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Oct 13 / Caro

I’ve Got That Vibe

Almost three months since my out-of-warranty Animas IR1200 pump died  in the same week that I learned that the NHS had agreed to fund Continuous Glucose Monitoring for me, today I got hooked up to my brand new Animas Vibe insulin pump with integrated DexCom CGM.

It’s been a bumpy road. The Vibe was released in the UK in August. After my IR1200 failed in July, they were kind enough to loan me a new 2020 model, despite it not being in warranty, to tide me over so that I could get a Vibe. The problem came when the hospital through which the pump would be ordered discovered that the Vibe is more expensive than the 2020. To be honest, I have no clue why this matters. The local NHS trust had agreed to pay for the pump and, because they’d also agreed to pay for CGM hardware, the small extra cost should not have been a problem to them. Certainly the few hundred pounds we were talking about is less than the cost of a new stand alone DexCom. But there followed some wrangling about price and marketing and goodness knows what else. Eventually I received a call to let me know that I could have the new Vibe provided I didn’t object to several people observing my training. My understanding is that the pump I was to be given was actually being provided cheaply in exchange for me being the guinea pig and allowing staff to train alongside me.

Not a problem, really. Or at least, not something I desperately minded. To be honest, I’ve been pumping for approaching ten years and using CGM for more than five. I really don’t need training, especially given that I’m very familiar with the two precursors to the Vibe system (the 2020 pump and DexCom CGM) But it was no biggie, and if it meant that I go my hands on the pump, I was more than happy to oblige.

So one Monday morning in early September, I got my fairly heavily pregnant self on a rush hour train to London to attend my training and pick up my pump.

On the way there, my phone rang.

I missed the call, but picked up the voicemail which, to cut a long story short, told me to turn around and go home again. It turned out that they didn’t have a proper “live” version of the pump to give to me. Only a demo version to play with.

Gah.

Cue an interminable wait for the pumps to come back in to stock during which I’ve become frustrated by the number of people receiving their “upgrade” (Animas offered an upgrade to the Vibe for any one who purchased a 2020 close to the Vibe approval and launch) but who weren’t actually using the CGM functionality and therefore could happily have waited whilst continuing to use their 2020 pumps. Patience is not one of my strong points, but I was especially eager to get moved across ahead of Flangelina putting in an appearance and preferably ahead of me getting too much bigger and not wanting to face the journey to London.

Eventually, the pieces have fallen in to place. Today, I finally got my hot, sweaty little hands on my very own pink Animas Vibe.

As I thought, the training was fairly pointless, in that there was nothing they told me that I did not already know, or could not easily have worked out. But again, small price to pay for getting up and running with a brand new insulin pump/CGM combo and all at zero out of pocket expense.

So far so good, but I’ll let you know my thoughts when I’ve had a chance to give it a proper test drive.

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