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[IPp] Re: Glucowatch appeal

Sorry to hear about your long battle for the Glucowatch2 Biographer.  I 
hope when you do get hold of one Shannon will like it better than we do (so 
far)!  We were amazed this spring when we submitted a request for the G2 
and within two weeks it appeared at our door with a 3-month supply of 
sensors.  While our medical insurance (SC Blue Cross Blue Shield) has yet 
to allow anyone in SC to purchase one, our pharmaceutical insurance, Merck 
Medco, didn't bat an eye, just paid for it and charged us a co-payment of 
$7.00 plus another $21.00 for the 3 months of sensors!!!  We were so 
excited!  After 5 years of checking BGs every night, I was ready for a 
mechanical sugar-sitter, even if we only used it a couple of nights a week.

We studied the book, watched the video twice, passed our coding test 
without a problem, and carefully tried it out on my 8 year old 
daughter.  Our initial experience with it was not great.  Annie gamely wore 
it for 14 hours even though it was quite painful/irritating as long as she 
had it on.  Despite several supposedly successful re-calibrations, we never 
could get it calibrated to her blood sugar enough to get any readings that 
meant anything.  Out of over 60 readings, only a handful were within 50 
points of what her glucometer was telling us.  We got several alarms for 
"dropping" and "low" when her BG's were consistently above 130.  And when 
she did get down into the 70's in the 10th hour or so, the G2 assured us 
that she was safely 140 and higher.  I couldn't make sense of the 
discrepancies (I wouldn't have minded the differences if I could have 
extrapolated or transposed the G2 numbers to correspond to the numbers from 
her glucometers, for instance if they were consistently 50 points higher 
than her finger blood--at least I could have detected trends, etc.), but 
they just never seemed to mean anything.  And customer support was 
completely unavailable.  We sat on hold for hours, never getting a live 
person to help us; admittedly it was over a weekend, but what better time 
to try out a new device?  I believe I got a call-back several days later, 
but missed the call and they left no message.  And Annie still has the 
faint traces of the two sensors on her forearm, nearly a month later, 
although she didn't complain of discomfort once we took the watch off.

I wore the G2 myself a week later and was very uncomfortable, at least 
every 7 minutes or so as it zapped my skin.  Felt like a biting insect was 
trapped under the watch!  And I ended up with raw, itching blisters from 
the sensors that are still visible today.  I used the inside of my wrist, 
whereas Annie had it strapped to the outside of her arm, so maybe my 
reaction was more extreme because that skin is thinner or something.  On 
the up side, my numbers seemed more in line with my actual blood sugar (I 
used a glucometer 15 times during the 14 hours).

We are not giving up, but will wait awhile before we try it on Annie 
again.  It came to us just as we were starting on our new Animas pump, 
switching from Humalog to Novolog, beginning daily Synthroid therapy, and 
getting used to a mouthful of orthodontic appliances.  Too many new things 
at once.  Maybe we'll have better luck with the G2 next time out...

Hope your experience is much better!

Charlotte, pump-mom to Annie, dx'd Xmas 97 at age 3, pumping since 2000
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