Thursday, December 16, 2010

Restoring a Bit of Faith in Medtronic

A long time ago, like over 3 months ago, my transmitter for my Metronic CGM "died".  I wrote a post that went into detail about what happened.  Actually nobody ever figured out what happened.  I spent a long time on the phone with customer support and in the end I was told my transmitter was fried and it wasn't the sensor.  I have spent the past two months on and off in contact with my local Medtronic rep.  I got in touch with her hoping she could help me out with getting a better deal on a new one.  They are $700 a piece and as I (and other Canadian D-bloggers) have mentioned that CGM supplies are almost always out of pocket in Canada.  I was going to do whatever I could, kiss whomever's ass I could to try and get a deal. 

The basic run down with my transmitter is that it was only 9 months old when it conked out.  They come with only a 6 month warranty.  Which I am still scratching my head about.  6 months, really? That's it?  Furthermore when my rep met with me to pick up my transmitter she looked at it and told me its highly unlikely that it is indeed toast.  No red lights, no problems with the flashy lights at all actually.  It seemed to function exactly as it is supposed to except it wasn't.  She tested it with other pumps, this that and the other thing.  Then she spent an hour on the phone with customer service just as I had.  She confirmed with the same confusion that it was toast.  But here's the good part, she stuck up for me.  She told Medtronic that I had indeed purchased my transmitter a few months before I had sensor training and thus convincing them to replace the transmitter free of charge.  Was any of that true? not at all.  It had been a couple weeks, not months between my receiving it and having the training.  Why did she do this?  Because she felt sorry for me.  She didn't want to see me shell out $700 when she was convinced that transmitter was a dud.  Not to mention I had said to her when we first got in contact that I was highly reluctant to buy another one after my experience.   So I received my transmitter in the mail along with 2 complimentary sensors!  It's a bit better than none.  I had 7 or 8 sensors that expired at the end of October yet I couldn't get my transmitter issued figured out before then.  Not to worry though, I put one of the old ones on today - I'll see how it functions.

For the record, if there are any of you out there using the Medtronic CGM system I did find out a bit more info that nobody would tell you otherwise.  I asked how long they usually last and she told me 1.5 years.  That doesn't sound good either, I know.  Another thing along the lines of Canadian CGM user I use 1 or two sensors a month.  I can't afford to use them full time, I just use them to keep tabs on myself every other week or so.  She told me if you aren't using them constantly or if you regularly let it sit on the charger for long durations of time (as in weeks or months) that could damage the battery.  I was told to take it on and off the charger as if I'm "using" it even if I'm not in order to not damage the battery.  I didn't know that, thought it might be a good tip for any of you out there.


  1. Thanks for the tip about not leaving it in the charger. It might already be too late for me, though.

  2. Interesting tips and story Scully...I read this earlier today while waiting for Staple to open so that I could buy Origami supplies (don't ask). Anyway, I am glad that your rep stood up for you girl!

  3. Does anyone know how long a Dexcom transmitter lasts?


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