Y’know between my multiple illnesses, nausea, making my hubby sick, and the news that I one day I could test my blood sugar with my tear duct, I’m getting a bit behind on making an insulin pump decision. Though – it’s not quite February yet… but still, I feel like I should have this down already. How hard can it be to make a decision on a piece of technology that you’ll be dependent on for the next four years? Hm?
I started researching the Animas Ping before I got the flu and I have a demo of the pump scheduled with the local NorCal rep on Monday. There are a ton of bloggers that use, or have used, the Ping. Notably – Kerri over at SixuntilMe and formerly Kim over at TextingMyPancreas. And since I keep reading conflicting information on whether I can or cannot get a plain ol’ Revel pump from Medtronic, the Ping might be my next purchase for a variety of reasons.
The Ping is a two part system – pump and a meter. The pump portion looks, initially, like a Medtronic Paradigm, and the Meter looks like my OneTouch UltraLink. The user has two options – control insulin delivery through the pump like normal OR administer a bolus through the meter based on a blood sugar post fingerstick. Yes kids – it’s a remote controlled pump.
This solves all kinds of wardrobe issues. When I wear a dress, I clip my pump to the top of my leggings, dance pants, whatever. It’s totally safe and convenient until I need to eat something and administer insulin for it. (Things just get awkward if you are hiking up your dress at work.) Now – Medtronic DOES have a remote control you can buy, but it’s pretty simple; a set of up/down arrows to set up a bolus, .10 units at a time. Here – the Animas meter allows you to actually see what you are giving. Pretty neat.
Another perk? Animas is responsible for the Vibe – an insulin pump that was recently released in the UK and that the US is waiting (impatiently) to get their hands on. When it finally does, I can guess that there will be upgrade programs available for Ping users. The Vibe is a device similar to Medtronic’s Revel or 530G – it’ll read those CGM graphs right on the pump… however, it implements the Dexcom graphs rather than whatever the Sof-Sensors spit out. My Dex is somewhere in insurance red-tape-land and I should have it here soon. So, purchasing an Animas product just seems smart in the long run based on my latest purchase.
The Ping isn’t without its drawbacks of course. Reviews have indicated that insulin delivery is quite quick and can be somewhat painful. And then anyone going from a Medtronic to a Ping definitely misses the convenience of the bolus-wizard; and not the nine zillion button pushes needed to get insulin started. (This is why I’m asking for a demo before I even ask for my insurance to check it out.) So – we’ll see if I can comfortably navigate an insulin dose without throwing something.