Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Snappy

After a 30-day trial and a talk with my endocrinologist, I've decided to start pumping officially with the Asante Snap insulin pump.
I'm frequently asked how I have the opportunity to try so many insulin pumps. The answers, briefly, are (1) having an endo who trusts me enough to allow me to experiment, (2) having a husband who will financially support and encourage an "early adopter" mentality, and (3) paying for some of it out-of-pocket so as not to tempt fate with my insurance company.

In this particular case, Asante actually approached me about their 30-day trial in mid-2013 and I had the opportunity to start the trial in November. Because they were soliciting my feedback, they also offered to let me keep the controller portion of the product if I wanted to start using their system. What worked to my benefit was that my insurance covers the monthly supplies and that my endocrinologist was happy to write me the prescriptions I needed. I am Asante's first customer in Texas.

Somewhat related to my decision was that I am being forced onto Humalog in 2014 by Express Scripts International (my insurance plan's Pharmacy Benefit Manager) and Snap is currently Humalog-only (with plans to design a Novolog version), so this was something I felt I could move forward with.

I always have anxiety about switching to a new pump. What if I don't like it? Asante is so confident about their product that they will let you try it for 4 weeks. That really piqued my interest. I tried it and I liked it. And the startup price is so low that, even if they hadn't offered to let me keep a controller, I would have been able to manage the low out-of-pocket costs to switch to the device.

I don't have much more to report about the device than what I reported in my initial review after my first week on it. I felt the same at the end of my trial as then. I really appreciate how little I have to think about the pump itself.

I will echo what Kim said about Snap's lackluster accessories. Much like the Dexcom G4 leather belt holster, I am certain they were designed by and for men. I don't like the options for a case or clip that Snap came with, but I don't usually like belt clips or leather holsters on my pumps (or my phone either). Maybe it's because I don't wear a belt and I often have a kid on my hip that knock those things off.

I prefer drop clip cases that hang from a beltloop and stay out of my way - like the Clip n Go that I used with my Cozmo and the Tallygear G4 case I use for my Dexcom. Fortunately, however, the Tallygear Dexcom case (of which I own three) is perfect for the Snap and I'm loving that I can see the full pump face and control all the buttons without fishing it out (though I do have to remove it to use the handy flashlight). The pump is visible, accessible, yet protected.

I love how quickly I can change out my site and that I don't have to change the tubing unless I'm changing the whole pump body. I just change the site every three days.


And on Day 6, I can change the insulin cartridge and pump body and tubing in under 2 minutes and did it in the dark the other night when I got the low insulin alert before bed.

I love how little I have to carry around with me. I'm carrying a tiny purse that holds my wallet, phone, keys, glucose tabs, meter/strips/lancet, syringe, 3mL pre-filled cartridge, slim pump body, and site. I love tiny purses and women with diabetes never get to carry them! (I was the only 5th grader in my class with an old lady handbag.) And now I have an itty bitty zippered barrel bag.

I don't love being back on Humalog. I'm not going to lie. My highs do seem to drag on for longer. It's not as peppy as Apidra, but it's a battle I was willing to fight only so hard (more on that later). If I'm going to be on an insulin I'm not thrilled about though, I love that I get to use these awesome little 3mL vials and I don't have to worry about compromised insulin or air bubbles and that I get the whole 300+ units from it. I can continue pumping on Snap down to the very final .05u of the vial.

I do like Omnipod still, but it's just never going to be my favorite pump. Its idiosyncrasies are often maddening. I didn't ever experience the frequent pod errors people complain about - on the old or the new versions of the systems, but my occlusion rate was always very high. Maybe once a week. And pods would fall off. Occupational hazard of having little feet climbing all over me, I guess. And the PDM was so often still in my purse or on the kitchen counter when I'd be in bed with a sleeping toddler on my arm and want to bolus. I do like wearing the controls on my person. That's probably the best testimonial for a tubed device. I want it right there with me.

I am optimistic about Snap. I think Asante is a confident and capable new challenger to the existing pump market and I love how responsive they've been to me. I am 10 days in with my new RED controller (thank you for allowing me to exchange for the color I wanted, Asante) and, knock on wood, I'm problem-free.

Well...at least as far as my insulin pump is concerned.

7 comments:

  1. What is a new pump body? I really don't understand quite how it works, and am confused by the terminology!

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    1. I go into this more in my initial review, but the pump consists of 4 pieces - the glass insulin vial/cartridge, the tubing with cartridge cap, the controller (the pump face with the buttons), and the pump body (the disposable battery/cartridge holder).

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  2. I tried to do a trial with them, but they said they weren't servicing my area code yet. I'm am beyond frustrated with the new Omnipod. Every other pod fails after a couple of hours or a day. I have run through all my insulin and had to call to get my prescription increased just so I could get another vial. I'm seriously tempted to change to something else and I like that you put the whole vial in the pump body. I also like only having to make a site change instead of filling a reservoir with insulin. When can I get on this one?????? :-)

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    1. They should be set up in our area in early 2014, so soon hopefully.

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  3. I'm on the hunt for a new pump ( remember all the work it took me to get my first one?!?). So far it isn't in the Kaiser system that I have seen, so I'm hoping this Animas Ping will hold out a little longer. Can you still use Inset infusion sets with it? I love the idea of using the Humalog cartridges. I always thought it was stupid to take insulin out of the vial in order to put it into another reservoir.

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    1. Yes, the infusion sets are just like the Animas insets, but they have a specially designed cap connected to them. They come in short and long tubing. They also offer a manual Comfort set that's angled. Also short and long tubing. And both styles come in two cannula lengths - 6mm and 9mm.

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