Reviewing the Medtronic Guardian® Link Sensor

On my last post, I mentioned to you all that I ordered the Medtronic MiniMed 630G with the Guardian® Link glucose sensor. I received my order on Wednesday of last week and had my training this past Sunday. Here is my review.

 

Getting Started

To begin, I have to say, the delivery was fast, although, there was a problem with the delivery. I asked for the delivery to be shipped to my office, but it was shipped to my house, I wasn’t home, so they left a note telling me I needed to drive 60km to the “nearest” FedEx to pick it up. I called Medtronic right away and they were extremely helpful. I ended up getting my box the next day at the office.

As you can see in the header image above, the box was full of sensor and insulin pump equipment – 11lbs worth, to be exact. It was a little overwhelming at first (still is a bit overwhelming), but at least I know what each item is at this point.

 

What’s in the Box

Inside this 11lb box, there were the following items:

• Guardian® Link Glucose Sensor Transmitter
• Extra ENLITE® Sensors (which work with the Guardian® Link transmitter)
• Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter (with lancets, test stripes, a carrying case, etc.)

• Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump
• Tubing
• Infusion Sets
• 7 Training books and 1 Contour® Next Link 2.4 quick guide book

I’m sure I’m missing some items, but these are the main items.

Training

The training process is great. The Medtronic certified trainer that I had was amazing. She took the time to explain everything to me, asked me if I had any questions or concerns and got me started on the Guardian® Link. We made an appointment to meet this Sunday to hook me up to the pump, which I may be cancelling, I’ll explain later. All in all, the training process was extremely helpful and educational.

 

The Guardian® Link

Now, let me tell you about the Guardian® Link, which was the whole reason I chose the Medtronic MiniMed over the Omnipod.

The first thing my certified trainer told me was that with this glucose sensor, you still need to check your blood glucose 4 times a day, in fact, the only way the Guardian® Link will work, is if you do so. Right after she told me this, I was confused and a little frustrated. As you may know, I currently use the Freestyle Libre, which is extremely accurate for a SG (sensor glucose). I rarely need to use a finger prick, unless I don’t feel low or high when the sensor is telling me that I am. 99% of the time, my freestyle is right, and I just didn’t feel it.

To go from 1-2 finger pricks a week, to have to go back to 4 times a day is unimaginable. Some of you may think I’m being dramatic, but once you understand the freedom of scanning your sensor without having to sit down, pull out test strips (drop half of them on the floor), making sure your hands are clean, pricking your finger and then hoping enough blood comes out for the test strip to be accepted. It’s like someone giving you a cell phone and telling you that the only way you can use it is if you keep it plugged into the outlet. What’s the point?!

It gets worse (from my perspective at least)

If you don’t check your BG when it tells you to, your sensor will stop working. Not only that, it will beep or vibrate (depending on your settings) until you do so. So, if you forget your Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter at work or at home, and you need to calibrate your sensor, too bad, it will not work. To me, it’s like giving you freedom and then taking it all away from you. As far as I know, if your sensor is still attached to your arm/ insertion spot, the alarm will keep ringing minimum every hour until you check your BG.

I learned this the hard way last night, when I realized I forgot the Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter at work. So I was woken up at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, etc. to tell me I need to calibrate the sensor. I was pretty close to ripping it out of my arm and throwing the insulin pump outside, but I didn’t.

 

If You’re Buying the MiniMed for the Predictive Highs and Lows

Don’t. Unless you absolutely need to be warned with alarms, go with the Freestyle Libre. Even if you need the alarms, I would suggest the Dexcom before suggesting this one. Don’t buy this for the sensor. Most people, which I just found out now, don’t use the Guardian® Link with the MiniMed 630G insulin pump, because of the above mentioned issues.

 

What’s Next

The reason I chose the Medtronic over the Omnipod, was because of the sensor that worked with the insulin pump. Now that I know I dislike the sensor, I think I’m going to switch to the tubeless Omnipod. I’ll write another post when or if I make the switch or if I end up staying with Medtronic. I’ll also let you know why.

 

 

Do you use an insulin pump, a CGM or both? Which one do use and why? What are your pros and cons?
Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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