As you may have read recently, I am starting a 90 day trial of the Medtronic 530G. If you didn’t read it here, and you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you have seen a large amount of tweets. Tweeting is somewhat of a note taking service for me. If I tweet it, then I can look back and remember a question I had or something that I wanted to write about. This post is about the training session that I had with the local pump trainer for Medtronic.
MiniMed 530G Pump Training
Leading up to this trial, I had used a Medtronic pump for about 8-9 years of my 10 years with diabetes. I have been on MDI (other than a 4-6 week trial of SNAP pump) since June of 2013. Since I have been on the pump for so long, I am very comfortable with using a pump and troubleshooting the pump. Inserting infusion sets, filling reservoirs, changing out a battery, etc. I can do these things in my sleep, no literally, I’ve done all of these while half asleep at 4 a.m., stopped at a red light, at sports arenas, and more.
With all of that real life experience, I tend to think, seriously, do I really need a training session?
The answer, yes.
Too many times, with anything in life, we get into the habit of doing things and they may not be the right way of doing it. There’s the “by the label” way and then the “real life” way of doing things, and getting a refresher course on the “by the label” way is always great. Not too mention when you have one of the most knowledgeable and passionate pump trainers around.
And I have both of those characteristics in mine.
Before showing up to the training, I read through the materials that were sent to me along with the pump and CGM. These training materials brought back my memories from 9 years ago when I was scared to go on the pump and the talk of basal and bolus confused me. Now, it seems like second nature. Also, the box the pump came in was awesome. It was white like a brand new Apple product, and if you know me, that’s a huge plus in my book.
The reading materials and workbooks are great. They basically provide a bit of reading and then a few questions right after that and then on to the next lesson.
I did read the CGM training materials a bit more than the pump because I wanted to have as much knowledge as possible before entering the training, so that I could prepare for questions. I recommend that before going to any training, or meeting or anything, do a review first and create a list of questions. These questions may be answered naturally during the training, but some may not be.
Setting Up the Pump
Before we set the pump up there was an introduction time period where the trainer wanted to learn more about me, my diabetes and how I typically manage specific situations. This means a lot to me because as we know, Your Diabetes May Vary, so getting to know me and my unique situation and training based on that is important.
I had already set the basal rates, patterns, bolus wizard information and set up all the alerts that I needed before I came to the training so these settings were just checked by the trainer.
After discussing the different basal patterns that can be set up (which I have a standard and Pattern A set up) it was time to get into the CGM training part.
530G CGM Enlite Sensor Training
This to me was going to be the most important part of the training. I previously used the Medtronic Sof-Sensor about 5 years ago and I absolutely hated it. I didn’t like anything from the pain of insertion to the inaccuracy of the sensor. I knew of new technology used and that the insertion method was supposed to be a lot better than the older version. Before we inserted anything, we went through the CGM workbook and went through some math examples. Instead of just always relying on the pump to do calculations, we need to know how to do these calculations of what it means when there is one arrow pointing down, or two arrows pointing down and know what these trends mean.
We then discussed the Low / High Prediction alerts that will alert you when the sensor is predicting a low within a certain time period that you set up. I have mine set up for 20 minutes. So this means that if the sensor trends feel that your BG will reach your selected low point within 20 minutes, it will alert you before it’s too late. I really like this feature because I sometimes don’t react to seeing double down arrows, so the predictive alert at least gives me a heads up to test and see if I need to correct.
The next discussion was then based on the Threshold Suspend feature that may automatically shutdown your basal rates once you hit a specified low point (60 for me). This is great for those lows in the middle of the night, because from when I heard the alert, there’s no way that I can miss it. I will go into more details on the threshold suspend in a later post.
Next, it was time to insert infusion set and sensor.
Inserting the Enlite Sensor
I filled my reservoir and inserted the infusion set first, not much to discuss here, I’ve done this thousands of times in the past. I will say though that “my way” of inserting the infusion set is a lot easier and comfortable for me to do then the “by the label” way, but there’s not much of a difference, it gets inserted either way.
The Enlite sensor insertion device is great. It is not intimidating like the old Medtronic Machete on the Sof-Sensor. There is a “double-press” rule that is used for the insertion. Basically, once the sensor is loaded, you “punch” the button to insert the device and hold down for about 5 seconds to make sure it sticks and that you applied enough pressure. Then you press the button again and hold it in while you pull the insertion device away and bam, it’s inserted. Pulling out the tiny needle is easier than pulling out the Dex needle in my opinion.
The tricky part is the tape that is required to be put over the sensor before the transmitter is attached. The training book provides great visual aids on how the tape is supposed to look and how it’s not supposed to look so this was very helpful. The trainer told me about an area that I’ve personally never used before that she had great feedback on. It is at the top part of my abdomen under my chest. She also said that her feedback has told here that the transmitter being up and down as opposed to side to side was a lot better. I figured I would give this new spot and side to side a chance.
That was it, I was now all connected to devices and just need to hit the start sensor button on the pump. Inserting was a breeze. Applying the tape was a little difficult the first time because of the location and staring down at it, my depth perception was a bit off. She only had to make a slight adjustment on the tape placement. Connecting the transmitter than was pretty easy.
After I was connected, we just went through a few troubleshooting scenarios and practical situation examples and what would I do if “this” occurred.
It was then time to leave the office and head home and get started on my first day with the 530G.
I will be writing, in detail, about the first day. After that, I will be writing about random thoughts about the pump, how I feel about certain features (alerts, accuracy, comfort, ease of use, etc.)
Please read my disclosure.