Monday, April 21, 2014

Animas Vibe Rollout

Last week I started on the Animas Vibe after an uphill without a paddle battle with my insurance company. My Insurance coverage is good. It clearly states in my booklet that I have coverage for an Insulin pump AND for a Continuous Glucose monitor. This is almost unheard of in most Canadian policies, so when I started this job I thought of how wonderful and easy this was going to be.

My Animas insurance rep submitted the pre-approval paperwork and it got denied. I called and explained they couldn't deny, copied them the part of my policy that states they can't deny it and waited. 4 days later I was denied again. I wasn't allowed to speak to the person ("medical professional") that was making the decision. I was spoken to like I didn't know what I was talking about, and our conversation ended abruptly.

I then had to call my HR department at head office in Toronto. Thank goodness for them. And as wonderful and hard working as they are, they still had some difficulty grasping that the Animas Vibe and the G4 transmitter was an insulin pump AND a continuous glucose monitor. The Insurance company declined the coverage because they would cover my pump but not the transmitter or sensors. I tried to explain that the pump/CGM can't function without the transmitter and sensors...otherwise I would stay on my ping.

In the end, after a lot of battles with the insurance company. After a lot of reminding myself that this is not everyone's day to day life so I should be patient with them in explaining. In the end after explosive conversations...I have my Vibe.

Let's get in to that.

So, as most of my readers know I work at JDRF. I used this opportunity to teach my manager and co-worker what kind of technology we are fundraising for. I connected and set up my new pump in a mini-class teaching them how everything works. They have seen it all before, the person in my position before me was also a PWD, so it was mostly an update on tech for them.

Upon inspection the Vibe is slightly thinner than the Ping. But otherwise they looked identical. I went with blue because every pump I have ever owned has been Blue from my original Medtronic 506 to now. I can't break the chain, even if pink was temping me.

My first sensor was a dud. I knew how to insert, tape it and make sure it was doing everything it was supposed to. It kept me up all night alarming for me to treat my high, but fingersticks revealed I was very much in range and this sensor was po-dunk. I called Animas first thing in the morning and they were going to courier one out to me immediately. I got a sensor failed shortly after this photo was taken. Of two sensors I have ever worn in my abdomen, both have failed. Figure that one out!

This was during my switch in meters last night. I am getting rid of the One Touch Ping meter, I like the contrast on the screen but it is suuuuuuuuper bulky compared to the Verio, plus the Verio has a backlight. Another stubborn afternoon high. This time an entire hour of walking and jogging with my dog would budge it. 

This, to me, is the most beneficial screen. It is an EXCELLENT snapshot of what is happening in my bionic pancreas, and how I should plan accordingly. This was a snapshot of me at the gym after running my butt off because I was fighting a stubborn highish for hours. The red arrow is telling me the exercise is doing exactly what it was supposed to do. I can see my IOB, time, everything. It is set to the activate button on top of the pump and I love it. THIS is why I have a CGM.
There are a few features, like a food log, that I haven't really figured it out. But the first week is super successful. I am more confident going to the gym and running, and going to bed. I am a bit more aggressive with my treatments and my insulin regimen.

My starting A1C officially (lab not meter) is 6.8. We will see if I can get down to my target of 5.9 with less lows.

I love data!


  1. Congratulations on getting your Vibe and your CGM (and for winning the battle over coverage)! Hopefully this makes everything easier for you going forward.

  2. Super excited for you... can't wait to read how it works for you in the coming months. Congrats!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your new experience! I'm sorry you had to deal with the frustration but glad it worked out in the end!! Ever since January of last year with a new insurance provider, my claim for pods gets denied every single time. They request paperwork every single time. They eventually approve the claim every single time. I've asked multiple times what it is about the pods that results in this ridiculousness, and they cannot tell me. They do not apparently have a different code than regular infusion sets. Insurance can be maddening.