MiniMed Ambassador, Kitty Castellini, joined the Medtronic family in 2000 when she started using the MiniMed 508 insulin pump. As you may recall from her 50 Year Journey with Diabetes blog, Kitty underwent a pancreatic transplant in 2004, and for some time did not need an insulin pump to manage her diabetes. In 2013, Kitty’s transplanted pancreas failed, leading her back to insulin pump therapy. From the MiniMed 508, to the MiniMed 530G with Enlite, Kitty shares how far technology advancements have come during the 10 years she was off an insulin pump. Here’s her story.
The MiniMed 508 was my first pump, and I was the first person with type 1 diabetes in my area to use one. I remember going through all of the information with my pump trainer, taking a lot of notes, and asking a lot of questions. The MiniMed 508 came with a remote for easy bolusing, which is also great for parents of children with type 1 diabetes, and many other features for that time, such as a normal, square wave, dual wave, and audio bolus options. At all times, I carried a note book and calculator with me, as I had to write down when I had to take a bolus, and how many carbs I needed to bolus for. I had to figure out how much insulin was on board, so I could safely correct highs and lows. It sure was a lot of work back then.
In 2004, I underwent a pancreas transplant, and put my MiniMed 508 away. For 10 years, my transplanted pancreas produced insulin for me, giving me the once in a lifetime experience to “experience a cure”. (Note, I said experience, as I know many transplants may not last forever.) In late 2012, my body was invaded with a life threatening virus, causing me to lose my transplanted pancreas.
In 2013, I returned to taking insulin, and knew I would go back on an insulin pump. Not only was time on my side, but so was faith. In September, Medtronic’s new integrated insulin pump system, MiniMed 530G with Enlite, received FDA approval. I jumped up and down, and knew this would be the system for me! Why you ask? Let me tell you about the new cool features.
In my opinion, the coolest feature of this new system is the Threshold Suspend. I have hypoglycemic unawareness, and this pump is the only one on the market with the Threshold Suspend feature, which can suspend insulin delivery for up to two hours if blood glucose reaches a pre-set low threshold. You can set it to automatically suspend insulin delivery between 60 to 90 mg/dL. I have actually had mine go into suspend, and am so grateful. I also like that my new pump alarms me when I am going too high or low. With these alarms, I’m more likely to catch and correct my glucose levels before things get too crazy!
Integrated CGM System
Now, onto the CGM. I can actually see what my sensor glucose is at all times, because it provides an updated reading every five minutes. My new Bayer Contour Next Link glucose meter actually talks to my pump, automatically sending the glucose readings to it. I really like the accuracy of the CGM, and I actually take photos of my meter and pump displaying my CGM. As you can see, it doesn’t get much better than this! With this new integrated system, I am better able to keep my glucose in my targeted range.
Remember those books and that calculator I used to carry? Well, those are long gone! The newer MiniMed insulin pumps, like the MiniMed 530G I’m using, have a Bolus Wizard, which calculates an estimated bolus based on my current BG and grams of carbs I’m about to eat (I enter in that information). The screen is larger and has a back light so I can see how much active insulin is on board, what my basal rate is, and what time I last took a bolus!
I am very impressed with the support that I receive from Medtronic, including the 24-hour support helpline I can call. When my new MiniMed 530G system arrived, I received a phone call from my Medtronic StartRight representative. He walked me through everything that came inside my box and all the supplies I would need, and instructed me to register with CareLink and myLearning.
With CareLink, I am able to upload my pump information and see what changes I need to make to better manage my diabetes. More importantly, I can send these reports to my endocrinologist, who can see what my needs are and make any necessary adjustments to my diabetes management regimen. With the myLearning tool, I never felt alone. It helped me set up my pump and explained everything I needed to know about starting on a pump. What I like the most is, if I ever have a question, I can always go back and review the learning materials just by logging into myLearning.
Trust your ability to manage your diabetes with your pump, and remember you are not alone! I had all the tools needed to help me succeed. I am a go by the book person, so I did everything that the manufacturer suggested, and am having great results with my new system, aka my “pink princess” (the name I gave my new pump)! I would like to add that it is important for me to eat a healthy diet, count all my carbs, and exercise daily. Most importantly, I am living healthy and well with diabetes with the help of using the MiniMed 530G with Enlite. I could never have accomplished this alone!
Editor’s Note: Kitty Castellini is a blogger sponsored by Medtronic Diabetes. As part of this sponsorship, she shares her candid thoughts and experiences with our product development teams and, on occasion, with other people living with diabetes through articles like this one on The LOOP. Her thoughts and opinions are her own.
Connect with MiniMed Ambassador, Kitty, to discuss her real experiences and get a better understanding of what life is like on an insulin pump and CGM.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is intended for the delivery of insulin and continuous glucose monitoring for the management of diabetes mellitus by persons 16 years of age or older who require insulin.
Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is not intended to be used directly for preventing or treating hypoglycemia but to suspend insulin delivery when the user is unable to respond to the Threshold Suspend alarm and take measures to prevent or treat hypoglycemia themselves.
The Bolus Wizard and Threshold Suspend features present additional considerations the customer and their healthcare team should be well familiar with before proceeding.
Please visit MedtronicDiabetes.com/isi for more details.
Tags: continuous glucose monitoring
, diabetes technology
, insulin pump
, insulin pump therapy
, MiniMed 530G