Through our insurance company, we purchased an Activa AdvantaJet from HealthMor Personel Care for our 11 year old son Amos Stowers. Amos was beginning to develop knots on his arms and buttocks from the insulin injections, even though he rotates his injection sites. We decided to check into the jet injectors as we had heard that using one did not cause the knots. I surfed the web to do my research. The Children with Diabetes pages were very helpful in my research. I compared the jet injectors listed on the products pages and called for additional information. The reasons we chose the AdvantaJet are:
- It allows 1/2 unit delivery of the insulin.
- It has 12 comfort settings.
- It has a 30 day money back guarantee, for any reason.
- A registered nurse, in our case a diabetes educator, comes to your home and teaches you how to properly use and clean the device. The nurse even gave me her home phone so I could call her if I needed any help at all. She spent 2 hours at our home, going over the usage and cleaning several times with Amos, not mom and dad, to be sure he could do it himself.
- A video with all the instructions the nurse gives you comes with it in case you forget something.
- 24 hour a day technical support.
- They helped us get the paperwork through our insurance company.
- If our insurance would not have covered it, they were willing to finance it for us at payments we could easily afford to make. The price was US$789.
- Amos was at the age where he bordered between the GentleJet and AdvantaJet. They sent us the AdvantaJet and told me that if it was too powerful for his skin type they would trade it for a GentleJet and refund the difference to our insurance company.
It took from July until September 1996 to get approval. HealthMor Personal Care sent our endocrinologist the forms necessary to get approval from the insurance company, had the doctor's office fax the completed forms back to them and they dealt directly with the insurance company on the matter. Every time I called HealthMor to check on the status, they would follow up and call me back and let me know how things were progressing.
When the nurse received the jet injector she called and set up an appointment to come to our house. She did an excellent job of demonstrating the injector. It comes with a bottle of saline solution for you to use to practice with, so that you can determine the comfort setting best for you. We injected everybody in our family so that we could all see and feel exactly how it works. I was shocked, it does not hurt at all, done properly.
I purposely gave myself a shallow injection as well as a deep injection, so that I would know what my son would experience if he should ever have a shallow or deep injection. The shallow one stung and it felt like the saline splattered out around the injection site. The deep injection hurt, comparable to bruising your arm and I did in fact get a hideous looking bruise that lasted about a week from it.
We started Amos out on the lowest comfort setting and by luck it was just the right one for him. Amos thinks everybody that is diabetic should have one. He does not understand that they do not work for everybody. We did discover that the injection site needs to have some fatty tissue to inject into. Amos has no fat at all on his stomach or on his thighs and even on the lowest setting he experiences a "shallow" type injection. However, he does have just a little bit of fatty tissue on his arms and his buttocks, so he rotates those sites.
We have demonstrated this device for our doctors, friends who are diabetic and others who are interested. Everyone is just amazed! We are completely satisfied with the product. We are also very satisfied with the follow up by HealthMor Personal Care. They call periodically to check to see if we are having any problems, if we need insulin vial adaptors, etc. When we did have a problem, we received an immediate answer and it worked. They called once a week for the first month, once every 2 weeks the next two months and once a month ever since.
We recently took a trip to Washington, D.C. I was concerned, "Would the air pressure at 40,000 ft have an effect on the injector? What about airport security, would they think it was a bomb? What should we do about taking it thru security? etc". I posted my concerns on the Parents of Children With Diabetes message board. I received two very helpful e-mail responses from members. I was assured that the air pressure was not an issue by a man who had been using an injector for a couple of years. In fact, he insisted that using the injector was much easier than using a syringe during turbulence. He was absolutely correct. We did have to use it during some terrible turbulence and I was glad we had it, a bump of turbulence could have cause a syringe needle to break off in his arm. I received another e-mail advising me to get a document from our endocrinologist stating Amos was diabetic and needed to carry insulin, a jet insulin injector, lancets, alcohol swabs and his glucometer with him. I did. I did not have to produce that document even once. We went through airport-type security in several of the buildings we toured. I just pulled the injector out of the fanny pack we carried our diabetic stuff in and explained what it was and had no problems at all.
Amos's insulin requirements dropped about 1/2 unit (Humalog) per injection. The absorption rate is much higher than with a syringe type injection. wW had to make an adjustment to the comfort setting last month because he has grown and his skin is getting a tiny bit tougher.
We realize that this product, like any other product, will not work for everyone, but it sure has worked well for us. If you would like more information you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of children with DIABETES.
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 20:59:44
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