My First Enlite Sensor Change With The Medtronic MiniMed 640G

A gentle vibration on my hip this afternoon told me that my Medtronic MiniMed 640G had a message for me, and when I looked, it was informing me that my sensor needed to be changed. The role of the sensor is to take a reading of my glucose levels and to translate it on the screen of the pump in a graph format. In the top right hand corner of the pump's screen, it also shows you the most current glucose level, from the sensor which is calibrated every few hours throughout the day.

MiniMed 640G Sensor Kit

The 'Guardian 2 Link Transmitter', the 'New Generation Enlite Glucose Sensor' and the pump work in what I would describe as a loop, talking to each other and giving feedback to the pump and user. The sensor readings update every 5 minutes which in turn enable you to not only see the glucose levels, but the direction in which they're moving. I love the arrows that are shown alongside the glucose level, because they indicate which direction you're glucose levels are moving in and how fast, because with diabetes, timing is everything. The triple arrow picture for example, tells me that if the arrows are pointing up, my glucose levels are increasing rapidly, at a rate of 0.167mmol/L per minute or more, according to my handy 'Getting Started Guide'. One of the other features of the pump is that you can put alert settings for both high and low glucose levels. All this together, means that the MiniMed 640G pump can not only tell you when your glucose levels are too high or too low, it can warn you in advance of the direction that they're heading in, so that you can act if needed (supported by a blood glucose test).

Enlite Sensor and Transmitter (Not to Scale)

So today it was time to change the sensor for the first time by myself, I wasn't scared, but I was a little unsure. So I used the 'Get Started Guide' to help me through the process, the other thing I did was take a picture of the old sensor that I had on before I changed it, that was done correctly with me by Kath the Medtronic rep, the first time. The first step was to (after washing my hands) open the packaging housing the new sensor and on a clean, firm surface, push the 'serter' on top of it gently. Once the two are connected the sensor has two little feet that poke out from under the serter, so you hold those down and remove the serter which now houses the sensor. Putting these next to the skin you then press the BIG green button, but its on the release of the button that the sensor goes in. At which point you continue to hold the serter and sensor to the skin to allow the adhesive to stick. I read in the guide that the time spent holding the adhesives next to the skin is what allows for a secure connection and I've found this to be true, because it's almost as though the heat from the skin activates the adhesive to make it stick.

Enlite Sensor and Electrode (Not to Scale)

These early steps are what I'd call the easy ones, because even after this second sensor application- I still didn't find it painful in anyway. Next you remove the needle housing again, not too taxing if you hold onto the sensor and take the housing away. But the step that took most concentration after removing the old sensor, charging the Guardian 2 Link Transmitter and attaching it to the new sensor until it stuck, is attaching the new taping and this is where the picture from earlier came in handy. The guide was still helpful because it has illustrations, but the sensor comes with a tap attached to its adhesive area that is used to tape down the Guardian 2 Link Transmitter. You have to move this to a flat position away from the first tape, put the first tape down landscape to the transmitter and then I've found it helpful to put another tape over the top of the sensor, as suggested by Kath. As that gives the whole package a lovely flush feeling against your skin. Which I think is important with a sensor because you don't want it to feel bulky in anyway. The pump already knew when I'd attached the sensor and I just confirmed that it was a new one and off it went to warm up.

The MiniMed 640G Warming Up To Receive Sensor Transmission

Altogether I'm not sure if I could say for sure if changing a sensor is a more lengthly process than a set change, because I'm more familiar with them so it's not a fair contest. But I have noticed that the sensors are comfortable to wear from the get go... allowing me to get going with the rest of my day.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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