So why two pumps? Well let’s just say the Cellnovo did not live up to it’s concept. In fact it was downright unworkable. The idea was good in principle, but in hindsight if I’d been given all of the information at the time of choosing I may have held off for what I eventually ended up with, the Roche Insight.
- A lot of stuff to carry about, spare pump, insulin reservoirs, syringes and needles, cannulas (with excessive packaging), bits of Velcro
- The pump had pretty sharp corners, meaning that you had to be very careful with placement and it was not as comfortable as I imagined when sleeping.
- The insulin reservoir has a hard wired timer in it, with a three day limit (which I had not known about beforehand). This timer gave a 12 hour warning, once, and then at 72 hours exactly, whatever you were doing, the pump stopped and there was no way to extend this however inconvenient it might be. The real effect of this was a lot of wasted insulin in my case plus a need to plan changes early, wasting more insulin
- The handset was in regular contact with the cloud, every few minutes day and night which had two effects, the handset battery being little more than a day and in my case acting as potential source of ignition on petrochemicals plants.
- One complete failure of the handset. Simply decided not to unlock itself. Particularly annoying as this was just two weeks into use and I was also suffering an unknown pump failure at the time (from the beeping going on) and I was in the middle of a three hour drive. I eventually unlocked it to then need to replace the pump with the spare one and a new insulin reservoir, wasting the one I’d changed earlier that day.
- One completely failed pump, just stopped working. Would not communicate with the handset and developed a tendency to eject it’s insulin reservoir spontaneously.
- I had repeat problems with insulin reservoir changes. The concept being that the pump and reservoir were attached to each other, synched and then got on with it. In reality, I was experiencing several failures in this system with pump and reservoir losing communication and/or just failing to synch to start with resulting in the need to refill a second brand new reservoir.
You might think this was a rash decision, but not really. Roche are a well proven name in the game of insulin pumps, and this was my second choice anyway. The only thing that turned me off of it was the tubing, but there are several other features that I hadn’t known about beforehand that I see entirely as positives.
- Use of pre-filled insulin cartridges (only 160U which is an issue for some, but not with my low doses) that can last 6 days before replacement, based on risk of denaturing. Cartridges very easy to change with a simple endcap that is a push, twist, lock fit integrating the tubing.
- Alternating the cannula only and full cartridge change every three days. The cannula inserter is great as well, with a very clever mechanism to hide the introducer needle.
- Handset battery is superb, lasting three days or more so far, and can be turned completely off.
- Handset auto start on insertion of a BG test strip.
- Less obtrusive during exercise
- No rechargeable battery usage in the pump itself, uses AAA lithium or alkaline only. Battery life good so far though
- The tubing – 70cm so far, still getting used to that, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t intrusive, but putting the pump in an arm strap MP3-holder is reasonably unobtrusive and comfy to sleep in.
- The size of it – it’s quite a bit bulkier than the Cellnovo which was matchbox sized, where the Insight is about the size of an old-fashioned pager.
- Need to tailor the supplies, so far I only have supplies of cannulas with the tubing and cartridge connector. I need to tailor this to be a mix next time.
So, Merry Christmas to all, and I’ll see you soon.