So I'm hooked up... I finally got my chance to try Medtronic's MiniMed Guardian RT, the only other continuous glucose monitoring system currently on the market besides the DexCom. I am one of the few who's had the chance to sample both. So far, it's been a somewhat bumpy beginning, which leads me to believe that my initial conclusion was spot-on: CGM is a great idea that's still in its infancy and not quite ready for prime-time.
Allow me to break out a few details on my "first look" at the MiniLink sensor...
First off, this packaging kind of threw me for a loop. Does this imply that the MiniLink will allow me to once again indulge in my favorite food in the whole wide world -- carrot cake with cream cheese icing? Sadly, I think not.
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Second, the Guardian receiver looks exactly like a MiniMed insulin pump. Because it IS a MiniMed insulin pump; it's made from the same casing, that is. Economies of scale and all that. But since I've never used a traditional insulin pump before, it feels weird to have this pager-ish thing hanging off my belt all the time. I can't tell you how glad I am that I'm not attached to it via long plastic tubing.
Third, this marketing photography is a little deceiving. Like those who've tried the MiniLink before me, I've discovered that the "shell" portion flops around freely unless you cover the whole thing completely with a clear medical adhesive patch from Smith & Nephew (provided with your Guardian RT supplies).
STUFF I LIKE
Calibration is a heck of a lot easier with the Guardian that with the DexCom, for sure. All you have to do with the Guardian is push some buttons to plug in the BG result you got with your regular fingerstick meter -- whichever model that happens to be. No need to hook the CGM up to any traditional meter via cable and hope that the two can communicate.
Alarm tones are much softer and less intrusive than with the DexCom. Good for sleeping. Good for our marriage :)
Record-keeping prowess! The Guardian has that MiniMed feature set that allows you to "capture event" -- meaning you can input every BG result, carb count, insulin dose, and exercise session if you want to. Then use their CareLink software for complete records download. I haven't tried that yet, but it sounds powerful.
So far, on Night 1 the unit missed a 220 reading -- it had me at 144 for hours. Dern!
I also lost the first sensor because the rep insisted I try it on my lower back (see pix), and the cannula popped out on Day 2.
I've had "lost sensor" reading 3 times already, for no apparent reason.
And right at this moment, the Transmitter is telling me that the battery is dead -- after just 4 days of wear.
Hmmph. I charge on.