By Karen Sensibile
October of 2017, I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone while waiting for my husband to get ready in the morning. I stopped browsing in dismay when I saw a post about Animas leaving the insulin pump business. I immediately called Animas to get their version of the story, and was really saddened to hear that I would eventually have to make a change to a different pump sooner than I’d planned…
I was diagnosed with type 1 at age 38 in 2002. I started out with injections, using a combo long/short acting pen at first, and then switched to Lantus and Novolog. I first was told about switching to a pump by my nutritionist. She really felt strongly that the Animas pump could help me manage things better and live my life with less inconvenience.
When I switched to pumping, I was very excited about having fewer needle sticks and easier calculations of my dosing and the programmable basal rate alleviating the need for two types of insulin. I was happy with my pumping life.
When I got the news about Animas in 2017, Medtronic was being advertised as the new partner, I assumed that would be my new pump company. At this point, I had never heard of Tandem Diabetes Care.
At my next appointment with my endocrinologist, I learned about Tandemand the t:slim X2 pump, but I wasn't ready to make a decision because my Animas pump was still fine. But, last August, my Animas pump decided to crack, and my hand was forced.
Once I started reading and researching, I was excited about the Basal-IQ technology. The idea of the pump being able to predict my lows was something I really was interested in, because fear of lows is real for me. The worst feeling ever is waking up in the middle of the night at 45 and being in the full-blown throes of a miserable low blood sugar.
Plus, I was already a Dexcom user, and this would allow me to continue using my Dexcom.
Also, I liked the idea of being able to charge the pump and not use batteries, with my Animas pump I had to use Lithium batteries that died every 3 weeks or so.
Animas users will notice a difference in the cartridge load process and insulin is delivered by a different method than the syringe style of the Animas.
However, once I got used to the process, I liked the way the pump loading process is automated, and I feel there is protection from human error while priming.
Also, the Tandem pump has full color touchscreen, much easier to see in bright daylight, and is much slimmer in your pocket. I love to be outside gardening with my two little doggies-Ralphie and Ruby, who are miniature Schnauzers.
I am fearful of lows, I don’t enjoy them to say the least! I am a big fan of feeling “normal” every day. I am most happy when I feel well and am able to be active. I have been doing Jazzercise for the last 27 years, and last November, I became certified to teach. I had been thinking about doing it for many years, and once I got my Tandem pump, I felt much more secure with Basal-IQ technology. I am now an instructor in Agoura Hills, California. Not once in the 7 months I have been teaching have I had a low glucose during class.
My motto is “I am in control of my T1, not the other way around.”
Attention Animas users! Animas is now offering eligible, in-warranty Animas customers $750 to return their pumps. Learn more about how you can use your rebate to offset the cost of a new t:slim X2™ insulin pump with Basal-IQ® technology through our Basal-IQ Technology Upgrade Program by visiting tandemdiabetes.com/animas Note: Offer expires July 31, 2019.
Responsible Use of Basal-IQ Technology
Systems like the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology are not substitutes for active diabetes management, as there are common scenarios in which automated systems cannot prevent hypoglycemia. The Basal-IQ feature relies on continuous CGM readings and will not be able to predict glucose levels and suspend insulin delivery if your CGM is not working properly or is unable to communicate with your pump. Be sure to always use your pump, cartridges, CGM, and infusion sets as instructed and check them regularly to make sure they are working properly. Always pay attention to your symptoms, actively monitor your glucose levels, and treat according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
From time to time, we may pass along: suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem Insulin Pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. However, please note individual symptoms, situations, circumstances and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified health care provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information linked below before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.