My Pros and Cons of the t:slim.

I’ve been reading and studying my reports and it seems that I only needed to adjust insulin-to-carb ratios for my day-to-day issues. And, while I’m thankful that Tandem has the ability to show me things I need in their reports like Insulin-On-Board action and all, the system is really messed up for me right now. I’ve asked that my pump be replaced to see if that’s the issue (which I strongly feel that it is), but they won’t yet, so I hooked back up to my Ping. I know having a pump is a big deal, but for me I’ve grown to know how to read and interpret my reports to make my therapy decisions, and so I rely heavily on their accuracy of data recording.

As much as I want to really like and even love the t:slim, I just can’t right now. They have a lot of things to work on and improve first. That doesn’t mean I want to abandon it – because I don’t – but I’m tired of running up against something else every week or so that I don’t like. So, for pros and cons sake ( I guess this was a long time coming), here’s my list view for the t:slim (remember, I’m not comparing it to any other pump – I’m looking at it for what it’s features are):

Pros:

  • Touch screen – super easy for fast operation of the pump
  • Small – It’s so much easier to hide when it’s “naked” and not in a case than any other tubed pump I’ve used.
  • Customizabe – You can have it be as simple or as complicated as you need to be, with personal profiles that can just be duplicated to start a new one and make small changes without having to start from scratch.
  • Chargeable – No battery needed. Just plug it in.
  • Future – It was the pump used for the Artificial Pancreas trial, so that makes me hopeful. I’ve also seen a screenshot of what it would look like with Dexcom integration, and that is SUPER cool.
  • Software – When t:connect worked right for me, it was awesome. It was sleek, cool, and very VERY informative.
  • Reservoir Size – while I wouldn’t use 300u in a 3-day span, I know others who do, so it’s good to have that option out there. Besides, I’ve been able to get a good 6 days out of one cartridge fill that way. ;-)
  • The screen has an instant view of most everything I need. IOB, Insulin remaining, Date/time, and battery charge.

 

Cons:

  • Logging – If you enter a carb entry into the BG section by accident in the pump, even when you press “back”, it’s saved as a BG. There have been many times I’ve done this, so my report thinks my lowsest BG is 16, when it should have been 16g of carb. And there’s no way to delete it.
  • Software – It’s on the fritz for a lot of us. For some, it works fine, for others, it doesn’t. I was one who it worked great for.. and then it went screwy after I put the pump into sleep mode. Now, all of my bg readings are entered as-is, but all bolus and carb information is recorded in quadruplicate. (Is that a word? It just looks so weird!)
  • The clips – Oh the clips. I still cannot figure out why it seems the clip is in the middle of the case. One of the things Tandem spoke about as to why the connector is not on the side of the pump but rather in the “pig tail” is because people complained that they hated the “stump” connectors on their pumps…. well, now, with the t:clip, the whole end of the pump stands just as far above the belt as the other pump “stumps”, so it seems a bit redundant…. and irritating. And good luck getting them to clip firmly to anything but a belt too. My pump has fallen off or on the verge of it so many times because of the way the clip is designed.
  • No prefillable cartridge – Let me explain this one. Yes, the pump has a cartridge, but it’s a bag that’s inside of a plastic piece that’s snapped onto the pump that you inject the insulin into. I have no way to check for air bubbles other than making sure there aren’t any in the fill syringe…. and this just throws my OCD all out of whack. I like to see that before I place a cartridge into a pump that there are no air bubbles. Granted, the system is supposed to have some mechanism that pushes air out, but still… like I said… OCD-brain. I mean, who all of you have gone and filled a cartridge, and emptied it back into the insulin bottle just to get rid of a bubble hanging around the plunger and not seen all of the micro-bubbles that come back into the mix???
  • (Currently) No reverse-correction for lows – this is not news if you’ve been reading my blog, so I won’t go over it again.

 

And these are just me, but I’m freaked out by the screen. I feel like I have to baby it. I’m scared the pump will drop and it will shatter (as I’ve seen other’s do). Also, did you know that you are not supposed to have the screen pointed towards you when you clip it in or place it in your pocket (or wherever)? Yeah. So, I’ve almost always put my pump inside of my pocket and clipped it there, screen facing my leg… and it bugs the ever-living crap out of me that I can’t with the t:slim. (Well, I’m sure you can, but the book says youre  not supposed to so… I guess if you accidentally bolus yourself it’s your fault for having the pump clipped towards you and not away.)

All of these won’t fit everyone. Some people may see my cons and not think they really are cons for them. And that’s cool. While I think the t:Slim is awesome and the iPhone of insulin pumps, I also feel like I have to baby it somewhat. I’m sure I don’t and it’s just my paranoia, but I’m constantly in preparation for the OHSHIP moment when this pump could go on the fritz or I get clumsy and I do something that renders it useless. Yep, total paranoia that I know probably isn’t warranted, but even still… I’m just freaked out by it and not comfortable. As cool as it is, it’s not an iPhone that if I drop mine and destroy it, I can order another one on eBay to replace it for a couple hundred bucks.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know… by now it’s a complete ramble. So I’m ending this post…as I’m sure it’s not helping anyone at all.

Advertisements

Cooked?

So I’ve been exercising with my sisters-in-law at night to try to lose some weight and get “fit” before vacation next month. Last night, we went walking (2.8 miles!! yay!) and for a 1/4 mile, I ran {yes, me, I finally ran 1/4 mile straight!}. The only thing is, my pump (the t:slim) was right next to my body.

Today, I’ve been having issues with highs. Like, spikey ones and ones that make me sick to my stomach. I haven’t had this in a while, and I’m worried about if the heat cooked my insulin? I know others can’t use Apidra in the t:slim because of how much heat the little pump gives off anyway, and now I’m wondering if out in exposed settings, it can overheat even Novolog (which has the highest temperature tolerance of the three RA insulins). Which would be bad, because with summer comes heat and we go to the beach every year for vacation and spend a lot of time outside playing there.

941881_463126963772930_1831156943_n

I only had switched back to the t:slim to be able to study my reports (because I can’t stand Diasend), but I’m thinking maybe if it can’t handle heat too, then what’s the point? I certainly don’t want to be switching out every two days either. And my reports? Well, they’re all screwed up to heck and back.. and what’s worse is I think it is because I put the pump to “sleep” back in March when I went on break from it and it messed up the pump memory (Tandem is looking into this).

I’m just baffled by this. I never had this issue with my Animas pump (which I’m strongly thinking of going back to and not looking back at all ever again).  I have plenty of stocked up supplies for my Ping, so I may as well switch back. I just hate how picky this t:slim pump is seeming to be for me. It’s really cool and I think they have  a great product, but it’s just not working out for me the more and more I use it. (Oh, and did you know the smallest basal rate you can set on it is 0.1? Not great for those who need tiny basals like 0.025u/hr.)

Have any of you other Tandem t:slim users had this problem??