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Oh mySentry!

*UPDATE:  HAPPILY USING THE MYSENTRY WITH THE 530G PUMP AND ENLITES!

I had planned on my next post being about “The Light Under The Door”–it is what I look for each morning as I approach KC’s bedroom. I find myself holding my breath as I open my door and head around the corner to her room. I say a little prayer that her light will be on…i.e., that she is awake and well. I shared this thought with a D-Mama friend last week.

The next day, I received a message from her with a link to the Medtronic mySentry I knew I had to have it! This is the piece that has been missing from the pump/CGM combination. I love the CGM and the information it provides us about KC’s glucose levels. My only complaint has been that she sleeps through the high and low alarms that go off during the night. So the idea of a monitor that can be placed in my room, that will give me the same information that is on her pump including alerting me of highs and lows is something I knew I needed.

As other parents of CWD know, there is no such thing as a good night’s sleep after your child has been diagnosed with Type 1. We wait up to make sure BG levels are in the “magic” range. We wake up to check throughout the night. Could it be possible that technology would provide a tool that could help us manage the wee hours?

I googled the mySentry immediately…specifically the cost. I knew that chances are insurance companies won’t be covering this item yet. But I felt that there is nothing, other than a cure for T1DM, that I wanted more than this piece of equipment. I set out to make it happen.

Contacted my Medtronic rep to confirm cost ($3000 retail, but introductory price of $2400 to current Medtronic pump/CGM users–special offer of an additional $500 off for people buying the pump/CGM/mySentry as one package.  Upfront cost is 20% downpayment). As always, Medtronic has financing available and will provide help in filing insurance claims–but again, the product is so new that Medicare hasn’t even created an insurance code for it.

Next on the list was doctor’s approval–email sent and approval granted in an hour.

mySentry ordered and delivered in 4 business days.

And….

now for my feedback

Pros

1. Installation was easy (except for human error of forgetting to advance the menu on the monitor while waiting for the pump–).  It took less than 2 minutes for the monitor to find the pump.  Equally easy to set up the Outpost (the transmitter that needs to be less than 6 feet from the pump).  I put KC’s Outpost on her bedside table and the monitor on mine.  Her room is down an “L” shaped hallway from mine and transmission reception is perfect.  Also the monitor still reads her even when she is in the family room below her bedroom.

2.  Manual says that cell phones and WiFi may hinder the reception…however, KC was on her laptop and cellphone and transmission was perfect.

3.  Today was a site change day and a quick glance at the monitor before bed let me know that she would need to recalibrate her CGM at 3 am.  This gave me the opportunity to recalibrate right away instead of having the alarm go off.  Noticed that KC was a little high and gave her a correction by pump.  Off to bed!

4.  2 am:  alarm goes off on the monitor–“unable to find pump”  .  Happy to report that the alarm is not an annoying sound but definitely recognizable.  Moved the Outpost a little closer to KC and rechecked her BG–over 300.  Pump was working fine–I gave her a correction by shot and went back to bed. -Monitor was reporting her current pump information.   Looked at monitor several times during the rest of the night–saw her numbers go down.  Then at 8:30 high prediction alert sounded.  CGM glucose and BG were identical.  Probably a bad site.

5.  Again, the sound of the monitor alarm is loud enough without being obnoxious.  It is more like a chime–not at all like an alarm clock.

6.  Large numbers on the monitor easy to read for someone who needs glasses for both distance and reading!

7.  Easy to turn off alarm–icon is lit and located on the top of the monitor.

The Outpost on KC’s nightstand

Cons (or should I say “quirks”?)

1.  No “On/Off” button. To keep the monitor from alarming when KC is not in range–such as at school–you need to touch the icon on the top of the monitor.  This silences the alarm.  Touch it again and audio is reactivated.  Actually very easy and because the monitor is never off, it begins to read her as soon as she comes back in range.

2.  No backup battery power for either the monitor or Outpost.  This is something that I cannot believe the engineers overlooked!

3.  Outpost has the plug directly in it (like a nightlight has)….if you want it on the bedside table, you will need to have an extension cord.

I know that there are T1’s who don’t use the CGM because they are put off by the length/width of the insertion needle and by the insertion method.  KC isn’t exactly fond of it herself!  But good news ahead…Medtronic has created the Enlite sensor which is significantly smaller than the current model and has an inserter that is much easier to use.  The Enlite is currently available in Europe and should be available in the US within the year (pending FDA approval).  Hopefully, this new sensor will appeal to a greater number of T1’s.  I can’t stress enough how useful the CGM has been in managing KC’s blood sugar.  Since starting the pump/CGM combo 7 months ago, she has maintained an A1C of 6.4-6.5 the entire time

mySentry at bedtime

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About kcandcompany

Mother of two...one with food allergy and one with Type 1 diabetes.

