Thursday, 2 May 2013

Animas One Touch Ping Review

PING!!!

For those of you who don't know, the Animas One Touch Ping is an insulin pump. I think it's a pretty good insulin pump, but I've only had one insulin pump in my life, so who knows? Anyway, choosing an insulin pump is an important decision as it's going to be with you for the next five years, or however long your insurance company needs you to wait before getting another. In other words, you don't want to be stuck with an expensive piece of equipment you hate. That would just suck. But that's why I'm writing this review and you're reading it, so you can learn about the Animas One Touch Ping insulin pump to help you make an informed decision.

Appearance
The most important thing about a pump is how well it functions, but a lot of people including myself care about appearance. An insulin pump is going to be attached to 24/7. No matter how well it works, if you can't deal with what it looks like you're going to be unhappy. I think a pump needs to at least be neutral in that you don't like or dislike the style in order to wear it and not hate it. The Ping pump and the meter have a fairly nice appearance. The pump itself comes in five colours: green, blue, pink, grey, and black. While the meter only comes in grey. The material is also shiny which I think is an attractive quality. You can also by "skins" for the pump and meter which come in an array of colours and are made of silicone. Although I don't recommend one for the pump, depending on how you carry your pump. For instance, if you put it in a tight pocket I think the silicone will make it difficult to put the pump in the pocket as the silicone will pull against the material of your pants. However, it will help protect your pump so if you are prone to dropping things you may want to think about it. The screen on both the pump and the meter has a black background with white writing, and is quite easy to read. The only problem may be when you are in very bright sunlight, but in my opinion that is minor. Overall, I think the pump is stylish enough to be worn without feeling like you have an ugly, expensive, hunk of metal strapped to you. However, if you really don't like it, you can always find a way to hide it, you just have to get creative.

Ease of Changing the Site
The ping site (where it attaches to your body), has to be changed every two to three days, like most insulin pumps. I change mine every three days. People have been known to use it for longer, but I'm fairly new to the pump so I'm sticking to every three days for awhile at least. The amount of insulin the pump holds is 200 units, so if you need a lot of insulin you may be forced to change it every three days, or even every two days. But I think for most type one diabetics 200 units is more than enough. The site is fairly easy to change, and the pump gives you on screen prompts to remind you what to do next. Basically, what you do is: you remove your old cartridge (the thing that holds the insulin), rewind your pump, fill up a new cartridge (make sure the insulin is at room temperature), connect the cartridge to the tubing, put the cartridge in the pump with the cap on, load the cartridge, prime the tubing, insert the site into your body, and fill the cannula. It sounds like a lot but once you know how to do it, it's really simple. Sometimes you will get air bubbles in the tubing, but all you have to do is make sure you check it a couple times a day, and if you see an air bubble you just need to prime the pump to remove the air bubble. The hardest part is filling the cartridge because you have to make sure you get all the air bubbles out, but it will be like that with most pumps. There are also different types of insets (the things that attach to your body) that you can use with your pump. The only insets I have experience with are the inset two. With inset two all you do is pull it back, place it against your body, and squeeze the inset and it inserts the inset for you. I can't offer much opinion on the other ones, but I think I would prefer the automatic method rather than inserting it yourself. In short, the site is fairly easy to change. Although the noise does scare my dog every time I change it, and yes, it is the same dog featured in this post here.

Ease of Using the Pump and the Meter
The pump itself has all sorts of little things you need to do on it. Like, for example, you need to program in your insulin carb ratio, you insulin sensitivity factor, and a target blood glucose. Your doctor or health care provider will likely help you do all this, but if you do forget your pump comes with an owner's booklet that has everything you need to know about your pump and meter. Generally, the pump is pretty easy to program and use once you know what your doing. It also has tools to help you like ez carb and ez BG. For ez carb, you tell you pump how many carbs you are going to eat, enter your blood sugar, and it tells you how much insulin to take, and it also keeps track of your insulin on board (that which is still in you body) to avoid stacking insulin. Ez Bg is similar in that you tell it your blood sugar, and if you are above your target it tells you how much insulin to take. You can also use both of these features from the meter or the pump, so if you want, you never have to take your pump out during the day, unless you need to  program something. If you're not used to hand held devices like ipods, or cellphones that require a lot of button pushing, you may have difficult catching onto using the pump and meter. But I think that with practice and a little effort anyone can do it. Additionally, if you are used to hand held devices, you should pick it up in no time at all.

