Battery Operated Pancreas

Just another day in the life of a diabetic…

Still waiting…

on November 30, 2011

Warning: part of this post is going to be a rant and lots of complaining will be going on. But the other part is I need YOUR help….please read on….

OK D-OC’ers, (and anyone who is reading this) I REALLY need your help right now! This is a blog about the progress (and drama) going on with me getting a CGM. If you don’t know the story, my last post should tell it all. The short story: I’ve been under the impression that I can NOT get a CGM covered under my current insurance. Well, that was a complete and total MYTH. I called and was told by 3 different customer service reps, on 3 different occassions that is most certainly IS covered under my DME. (durable medical equipment coverage) I am on a Minimed pump (the old 522, which is out of warranty, but supposedly my insurance will not cover a new one until next year, probably should see about that as well….being it was Medtronic telling me that I am not covered for a CGM, without even trying, they just heard my insurance and thought it was not covered. Love it when people don’t do their jobs, but want your money.) In any event, I decided not to go with Minimed’s Guardian sensor, because most of what I’ve heard is not good, and this is coming from actual people who have used them and retired them, because of terrible inaccuracy and general dislike of the product. On the other hand Dexcom has newer technology and better accuracy detecting lows, so I’m told, which is EXACTLY why I want this machine. That and almost every single person I’ve spoken to is absolutely in love with their Dexcom (except for 1, but to me, those are pretty damn good numbers)

So I made my choice: Dexcom. I called and did the leg work, and apparently, so did they. We are now waiting THREE weeks on a signature from my doctor’s office to get the damn thing. I am beyond losing my patience. I’ve been calling my doctor’s office, being told “the computers are down” or “we never received anything” and all sorts of  “my dog ate the letter of medical necessity” excuses. Well, I have an appointment on December 9th, and since I have no Dexcom or charts and graphs to show, David & I made an appointment to get the ipro done in the office, so we can work out some of our crazy numbers next visit. I showed up early so I can work on getting this Rx for the Dex signed. I walk up to the receptionist, who I know by name, but shall remain nameless, and ask her if the paper we spoke about the day before was signed yet. I get a very cocky “Oh that’s not covered by your insurance, so the doctor is refusing to sign it, speak with CDE X if you have questions” X is not a CDE that works for my doctor’s office, but a Medtronic rep that supplies the ipro for his patients on Tuesday mornings. My first thought: “lovely” What I said: “REALLY? I know for a fact it IS covered because I spoke with the insurance company myself of THREE separate occasions!” I was furious. I know exactly what’s going on here. The only missing link that I don’t know is if my doctor is truly refusing to sign it, or if its being kept from him, because the Medtronic pimp wants my business, and if she can’t have my business then I can’t get a CGM? Does that sound fair?? So we go in and CDE X says, “oh remember, last year I told you that it wasn’t covered, your insurance doesn’t cover CGM’s”  And I repeated what I told the receptionist, so immediately CDE X responds “well, if Dexcom is telling you they can be covered I think there’s something fishy going on.” I repeated myself telling her I spoke with MY INSURANCE and that ALL CGM’s are covered…and immediately she went into, “oh that’s great, we can get you a Guardian” so I said “not to step on toes, but I REALLY want an Dexcom (for all the reasons listed above” Then she went into “clinician” mode. “Well, as a clinincian, I’d say to use what works for you…but in this case, I would suggest you try the Guardian first, because it will be so much more convenient, but you know, use whatever you feel comfortable with.”  and followed up with some slide comment of I’ll see if I can get paperwork started. Again, I said, I’d really like the Dexcom…and we just got into attaching the ipro. A few minutes later her “partner” came in, seemed to be a high pressure salesman from Medtronic, totally downing Dexcom and making false statements at that. (Oh if you use the Dexcom you’ll have to manually put in your bg’s on that AND your pump, and that is just such a hassle, where if you use our guardian, you don’t have to input anything! That’s false, I would only have to input my BG’s on the Dex, because the meter I use speaks to my pump…A$$hole) I’m so beyond annoyed right now and kind of afraid a Guardian is going to show up at my door without my wanting one.

Now, here is where I need YOUR help!

Am I being totally silly with wanting a Dexcom vs a Guardian?

I understand that having a CGM that works in tandem with my pump would make my life a bit easier, but if the thing doesn’t really work well, or is uncomfortable to wear than what’s the point??

Is it REALLY that much easier with the Guardian?

For those of you who have a Minmed pump and Dexcom receiver (or even if you have an Animas) where do you keep your Dexcom receiver? What happens if you walk “out of range” for a few minutes or an hour? Is that a problem? (cause I can see this happening if its in my purse)

And for those of you who have had both, which is more comfortable to wear? Because I have the stupid ipro on for over 24 hours now, and it is not comfortable AT ALL, I can totally feel it and they put tegaderm on to boot.

I’m the kind of person who once I’m set on something, I won’t be happy taking something else…

I guess my biggest concern is AM I BEING RIDICULOUS? Should I just take the Guardian?


