Tandem Insulin Pump Reviews

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T:slim Review

UPDATE: I am no longer using the t:slim pump. It wasn't the right choice for me after all. I had issues as an Apidra user and had concerns about inconsistent basal delivery and worsening control. I understand I'm part of a small but significant group who had trouble, but Tandem is listening to the handful of us with problems and hopes to resolve them. Anyway, here was my initial review. I started pumping this week with the new t:slim insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes Care. I have been watching and waiting for this pump to come to market for years and can hardly believe it's ticking away on my waistband as I type this. Many of you have been asking me how the t:slim compares to the pumps I've used in the past. Here is the t:slim pictured with the three pumps I still have in my possession: the Omnipod first generation PDM, the Omnipod UST200 PDM, and the Deltec Cozmo 1800 (my 3 Medtronic pumps went the way of trade-ins). It's slimmer than any pump I've used before - about half again as thick as my iPhone 4S in its Speck case. Not THAT much slimmer than a Medtronic or Animas pump, but still thinner. (I compared it to my student's Paradigm and it was only barely so.) My favorite part so Continue reading >>

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  1. ironmansherlock

    I figured this would be a good place to post a quick review of the Tandem t:slim G4 since I got it last week.
    Just a quick intro about myself. I'm 29, was diagnosed almost three years ago out of the blue after finished my 3rd or 4th marathon. Lost 25lbs in a month along with my vision, 14.1 AC and fasting blood sugar of 740+. I've been on Lantus (6-12 units) a day since then. No Novolog or bolus during that time as I was hypersensitive and would continue to have lows on 1-2 units. Fast forward, the blood sugar spikes have recked havoc on my system and finally I decided to go with a pump. What good timing for new technology to be approved!
    Okay, for the actual review. I got the Tandem t:slim with Dexcom G4 CGM last Friday. The first day was a little rough since I hadn't taken my Lantus in the morning and waiting until the afternoon to get setup with this. I'm using Novolog in the pump and use a 30 degree inset (I'm kind of a lean person). On the opposing side of my abdomen is the Dexcom G4. Both sit rather comfortably with little irritation except for the occasional pinch while tossing and turning in my sleep.
    Day 1-3: First day the CGM was off slightly by ~10 units, but became more accurate and reliable on the second and third day. Saturday morning I went for a run (6 miles to test it out), and everything seem to stay in place. I took the pump off and ran with it so I could see what my blood sugar was doing while running. It was interesting to watch it suddenly dive after 20 minutes or so of running. By the time I finished it more or less stabilized around 80 after starting at 130. Glucose meter confirmed that my blood sugar was in the range and it was the perfect time to have my banana and peanut butter sandwich. The great thing about the t:slim is that you can enter the number of carbs along with your blood sugar after you have set it up and it'll give you the recommended dosage of insulin. You can then change that number if you feel like you need more or less. One thing I haven't gotten quite used to yet is starting my bolus before my meal. When I was just on Lantus I would just eat, but now I have to time my meals about 30 minutes after I give myself a bolus otherwise I end up with short highs in the 180-200 range (sometimes more).
    Day 4-6: And it's all down here from here with Dexcom G4 integration. On Wednesday the CGM started to report numbers that were off by about 40 points. I tried calibrating a little more frequently but eventually I ended up with three dashes on the insulin pump and pretty much no response from the G4. I contacted my rep and she was very helpful, and even brought in another rep who has been diagnosed for nearly 40 years. They made some suggestions including changing out the G4 site and inserting a new sensor. I did this on Thursday and after the initial two hour calibration the G4 and t:slim seemed to sync up again and worked for the rest of the evening until early Friday morning.
    Day 7: And I'm back to square one. The CGM was working fine this morning until I had something to eat. Initially I was at 107 with my glucose meter and 109 with the CGM. Took a bolus, waited 20 minutes and then ate, then 1.5 hours later checked my BG. CGM was reading 148 and three different glucose meters (yes, I had 3 different kinds now) read 186-224. Okay, well, seems like it's time to calibrate the CGM. On my way to run this morning I checked the CGM and meter twice more. CGM = 221, meter = 180 CGM = 225, meter = 152
    At this point I gave up on using the CGM as an indicator for my BG. In fact, there wasn't even an arrow being displayed which way it was going (rising or falling), which according to the troubleshooting guide means the pump doesn't have enough information. I went for a short run this morning and left the pump behind. I just didn't even bother looking at it. When I got back I checked my BG using my meter (99) and then the CGM synced up with the pump and read 248. Yup, way off. Took a shower, checked my BG again (93) and the CGM now read 298. Oh good! I've hit the 200+ mark. Took a bolus based on my BG and another peanut-butter banana sandwich. Sent an e-mail to the rep about my issues and now the CGM is back to showing three little dashes.
    TL;DR - Got myself a t:slim G4 combo. Worked out fine the first couple days, been having issues with CGM readings ever since. Can't recommend. Interested to know everyone else's experience with CGM/pump combos.

  2. Wdc331

    I use an animas vibe with Dexcom G4 and have had nothing but near perfect results with my CGM. The first 12-48 hours is always the most inaccurate but then it usually settles done and provides near perfect results. I've been incredibly happy with it. I usually get 2+ weeks from each sensor, at which point it will start getting a bit less accurate. I've also noticed that week 2 is frequently the most accurate, even when I've "restarted" the sensor.
    Did you by chance taking any Tylenol/acetaminophen? That's the one thing that will throw a sensor off like that.

  3. Scubapkt

    I found that calibrating more than twice a day or calibrating while my bg was in flux really hampered the accuracy. I keep the calibrations to first thing in the morning and about 30 minutes before dinner, so that I don't have any up or down arrows while calibrating. First day is always off, now I'm within 10-15 points normally. If I'm climbing or dropping fast on the CGM I notice that I'm about 10-15 minutes behind on the dexcom to a finger stick (ex - CGM says 100 with down arrow, finger stick says 83).

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