Thursday, September 8, 2011

The One about the transmitter, the charger and the baby monitor

A couple weeks ago we started having issues with Princess's CGM.  We had been having problems here and there but they came to an exasperating high two weeks ago.

One night it just quit working.  We got "weak signal" and then "lost sensor".  I would start it back up and again we would get "weak signal" then "lost sensor".  I didn't think too much of it, shut it off and figured I would make it through one night without. No biggie.

Then it happened again the next night. Again, annoying but no big deal.  I shut the sensor off all night and just turned it back on in the morning.  Now it was starting to do the same thing during the day.  We would get the "weak signal" alarm and then the "lost sensor".  I called Medtronic to let them know what was going on and see if they had any solutions that I had not already tried.  They thought it might be the transmitter (we have had issues with the transmitter before) and it was still under warranty so they sent a new one.

I was ecstatic when it came!  I was ready to have the CGM fully working after 5 days of on and off signals. I charged the transmitter for 8 hours like they said, put a new sensor in Princess's arm and waited for the two hour warm up to get it going.  Well, that never happened.  It never even gave me a chance to enter a bg to start the sensor up.  It went directly to "weak signal" and "lost sensor".  I admit at this point I was starting to get angry.  After 5 nights of not much sleep I was tired and it showed in my attitude. I really just wanted it to WORK!! I was frustrated and discouraged.

We have never had issues like this with Lovebug's Dexie and she has been using it for over a year.  We had a couple bad sensors but NOTHING like this.  I decided to wait another 24 hours and try it again.  We did get signals on and off during the day, so that was helpful, I guess. In the mean time I did everything I could think of to get the CGM to work.  We changed the tape that we were using to hold the transmitter on.  I tried having her sleep with the pump out of her pump pouch so it was closer to the transmitter.  I re-read the entire manual on inserting and using the CGM.  I thought maybe something would catch my eye and I was just doing something wrong that I hadnt' been doing before.  Honestly, we had had really good luck with the CGM up until now and I hadn't changed anything until the sensor started getting all these weak signals and lost sensors.

I ended up calling my fellow D-Mama, Misty and talked to her about the sensor and see if she had any ideas of why it wasn't working after getting a new transmitter. It looked like I was doing everything right.  I was at a lost, until she started talking about the charger for the transmitter.  What she was saying made sense.  Maybe the transmitter wasn't getting charged enough and the charger was the faulty piece of equipment.  I went with that and called Medtronic (again)  to explain what was going on.  Their customer service was great, as usual, and they had a new charger to us the next day.

So, we took the transmitter off Princess's arm and let it charge for another 8 hours after we received the new charger.  I was confident this would work and we would have a working sensor again that night. I even put a new senor in just to make sure that is wasn't the sensor for some reason.  I wanted to take every precaution I could to make sure it worked.  I hooked her all up and waited for the warm  up period to be done and NOTHING!!!  Weak signal and lost sensor yet again.  I was so frustrated.  Seriously, I just wanted to sleep at night without worrying so much!! It had been over a week at this point.  Again I shut the sensor off for the night and started it back up in the morning.

The next morning was worse, at first anyway.  I started the sensor up and it immediately went to lost sensor.  What the heck is going on???   I shut the sensor off, turned it back on and linked the sensor back up. This time it at least went to warm up period.  We were on our way up north to my in-laws house for the day and I was NOT happy the CGM wasn't working.  Much to my surprise, on the way up (in less then two hours) I got a "meter bg" signal.  Holy smokes!!  It actually wanted a start up bg!!  Woo Hoo!  The CGM worked perfectly all day!  No weak signals and it was accurate.

We got home and put the girls to bed. Then guess what?  That damn weak signal and lost sensor was back, AGAIN!!!  At this point I was a livid and I don't get upset very easily but the darn thing had been working all day! What in the world was going on??

Once again I was on the phone to Medtronic's helpline and they were even at a lost.  They ran over a long checklist of things and I had done all of them. The only thing they could say was that we weren't using the stomach area for her sensor like they suggest. (even though the sensor does work on other area's of the body, it's because all the clinical trial information was from use in the stomach)  As a last resort they thought it might be the pump (or receiver) and decided to replace the pump with a new one but did tell me that was their last option. After that they had done everything they could do on their end.  I understood.  They had been great and I knew they were trying everything they could to get the CGM to work properly.  Because I called on a Holiday weekend and the next day was Labor day I wouldn't receive the new pump until Tuesday.  I was okay with that, but seriously just praying the new pump was going to fix the problem.

Monday night, like the crazy woman I am, tried yet again to get the CGM to work.  It was still working on and off during the day and I was hopeful that maybe I would do some small thing different and we would get a working CGM.  Yeah, no luck. Within 10 minutes of putting Princess to bed we had a lost sensor, again. (now here comes the good part!)

As I was sitting next to her bed, more discouraged then ever,  I remembered something the customer service rep had said the night before. She had asked if we used a baby monitor in the house. I said yes, of course, so we could here the CGM alarm at night.  She asked when we started using it and I said that we purchased a new on right before we got Princess's pump back in May.  Apparently they can interfere with the signals, on occasion.  I knew it wasn't the monitor since it the CGM had been working just fine up until now.

I got to thinking, as I was looking at the baby monitor.  We have the most problems at night so maybe something upstairs was interfering with it.  Or something one of the neighbors were using, just at night?  Really a lot of things were running through my mind about what was interfering with it.  Not that I was sure that was it, I did kinda think it was the pump.

Anyway, I decided to try changing the channel on the baby monitor just to see if by some crazy chance it would work. (sense they had said something about the baby monitor the night before) I linked the sensor again and waited up there to see if it would work. I wasn't very hopeful but after 5 minutes I got the "Meter BG" and checked her bg and entered the number.  Then I waited.  I waited to get the weak signal and lost sensor, It never happened!!!!  The damn thing was WORKING!!  I cautiously went down stairs and waited to hear the CGM alarm for the weak signal.  30 minutes passed.  I checked it, still working.  1 hour passed and still working.  2 hours, still working.  Are you kidding me?? I have gone (almost) two weeks at this point and after all this the solution was a easy as changing the channel on the baby monitor?!  Oh my word!!  I couldn't decide if I wanted to pull my hair out, beat my head against the wall for not thinking of it sooner or be excited about it! Could it really had been that simple?  Oh yes, It was that simple.

The CGM worked great, all night, and her new pump came that next morning.  I almost didn't switch them over and called Medtronic back to tell them that it wasn't the pump after all. After thinking about it all day I decided to just keep the new pump, just in case there was something wonky about it and that contributed to the problem.  Might as well cover all of our bases!

Funny thing was, the same day we got the new pump and after I had discovered that it was the baby monitor interfering after all, my friend and fellow D Mama, Misty sent me a message wondering if it might be the baby monitor?  I laughed out loud when I read that!  I had to call her and tell her.  I told her she must be psychic!

I am happy to say that the CGM as been working great for the past 3 days!  Better be anyway now that we have a new transmitter, charger and pump!  I have to add that through it all Medtronic's customer service was amazing and I was very impressed. They seriously went above and beyond to help me find a solution to the problem never questioning me or what I was doing or giving me a hard time about anything.  They were wonderful and I am so grateful. It made the whole process just a little easier knowing they were honestly doing all they could.



3 comments:

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Oh my goodness!!! I'm so glad that you finally figured out it was the baby monitor.

The DL said...

wow! I have never heard of that before! That's good to know!!

Misty said...

I'm SO happy that this CGM mystery was finally solved. I was losing sleep over it too!!

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