An adult Type I diabetic's journey with insulin pump therapy: — "PurplePump.WordPress.Com"

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Minimed Minion

Last night, when my sensor was sending low alerts to my Minimed 530 G pump, I did not hear them. Then by the time it started the vibrate mode:  “Hey You! Wake up, I’m talking to you!” the Threshold suspend feature kicked in. Well I checked my sugar on two different meters, it was 115. Not the 55 reported by the sensor. But that is another blog post. I got to thinking that it would have been nice to be able to hear the alarms in the first place, instead of getting the news a lot later. ( Just in case I really was at 55!)

SO I thought, what if the pump alarm went something like “Beee – Dooo, Beee – Dooo” … Like the Minions in Despicable ME?

So I got out my tools and iinstalled a little minion of my own.

Minimed minion controller app

Minion Minimed controller app

I sewed a small pouch with a vinyl window. I created a minion on the “Create Your Own Minion” site.

I inserted the minion print in the window and voila!  One could put any image in the window!  Change characters with your mood, or for the holidays.

Minimed Minion Belt pack

Pouch with vinyl window

Clear window/ buttons useable

If the minion is removed, the pump can be viewed and operated through the vinyl window. I sewed a belt loop on the back, with Velcro opener, and there is a top retainer strap which also fastens the pump in with Velcro.

So, (sew?) who says you can’t have fun with pumps?

Comments welcome.

Doc Jerry



It Is Not Worth It!

I am all in favor of saving money. Everyone knows that living with diabetes presents challenges, not the least of which is expense. I have been reading posts on some blogs about people trying to extend the use of their insulin solutions (vials) longer than 28 days to save some money.

I have only one thought. It Is Not Worth It!

I have some information presented below. It is from the CDC website.

Questions about Multi-dose vials

  1. What is a multi-dose vial?
    A multi-dose vial is a vial of liquid medication intended for parenteral administration (injection or infusion) that contains more than one dose of medication.  Multi-dose vials are labeled as such by the manufacturer and typically contain an antimicrobial preservative to help prevent the growth of bacteria. The preservative has no effect on viruses and does not protect against contamination when healthcare personnel fail to follow safe injection practices.
  • When should multi-dose vials be discarded?
    Medication vials should always be discarded whenever sterility is compromised or questionable.
    In addition, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) General Chapter 797 [16] recommends the following for multi-dose vials of sterile pharmaceuticals:
  • If a multi-dose has been opened or accessed (e.g., needle-punctured) the vial should be dated and discarded within 28 days unless the manufacturer specifies a different (shorter or longer) date for that opened vial.
  • If a multi-dose vial has not been opened or accessed (e.g., needle-punctured), it should be discarded according to the manufacturer’s expiration date.

The manufacturer’s expiration date refers to the date after which an unopened multi-dose vial should not be used.  The beyond-use-date refers to the date after which an opened multi-dose vial should not be used. The beyond-use-date should never exceed the manufacturer’s original expiration date.

As a physician, I worked with multiple patients, and learned to be obsessive with patient safety and safe medication handling. As a patient responsible for your own medication administration, you need to be equally obsessive.

A few extra days out of a bottle of Lantus? It Is Not Worth It!

See also



Diabetes Technology: What Patients Really Want — The Video

Courtesy of

via Diabetes Technology: What Patients Really Want — The Video.

People vs Pumps

When I was in High School, I used to read a lot of Ray Bradbury books. The Illustrated Man was one of my favorites. Ray Bradbury said: “Why go to a machine when you could go to a human being?”

I am a scientist. I looked over insulin pump specifications, features, reputation, and useability features. All of the things I would be using on a daily basis to keep healthy.

As I thought about which piece of medical equipment I would link myself to, I began to wonder:

“What kind of human support would I receive from the product vender.
Often the support team and it’s people are more important than the equipment itself.”

I did some simple tests on the three companies I was evaluating for my Insulin pump.  I called the telephone support lines incessantly. I asked questions about how each pump functions. I told them I was considering competitors pumps. Some calls I was cordial and friendly. Others I acted frustrated.  When asked, I explained that I did not own a pump. I gauged the responses from the support lines. I also compared how fast the support team responded. I called the sales lines, and the software support departments.

One of the companies was happy just to mail out a brochure. Little else. You could hear the sound of a pin drop … “Ping”.

The other two companies were quite helpful. You could say there was “mini”-mal difference, or perhaps only a “slim” difference between the two.
The representatives took time to explain things. They answered detailed questions.

Both Tandem and Medtronic provided me with a person to call.

At Medtronic my experience there was superb.
I was given my area rep’s e-mail address, company phone number, and cell phone number. She personally called me several times to be sure I had all of my questions answered. She knew I was considering a t-slim and pointed out some features which were different on the two pumps. While she expressed confidence in her company’s product, she did not belittle the competition.

You could say that I felt “connected.”

I realize that the customer experience can change after one signs on the dotted line. But for this test, Medtronic deserves the award.



New pump expected on Monday!

I had been reviewing insulin pumps and comparing features. I am at a bit of a disadvantage as I have not used a pump before. I had considered a t-slim pump with a Dexcom 4 Platnum CGM setup.  This was my favored choice, but I did not like the idea of having to carry my cell phone, an insulin pump, and a glucose meter for CGM. All this in addition to the other supplies we cart around daily. The integration of the Medtronic system eliminated one of those items.

So I have chosen a Medtronic 530G with Enlite® Sensor.

Thus the Purple pump.


I am usually not partial to purple, but the blue was very bright, and the black and clear were bland. I decided to make a statement.