Shortly after posting this, the phone rang and it was Edgepark telling me my Dexcom was on its way. Which I am ecstatic about. But after reading I could have done trials, now I’m not sure what to do:( I’m wondering if I can have them hold off on it and try doing trials?? SO CONFUSED! I got what I wanted, now I’m second guessing myself! Boo…




Sorry for driving you guys crazy, but I tried to get “trials” for both Dexcom and MM and apparently, MM’s trial is the ipro, which does not tell me anything, unless of course I take amazing notes and do the homework to see how accurate it is. The Dexcom does not do trials unless your insurance requires it, mine, does not. So I’m kind of screwed in the trial department. I told Edgepark to hold off on sending anything, that way I can clear my head, and do more research, because I now feel like I’m being pressured and don’t like that feeling. The woman from Edgepark was more than understanding and super nice about it. I’m going to take a day or six to just read as many blogs and speak to as many people I can, sleep on it and make the decision. My first decision was with Dex, so I’m probably going to go with that, but just need to get this swirling crazy feeling out of my head is all….will keep y’all updated on how it goes!

8 responses to “Still waiting…

  1. Karen G says:

    You are not being ridiculous. You have a right to go with whatever system you feel would be best for you. Although I do wear the Minimed sensor – have had it for about three years. I love love love it and I get very good accuracy. From what I can tell, I get the same accuracy my friends get with the Dex (based oh so scientifically by comparing results when I’m around people wearing the Dex.) That said, I know may people don’t get the great accuracy I get with MM – I think it’s because we are all different and my body just seems to respond really well to the MM CGM while others do not. Also, Cara compared the two systems – for her it made sense to stick with MM But again, there is no guarantee you’ll get good accuracy like Cara and I do. So bottom line? I say, it sounds like your heart says to get a Dexcom – so follow your heart!!! 🙂

    • tricia7473 says:

      Thank you Karen! I drive myself crazy when it comes to decisions like this! I read Cara’s post and it makes sense, I’m wondering if I’ll be annoyed to carry around something else…I loved her post, it was very informative and helpful! Also: I asked to Dexcom to see if I could do a trial, but was told no:( The reason I went with the MM pump 4+years ago was because they were going to release the CGMS integrated system and I was super psyched about it! When insurance didn’t cover it at first, I was bummed, then after hearing a LOT of not so good things about it, I was kinda glad it wasn’t covered at that time. But now it is, and the technology has not changed (much, if at all) from my understanding.

  2. Stacey D. says:

    First of all, do not be pressured by any company’s employee. I think it sounds very unprofessional what MM has communicated to you so far. That being said, you have done research and your findings are leaning you toward the Dexcom. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. However, if they are pushing the Guardian on you so much, why don’t you ask them for a trial? I know other people who have had one so it can be done. That way you’ll really know if it’s not for you. I think you need to speak to Dr. K though to see what exactly is going on with getting his signature. Let me know (privately) who the CDE from MM is. If it’s not who I know, I can reach out to my contact and get you help if needed. And you’re not being ridiculous.

    • tricia7473 says:

      Thanks Stacey. You know the CDE, not going to say names. I didn’t realize trials were available until today. I did ask the regional manager from Dexcom (you know who I’m talking about here, too) if there was any way I could try it before making a decision and he said there was no way to do that, but that I can return it within 30 days if I don’t like it. Not sure if that’s 30 days from when they send it, or 30 days from when I get training or what. Please see the update above as well, I’m so confused now:(:(:( I was definitely leaning towards a Dex, but I’m not sure if having everything in one device would be better? And if it would even work for me?? Ugh, I hate diabetes:'(

  3. Cara says:

    Yup. I’m with Stacey. Trial them both. I’m glad I did. It took away some of my doubt about sticking with MM. I liked the Dex, but since my accuracy with MM is so good, the hassle of the separate device wa more than I cared to deal with. Call Dexcom yourself. They have fantastic customer service.

    • tricia7473 says:

      Thank you Cara! I so appreciate your post on your blog, your post here and on my wall…in lieu of typing it all again, please see what I wrote to Stacey, I think it applies here, too:) I’m just frustrated now is all…and confused, and maybe scared I pushed for the wrong thing:(

  4. Tina says:

    Aww honey. I only met her twice and I DO NOT LIKE HER!!! When I went to get trained on the Gaurdian she was less than helpful. Then when I went back 2 weeks later to explain the sensors weren’t working and I couldn’t get them to stay in she retrained me (exactly the same way as the first time) and did nothing to address my issues. I went to Dr K and he admitted he thought the Gaurdian just wasn’t going to work for me.

    I could be wrong about this, but I am pretty sure that some ins. companies will cover a new CGM after only a year. Call your company and see what you eligibility is. Also don’t ask for what you want. Tell Dr K. He’s not going to wear the thing, you are.

  5. Carol says:

    Tricia –

    I’m also on Long Island and I got excellent training for my pump @ the Diabetes Education Center in Mineola. Not affiliated with an endo. My endo (Lake Success) at the time suggested I go there rather than get trained with the CDE in his practice. I don’t have a CGM (insurance doesn’t cover it and not sure if I could deal with the ‘real estate’ site issue/I’m thin) so I just test a lot and that works for me for now. Everyone is so different : ) I’m due for a new pump soon and the endo I see now also suggested I go to the DEC in Mineola for training. Just a thought.

    Keep us updated – interested to hear your thoughts & experiences. Thanks!

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