation with the Animas 2020 pump - firmly believe that Johnson and Johnson knew full well of the problem well before the issue was made public (when many of us were still under warranty).  That with both registered letters that many of us received - that they are admitting culpability in the fact that they DID NOT post anything in their literature or training manuals even after discovering s/w originally developed had the built in "Self-Destruct" sequence of the date  versus delivery of insulin.

I still scratch my head as to why, when the issue was known back in "March 2012", and I myself was still under warranty - why my replacement 2020 pump was not a PING - which supposably has no issues - would I be any further ahead with having had that pump I wonder?

The other question that is running around some of our heads these days is also .... how long is an insulin pump supposed to last?  Many other pumps made by other pump manufacturers last 10+ years with no issues to the user with dispensing of their insulin coverage.

All I can say is .... SHAME on you big corporations that hold us in your grip - for us to use products that we trust our livelihood on ....   Animas Canada / Corporation you know full well that you are in the WRONG.  


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Posted: Jan 7, 2013
Well, I have to admit, the response back from Caroline Pavis who is the Communications Director at Animas Corporation took only 5 days - considering the holiday season - not bad!  I personally do not think I am the only one questioning all the releases with not only the 2020 pump they manufacture, but their two previous pumps (IR1200 and IR1250) - but I appreciated her taking the time out to "personally" respond to my/our questions. 

I am still wondering why the answer I was given back in December by  Ann from Customer Relations that the s/w time out date was known since 2000 has changed to March 2012 as you'll read below in Q2 - has me a wee bit puzzled.  Even more puzzling, is now it seems they are going back on their statement made online on their website that the IR1200 and IR1250 will also NOT function past 2015 - if you read the release - you'll be like me - scratching my head - as it states that these two pumps will STILL function  - e.g. " continue to deliver insulin, if patients are using a data management software program with their pump, they will notice inaccuracies in the reports because of the incorrect dates".  What is stated below in Q2 is the reverse of what is stated from this statement release by Animas.  Do they know that some of us patients read VERY carefully about how are medical instruments are affected right to the "t"??

Now, I wonder, since Caroline states below - that they became aware of the s/w problem in March 2012 and my warranty ended in April (I received my replacement pump a few weeks before the end of March) - if they'd consider retroactively letting those of us that were still in "the zone for warranty coverage" have a pump that will function past 2015 - so we will have a "back up" pump for the future - like other pump users do with their retired pumps - wouldn't that be one less worry for those of us who find it difficult to control their diabetes with MDI (multiple dosage injections - e.g. average of 8-12 shots a day). 

On closing, as one American pumper stated in an online discussion on the w/e involving this issue  - and I'm quoting them the way I interpreted it (so if you're the one who posted this - clear up my confusion of what you said please) - " everyone should get a new pump every 2 years - to have the latest s/w technology - it's a no brainer ".  The yell in my head that went off at that statement may have made the walls cave in of your home - sorry - this is my polite response - " Not all of us have insurance coverage that covers a new pump every 2 years - let alone a pump.  Some of us pay out of pocket (our savings if we have them) to stay healthy.  Our hope  isto have a pump that lasts at least 4-6 years (more would be a dream) - which would make the cost of owning one about $2K/year - for some on limited income that is extremely difficult ". 

-----------------------------------------------------

Via Email - Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hi Anna:

My name is Caroline Pavis and I serve as the Communications Director for Animas Corporation. It is great to meet you over email. Thank you for all the amazing work you do providing information and education to people with diabetes!

I have read your blogs related to the software limitation we recently discovered with our Animas 2020 pump models. I want to make sure to provide answers to all the outstanding questions you have about this issue. Following is a list of questions (and our responses) which I hope will be helpful to you. Please let me know if you still have outstanding questions that I can help you with, after you review the Q&A below.

All the best,

Caroline

_____________________________________________

Q1 - When and how was this software issue discovered?

Animas recently discovered this software limitation as a result of a separate investigation into the calendar designs of all our pump systems. This investigation was launched in March of 2012.


Q2 - Why was the pump designed with this software limitation?

The pumps were not intended to be designed with this software limitation, or end of use date.  The end date was a consequence of the memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform was first created.  Due to how the pump’s memory is allocated for storing dates, the memory capacity is limited to a 16-year range. The IR 1200, IR 1250 and Animas® 2020 pumps all began with a reference year of January 2000, which restricts this family of pumps to January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2015.


Q3 -Why didn’t you notify patients about this software limitation sooner?

Upon discovery of this issue in mid-2012, we launched an in-depth investigation designed to ensure it would not pose a health or safety risk to patients prior to the date of Dec. 31, 2015. Now that we have a full understanding of the issue, we are notifying patients and healthcare professionals.

 

Q4 - Did Animas design your pumps with this software limitation, or end-of-use date, so that patients were required to purchase a new pump after their warranty expired?

No.  There was and is no plan to limit the date on the pump in order to require patients to purchase new pumps. The end date is solely related to memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform was first created.

(To reiterate from question 2: Due to how the pump’s memory is allocated for storing dates, the memory capacity is limited to a 16-year range. The IR 1200, IR 1250 and Animas® 2020 pumps all began with a reference year of January 2000, which restricts this family of pumps to January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2015.)

 

Q5 - After midnight on Dec. 31, 2015, can I change the date on my Animas® 2020 pump to a previous year, so that it will continue to function?

No. After midnight on Dec. 31, 2015, the Animas® 2020 pump will no longer function, meaning the pump will no longer deliver insulin. Changing the pump’s date to a previous year will not serve as a “fix” for this issue. The issue/end date for the pump is a consequence of the memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform for the Animas® 2020 insulin pump was first created.

 

Q6 - What will Animas offer to Animas ® 2020 pumpers who are out-of-warranty?

We are committed to providing assistance to our patients whose warranties will expire prior to Dec. 31, 2015. Between now and the end of 2015, we will be proactively reaching out to all our out-of-warranty Animas® 2020, Animas® IR1250 and Animas® IR1200 patients to remind them of the end of use date.

 

Q7 - Will Animas continue to honor your warranty commitments to patients who are currently using Animas® 2020, IR1250 and IR1200 pumps?

Animas will always honor any and all warranty replacements of our insulin pumps, and is committed to honoring our replacement warranty plans for all our Animas® 2020 users. Prior to the end of 2015, we will provide in-warranty patients with a free replacement pump of a newer model to ensure their care with pump therapy is not interrupted.

 

Q8 - Is the Animas® 2020 being phased out?

Animas recently discontinued the Animas® 2020 insulin pump in the United States and Canada in favor of newer technology. We will therefore be providing patients in need of replacement pumps with a OneTouch® Ping® Glucose Management System, which includes an insulin pump and a glucose meter that can also act as a remote controller of the pump. The OneTouch® Ping® insulin pump has very similar features to the Animas® 2020 insulin pump.

 

Caroline Pavis| Director, Global Communications

Office: 610.240.8128 | Cell: 610.357.3121 | Fax: 484.568.1444 |  [email protected]

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