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Re: [IP] Disetronic vs. minimed


I need to preface this answer with a very strong "YMMV-MD (Your Mileage May
Vary - Mine Did)".

It is very tricky to discuss pump features / shortcomings / problems /
successes without bending somebody the wrong way. These discussions
typically generate some flames, which is certainly not my intent. Pump
users tend to be very loyal to their pumps and I don't want to upset any
relationships. Please be patient and read through the entire story. I am
relaying *my* experiences, perhaps mixing in a small amount of opinion, but
trying very hard to give you "just the facts, as they relate to my story".
I think the important part is at the end and I have marked it so.

The features which I don't have in my Disetronic H-TRONplus V-100 are: Back
lit Display (I don't need it, especially since it tends to draw more power
from batteries, draining them faster);  Square Wave Bolus feature (I have
never used a square wave, even with my MiniMed 506); .1 unit bolus
increments (I have mine programmed for .5 unit bolus increments - suits me
just fine, thanks; basal rates, naturally, are programmed in .1 unit
increments ;-))

My Disetronic *DOES* have an audio bolus feature, which I like very much.
My pump also does not "click" when the motor advances, which I also like,
especially when bolusing. My pump is *definitely* waterproof, which I
really like (technically, the specs state that the pump is waterproof to
the depth you can dive without supplemental "breathing apparatus").

The D does Temporary basal increases and decreases as a percentage of the
rate currently in effect - this feature is *very* valuable to me, since my
exercise tends to cover extended periods of time. What this means for me is
that I don't need to re set my temp basals to maintain a constant
difference between the temp basal rate and my normal basal rate for that
time period when the normal basal rate changes at the hour. This I believe,
is a subtle, but oft overlooked feature.

Without going into all the painstaking details, I experienced a lot of
difficulty with my MM 506 in areas that I consider "quality control" areas.
I spent far too many months with leaky reservoirs (reaching a 20% - 33%
failure rate); quick release infusion sets where the needle in the quick
release hub section was "bent" and nearly sticking out the side of the
septum; I returned several pumps for problems, and during the repair
procedures, MM determined that "Oh, by the way, the buttons were damaged,
so we replaced the pump" - button problems were not the reason the pumps
were returned in the first place (never had a problem with my Disetronic
buttons, by the way). 

In all fairness, MM eventually was interested enough to have the QC manager
contact me directly (I actually insisted on it) to discuss the issues with
the leaking reservoirs, but they lost the defective samples I returned to
them and were not able to test them. I had a *REAL* issue with that, since
it provided some of the strongest evidence that there was a problem with
leakage at the O-Rings. I was not comfortable with how this transpired.

I used Humalog in my pump from the day it was "officially" released. MM was
not interested in this at all and our relationship quickly got to the point
where their Tech Support folks would *not* talk to me about pump problems
or problems with the consumables (reservoirs, infusion sets) because I was
using Humalog. (Interesting how both the companies now "advocate" Humalog
in their pumps ;-)). Things change I guess ...

This next part is important:

I think the single biggest lesson I learned from my struggle is that
despite all the marketing "hype", testimonials from users, etc., there is
no single solution which is equally good for every pumper. This was a very
difficult decision for me to arrive at - many sleepless nights and some
tears were shed over this. I had gotten to the point where I was wondering
if pump therapy was going to work at all for me.

I also learned that my experiences were just that - *MY* experiences. They
could not be generalized to the entire pumping community. If I had problems
with a particular vendor's solution (and I did), then perhaps that solution
was not the appropriate one for *ME*. At this point, I decided I owed it to
myself to investigate another brand of pump, before I gave up on this form
of therapy. Since I had always been in the habit of documenting everything,
I had much of my supporting information ready when I approached my doc and
the insurance company.

I switched pump vendors. I am happy with the switch I made and have not
experienced problems with this pump.  I remain vigilant, though. I'll
aggressively pursue any issues *if* they arise and try to chase down the
proper solution. If this solution gives me problems, you all will know it ;-)

Apologies for the ranting part of this .....


mailto:email @ redacted

>If i remember correctly you have a disetronic now...did you previously
>have a minimed?  What made you switch?  I am working on getting an
>upgrade from a 506...I would really appreciate the waterproof
>capabilitites of the D but the backlite, audio bolus,  being able to give
>0.1 boluses, the square wave and minimeds customer service fighting for
>an upgrade are steering me in that direction...BUT the only other person
>who has used both prefers D and another pumper is making the switch...any
>feedback guys? Michelle Piper at email @ redacted
>>Thorough record keeping also came in handy a year later when I needed 
>>replace my pump, switching to another. Although the insurer wondered 
>>once they had my documentation, they did not argue.
>>mailto:email @ redacted
>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
>Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]
>Insulin-Pumpers website   http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
Bob Burnett

mailto:email @ redacted
Insulin-Pumpers website   http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/