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College Life with Diabetes: Study Sessions, Work Outs, First Dates and MiniMed Connect

David Norris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the fall semester of his freshman year of college in 2013. He started his diabetes management with insulin injections but a few months later started insulin pump therapy with the MiniMed® 530G with Enlite. Fast forward four years and David is now a college senior, experienced pumper, and MiniMed Ambassador. David was an early adopter of the MiniMed® Connect system and today he shares with us what his has been like adding MiniMed Connect to his diabetes management toolkit.

Growing up, I watched my mom battling diabetes. Through her, I was able to see first-hand the evolution in diabetes care from simple syringes and vials, to pre-loaded pens, and then finally to the insulin pump. When I started using the MiniMed 530G system in November 2013 after my own diagnosis, I saw it as an awesome step forward in diabetes care. With features like SmartGuard technology and seamless CGM integration, I knew I would be starting out in much more reliable hands than my mom was able to.

Since I began using the pump, I have always wished I could access my sensor glucose readings from my phone.  When I heard about MiniMed Connect, I was excited to try it out and see how it might improve my current pump experience.


While MiniMed Connect is intended to be viewed from my phone, I was mindful of the temptation to check my Facebook, Instagram or texting with friends on my phone while studying. I experimented with MiniMed Connect and was able to IMG_1044make it work for me when I realized I could just pull up the CareLink website on my computer’s internet browser and keep it in a small window in the corner of my screen. This way I would have continuous knowledge of my sensor glucose and be able to better keep it within range, as well as keep more on task by not having to turn away from the computer in order to check my numbers on either my pump or my phone.

An unexpected place MiniMed Connect and CareLink came in handy was at night while in bed. I kept my computer within sight of the bed and pulled up the CareLink website on the screen. I log in and leave the CareLink website up so at any point during the night I can look up at it and clearly see my sensor sugar, as well as my current trends and any alerts that may be going off. This made it a lot easier than trying to view my sensor sugar levels from my pump in the middle of the night like I previously did. I preferred the monitor to my phone because my phone has to be found and held, while the computer monitor is always on and within sight. In addition to the ability to easily view my blood sugar, the MiniMed Connect app was set to automatically upload my data every night. I like to be able to go and look at the reports and current trends without having to worry about uploading the latest data first.


FullSizeRenderAnother place MiniMed Connect helps out in my daily routine is at the gym. Before MiniMed Connect, I would have to bend over to look at my pump in order to see my current blood sugar, interrupting my work out routine. However, the treadmills we have at my school’s recreational center include access to a web browser. On that browser, I’m able to access the CareLink website and log into my CareLink account. From there I can pull up my historical sensor glucose chart as well as my current sensor glucose readings alongside my normal treadmill statistics. This allows me to clip the pump on my side and essentially forget about it unless action is needed, in which case I would be alerted.


While I’ve never been shy about my insulin pump or being diabetic, I find at times having to bend at odd angles or untangle tubing in order to see my current sensor glucose can be a little bothersome. Being able to see my pump and CGM data right on my phone allows me to check in any time without having to go through what can turn out to be a tedious process. Being able to check my pump data and sensor glucose right on my phone through the MiniMed Connect app also allows me to do so without alerting some of my more “concerned” friends who question my health whenever I do anything related to my pump. They mean well, but I’m not always in the mood to provide them with my latest stats whenever I take a look. Another place MiniMed Connect helps out is on dates. Especially first dates when you haven’t yet had the “pump talk.” MiniMed Connect allows me subtly check in on my numbers without forcing that “pump talk” to untimely occur.

Overall MiniMed Connect has improved my pumping experience. My only challenge has been finding time to fully charge the uploader. One tip I have is to charge it while in the shower. It might not have the time to fully charge, but it charges enough to use for the next day and a half. Aside from that, putting the most important information in the place I’m looking at more often than anything else (my phone), as well as making that information accessible on any internet connected device, allows me to better know and control my blood sugar in the on-the-go and unpredictable lifestyle of a college student.


MiniMed Connect is intended to provide a secondary display of CGM and insulin pump information on a suitable consumer electronic device to care partners and users of a MiniMed 530G system or Paradigm REAL-Time Revel system for the purposes of passive monitoring.

MiniMed Connect is not intended to replace the primary display of continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pump information on the primary display device. All therapy decisions should be based on blood glucose measurements obtained from a blood glucose meter. References to MiniMed Connect are shorthand references to the MiniMed Connect system and references to CareLink are shorthand references to CareLink Therapy Management software. MiniMed and CareLink are registered copyrights of Medtronic MiniMed, Inc.

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