9 responses »

  1. This is really cool…. technology my parents could have used with me long ago! And a great and thorough review, also. I see you’ve got “K.C.” and a little icon in the top corner of the mySentry; I like how you can “personalize” it. Does this mean if you have two children with diabetes that you can have two “outpost” units and one master mySentry to monitor both?

    Reply
  2. Hi KC&Co.,
    glad the mySentry is working out. My daughter S (11yo), was dx’d almost 18mth ago and it hasn’t been so much a learning curve as a roller coaster. I can also relate to the milk intolerance as S also has celiac disease from her T1 dx.
    We had a terrible first year until a few months ago we got the Medtronic Veo and Enlite CGM. Before that, despite our very best efforts around the clock and upteen types of insulin, her A1C was going up (over 9), not down. Her last A1C just after starting the pump was 7.8 and we’re due another in a week or so. The pump has been so liberating. But the CGM has been more essential. S has not stability at all. We count/weigh everything, analyse fat/protein content, allow for exercise, basal fasting tests. Lately, though we’ve pushed ourselves to get S back into sport. She’s loving it but we now have PEL (post exercise late onset hypos) which are so tricky to predict. That’s what led us to look at the mySentry so that we can maybe intercept them at night (S is hypo unaware nearly all the time).
    Dont’ know if you have the Enlite (we never had its predecessor) but now that we’re calibrating it correctly it’s proving very reliable (mostly!). Still, we just couldn’t function without it. Those plasters are very sticky though!
    S is entering those tricky teenage years soon so it’s great to have all the help possible in the medical devices area. Still, it was an immense battle to get the ‘gadgets’ – that was harder than diabetes back then. We keep a blog on food/recipes that you might find useful (sligosweetspot.blogspot.com) – feel free to drop by and leave a comment,
    Best wishes,
    J
    P.S. My wife was curious. In your post you gave KC a shot to correct rather than the pump. Was that because you thought the site might be ‘bad’? I know our S would run a mile from a needle right now. She did all her own from Day 1, usually 6 a day but now it’s just too much to go back to.

    Reply
    • J–Our endo has us give a shot for correction if one hour after the first correction by pump we haven’t seen a significant drop in BG or if there are ketones. I always hesitate because it guarantees a huge drop in BG. KC hates the shots too…we’ve had some luck with increasing the basal rate.

      Glad to hear you like the Enlite…hope it will be in the US sometime this year! I, too, love the CGM. KC also have the hypos hours after sports….the mySentry is a blessing where that’s concerned!

      I’ll check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. Hi KC & CO,
    my daughter, Anna Claire, is 9 and has been pumping for 3 years. she started pumping with Omnipod and within the last month,we switched to The Medrtonic Revel. The tubing and how to carry the pump( with dance especially) has been challenging to say the least! vanity is the biggest issue! Anyway, we are due to receieve her CGM and My Sentry today! We are so excited to finally be able to have some peace of mind at night! After 5 1/2 years, we are ready! Thanks for all of your helpful info on the mysentry. We are looking forward to using it soon. Did you have to schedule an appt with your daughter’s endo for training on the CGM and mySentry?? i cant get them to call me back to make an appt. Left a message with the “person” who does the training, but no response. Seems fairly easy to use. I have watched instructional videos on the insertion of the CGM and transmitter. i am sure we could do it with no problem. Must the sensors be changed every three days? I have heard of people prolonging that, but i can’t imagine how.

    Thanks,Susan

    Reply
    • We had brief training from our pump trainer on the CGM….mainly just insertion tips. No training for mySentry. Good luck with the change….it’s not perfect, but it can be a great tool. KC’s a1c has been under 7 and averaging 6.5 in the year that she has been on the Revel system. She’s actually a little higher with the mySentry than without because we are able to catch nighttime lows more quickly.

      FYI, the mySentry and cgm alarms will continue to go off until you clear them on the pump. If we are having a night where the cgm glucose and her blood glucose readings are way off from each other, I may turn off the audible alarm on the mySentry.

      Don’t let the frustration of learning a new tool stop you. KC hugs a stuffed animal while I insert the sensor on her backside==she’s very slender and has few places with body fat. We are now putting both the pump and sensor on the upper rear/lower hip area and it is working well for her.

      Keep me posted!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: 2012 : Another Year Bites the Dust! « KC & Co.

  5. Although the mySentry is not FDA approved to work with the 530g/Enlites….I am happy to announce that it does indeed work with the new system!

    Reply

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