Problems
Overall, I haven't had that many problems with the One Touch Ping system. The only problem I have had is with the meter. I kept getting "error 1" messages, so I had to call Animas and they sent they me a replacement meter free of charge, with a prepaid return envelope for my old meter. However, I live in Ontario, Canada, and my pump is covered under the Assistive Devices Program. So depending on where you live and your insurance coverage or warranty, I don't know if you would have to pay for a replacement meter or not. I would suspect not because you didn't do anything to it, but I can't know for sure. Also, sometimes I will get a message when I go to bolus from my meter that says "the meter has lost connection with the pump", but I just go back to the home screen on the meter, and than try to bolus again and it normally works. Other than those two problems, the Ping system has worked well for me.

Thus, my review of the Animas One Touch Ping pump is ended. I hope this has helped you to make a decision on which pump to get, or whether to get a pump. I would recommend this pump, but it is ultimately up to you which one you go with.

Do you use an insulin pump? If so, what kind? If not, why? Tell me in the comments. Also, if you have any questions I have not answered about the Ping, or diabetes in general, feel free to ask me in the comments.

Update: After just over three years of using the ping, the side where the battery goes has cracked (see picture below). I was tightening the cap after changing the battery and it just cracked. The inside compartment where the battery actually goes is not cracked, just the outside casing. The pump still works fine. I called Animas about this and since my pump is still under warranty, they sent a replacement fairly quickly. I had no trouble getting them to send me a replacement. They were quite nice, and helpful. I could have gotten one the same day, but I decided not to use their emergency shipping, as the pump was not failing.

One thing I noticed when I got my new pump, is that the display is brighter. Which leads me to believe that the display fades over time, and I'm fairly certain it fades on the meter as well. I can barely see the display on the meter outside. I need to cover it with my hands or hold it under something in order to see the numbers. Just something to keep in mind if you're thinking of purchasing the ping. I still think Animas is a good company, and I'd still recommend the ping, even though it's not perfect. But no pump is. Things go wrong with things. That's why things have warranties. But on the whole, the ping has served me well.

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for this detailed review! We are researching pumps for our two year old that was recently diagnosed. This is helpful info!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad I was able to help!

      Delete
  2. If you've only used Animus...it's better than shots. I've had type 1 for 35 years, 7 with medtronic pump. Recently made to go Animus. It is a huge step down in user friendliness and company service. People raving about their Animus have not (I'm guessing) ever used anything different...they are grade B comared to Medtronic in almost every way. I can't think of one positive when compared side by side. My A1cs have gone up .8 since using Animus, can't read the display and do not trust this device that keeps me alive. Hoping to get back on Medtronic pump asap.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you've only used Animus...it's better than shots. I've had type 1 for 35 years, 7 with medtronic pump. Recently made to go Animus. It is a huge step down in user friendliness and company service. People raving about their Animus have not (I'm guessing) ever used anything different...they are grade B comared to Medtronic in almost every way. I can't think of one positive when compared side by side. My A1cs have gone up .8 since using Animus, can't read the display and do not trust this device that keeps me alive. Hoping to get back on Medtronic pump asap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be right, the Animus ping is the only pump I've ever used. I've only had diabetes for three and a half years, and got the Animus a year after being on shots. I chose it mainly because I liked the look better than Medtronic and they both seemed to have good reviews. I haven't had many problems with Animus but I might consider switching to Medtronic when I get a new pump to compare. I've been interested in Omnipod but it has such mixed reviews that I'm unsure about trying it. That won't be for a couple years though. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and I hope you get back on Medtronic soon.

      Delete
  4. glad i did my reasearching ,i have 2 children both type 1 ages 9 and 5 . and i think i will have to go with medtronic! ive heard nothing but possitive reviews! thanks for your reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have been a diabetic type 1 for 45 yrs...wanted to get on the pump to stop the highs and lows...I have had the pump for 2 weeks now and after calling and calling I cannot get any trainer to help me.I'm so frustated..I could cry!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sandra,

      Sorry I'm a little late in replying to this. I understand how frustrating it can be, but the pump can help you. It might just take some time to adjust everything. I still have to adjust my rates. That's the thing. People think we can just set it and go, but it takes a lot more than that. I'm sorry you can't find anyone to help you. I don't know where you are so I can't really say much about that. What I would suggest is keeping track of all your blood sugars and then making a chart either using an app or diasend. Look for patterns. Then adjust something and see how it works out. Also be mindful of exercise as it has a significant impact, but I'm sure you already know that. I'm sorry I can't offer more, but I hope it helps.

      Delete
  7. I have been a diabetic type 1 for 45 yrs...wanted to get on the pump to stop the highs and lows...I have had the pump for 2 weeks now and after calling and calling I cannot get any trainer to help me.I'm so frustated..I could cry!!

    ReplyDelete