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March 13, 2009

It all started on Monday when I was planning on putting in a long overdue sensor. I hadn’t worn one in over a week (I know, I’m such a slacker) but I finally had some open time at work when I could put in a sensor and let it warm out without worrying about a meal or a workout interrupting the calibration.

As I was digging out my transmitter, sensor and serter from my purse, I noticed that my little blue charger was missing. Hmm, I thought. That’s strange. My serter and my transmitter are normally always together, without fail, since I always use them together. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the last place I put my sensor in – I was pretty sure it was at Erik’s house just before we went down to see Layne and her husband in Manhattan. But maybe I had unpacked it at my apartment? Mystery…

I went ahead and inserted my sensor, letting the sensor warm up. After a couple of hours, the pump beeped asking for my calibration (I LOVE that my pump and my CGM are an all-in-one gadget!). I entered it, but a few minutes later I starting getting sensor errors. Finally, I got the dreaded BAD SENSOR. Feeling dejected having ruined my winning streak with sensors, I ripped the thing off, tossed my CGM supplies in my purse and didn’t give it a second thought.

Finally, today, I decided that I needed to start wearing the sensor because – hello – I’m going through all this HELL to get it approved and covered by United Healthcare. Might as well put that stress to good use! I brought my supplies out of my purse, inserted my sensor and waited for my pump to pick up the signal from my transmitter. But to no avail.

Panicking that this could be from a dead transmitter, I called Minimed to ask if they sold transmitter chargers (NOT transmitters, which are several hundred dollars). They did, the woman told me, but she said it cost $150.

Woah! Spendy little buggers. I declined to purchase it right now, deciding I should probably give searching for the charger one more go before I plop down $150 for something I might be able to find. I requested they transfer me to the 24-hour Help Line to see if the lack of signal was due to the battery problem or a bad sensor. I chatted with the representative, who was really sweet, and she explained that sometimes if you don’t see the little green dot on the transmitter or a strong signal on the pump, it just means the sensor hasn’t quite warmed up to the body. She says it can actually up to a couple of hours. Now, for me, I usually am set and rarin’ to go after five or ten minutes, but sometimes I’ve noticed it can take an hour or so before the sensor finally gets a hold of itself and starts to work. It was good to know this was totally normal. As I was talking to her, the signal indicator turned on, but I also told her the battery was definitely LOW. She said I can expect WEAK SIGNALS until I get the transmitter charged. Oy.

Even as I’m typing this, my transmitter indicator has turned back off. My transmitter battery is probably too weak to actually work. If it doesn’t perk back up, I’ll probably take the transmitter off, but keep the sensor in me and take a look around Erik’s house when I get there this evening after work.

I really hope I find it. I do NOT want to spend $150 on a transmitter charger… If anyone here has a Minimed transmitter charger that you’re not using, please let me know!

One Comment
  1. March 13, 2009 6:35 PM

    I’m grateful to hear that they’ll sell the chargers separately because my trainer told me they didn’t and I’d have to buy a whole new sensor if I lost the charger. Damn if I was gonna lose that thing!

    I’m also frustrated lately that I seem to get about 6.5 days use out of my sensors but every time I replace them the first one *always* gives me an error. So hooray getting twice the usage out of them, but boo needing to use two just to get one that doesn’t error.

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