Andrew lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and uses the t:slim X2 insulin pump to manage his diabetes. He recently updated his t:slim X2 insulin pump to have the Basal-IQ technology update, which was released in Australia in August 2020. We spoke to Andrew about his experience with the Basal-IQ technology update and how it is helping with his diabetes management day-to-day.
Why did you initially choose the t:slim X2 insulin pump?
When I heard AMSL Diabetes was bringing out the t:slim X2 insulin pump as the Animas Vibe replacement, there was lots of excitement in the online T1D community. The Animas Vibe was my first pump after over 42 years of MDI experience. I got it after 12 months on Dexcom G4 PLATINUM which showed my evening/overnight low glucose levels and morning Dawn Phenomenon.
I’ve now been using the t:slim X2 for over 2 years, being the first to start on the t:slim X2 in Australia on Sept 13, 2018! The promised look and feel of the pump met all my expectations, cartridge changes were a little tricky at the start, but easy-peasy now. And doing a one on one tech session with AMSL Diabetes staff in March last year was wonderful too.
Describe the process of updating your t:slim X2 with Basal-IQ technology?
As soon as I got my hands on the update request form, I filled it in and sent it to my Endo. We had spoken a short time before that about doing the upgrade and he was all for it. Once signed, he sent it back to me and I sent it off to AMSL Diabetes. The next day I got the link for the online training video’s – and within an hour I had completed it, with the certificate sent back to AMSL Diabetes. The videos were easy to understand, particularly because I already felt like I understood how Basal-IQ worked from playing with the t:simulator demo app on my phone.
Later in the afternoon, I got my link to download the updater software and my code to unlock Basal-IQ technology on my pump. Updating the pump was easy, and the process was completed pretty quickly. I reloaded the cartridge and I was up and running. It wasn’t until a few days later, I was able to pick up my Dexcom G6 Starter Kit and begin Basal-IQ, so I had my existing Dexcom G5 Mobile still working on my phone in the meantime.
The Dexcom G6 has additional new features over the Dexcom G5 Mobile but I think Basal-IQ itself has one main task – to reduce / eliminate low glucose events. And for me, oh my gosh, it so has!
Do you feel you received enough support from AMSL Diabetes in transitioning to Basal-IQ?
To be honest, I didn’t feel like I needed any extra support. The material provided before transitioning was more than enough for me. I attended one of the earlier Dexcom G6 webinar presentations and then also attended the first NSW Basal-IQ webinar session too. The sessions were aimed at those who know very little about them [Dexcom G6 and t:slim X2 with Basal-IQ technology], but I did pick up on a few bits and pieces, that made attending worthwhile.
This was all clearly explained again in the material provided during the upgrade process. So overall for me, it was pretty easy.
And how does the Basal-IQ software help you manage your levels day-to-day?
Having had an HbA1c below 6% for over 20 years (and sub 5.5% since beginning to use CGM and pump over the last 6 years), I am in the 4’s and 5’s a lot of the time. Running my CGM reports, I spend around 1% of time below 3.8 mmol/L.
My Dexcom G5 Mobile low alarm was set to 4.2 mmol/L, so it would give me a little advanced warning to take action before I get too low.
So having Basal-IQ kick in roughly 30 minutes before I will go below 4.4 mmol/L, has seen that less than 1% of time, become almost zero. Just today as I was writing this, a very dear interstate almost brother rang for a chat, and asked “What’s going on, you’ve had almost zero low alarms?” He can see my readings through Dexcom Share. I said “It’s all due to Basal-IQ my friend.”
Also, my wife is LOVING it. Rather than dipping into the low 4’s and high 3’s, since Basal-IQ is doing its thing before I even used to action a change, I’m not dropping below 4 mmol/L at all. I lowered my Dexcom low alarm from 4.2 mmol/L to 4.0 mmol/L, and it doesn’t activate at all, all night long which means better sleep for the both of us.
With the t:slim X2 with Basal-IQ, as soon as it detects our levels increasing, the suspension stops. This might even only be 5, 10 or 15 minutes. I think of it like throwing a small, smooth pebble across the surface of a lake. It bounces off the water’s surface along, barely lifting. It might drop again but then bounces up again, over and over (of course a pebble will eventually lose enough momentum and it sinks, but that’s where the comparison ends haha).
Having used t:slim X2 with Basal-IQ now for 2 weeks, I just love it. It works for me. I love sitting in the 4’s levels wise.
Always read the label and use only as directed. Read the warnings available on www.amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.
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“Rather than dipping into the low 4’s and high 3’s, since Basal-IQ is doing its thing before I even used to action a change, I’m not dropping below 4 mmol/L at all… I just love it.”
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