So I’ve been Looping with Omnipod for a month now and I wanted to share an update with everyone. The first week or so was a rough adjustment as I figured out all of my settings but I’m starting to get the hang of things. Below is my progress (Tidepool reports) from before Loop vs after Loop.
So what does this mean?
Avg. Glucose: As you can see, my average BG has down down quite a bit! Although I’m thinking my Dexcom gives higher readings than in real life so I’m not actually sure what my average BG is running. Example: My last HbA1c six weeks ago was 6.6 but my 90 day Dexcom average said 154. Regardless, I’m pleased with my average BG!
Std Deviation (SD): I am a little disappointed in my SD which indicates glucose variability. In a person without diabetes, the standard deviation is typically around 25. I feel like my BGs have been fluctuating less on Loop so I thought my SD would be a bit lower. Maybe it will if I give it more time!
Time in range: My time in range before Loop was already at my goal of over 70% (clinically, this is the goal for most people with diabetes). One month into Looping, my time in range has increased by 13%… that is awesome! One downfall is that my time low has increased. The past few weeks in particular, I’ve been experiencing a few more hypos than usual and I’m working on resolving them.
So how does Loop impact my quality of life? Well, I have experienced less BG swings which is amazing- I have more energy! I still think about my BG and make more treatment decisions than I would like, but I feel like I have less anxiety about BG swings and miscounting carbs now. I can officially go to bed at any BG and not fear waking up high or low. I also have had less glucose variability times when going to Memorial Day BBQs, or having messy sleep schedules which would usually result in highs. Loop was awesome at tackling some pre-presentation nerves last week and is actually pretty great at adapting to schedule variability. Seriously, look at this week’s clarity report- AMAZING!!
So what are some downfalls? So far, the biggest downfall for me is the Omnipod itself! When I used Omnipod, I LOVED being tubeless and how easy it is to change pods. But… part of the reason I switched from the Omnipod to the Tandem X2 with Basal IQ in the Fall was because I started breaking out from Omnipod. Well, as of this week, the breakouts have returned. I have been changing my pod every 2 days instead of every 3 which slightly helps with the irritation but I still have some blotchy looking marks after removing the pod. I have been using Flonase and barrier wipes and they have also been slightly helping. Other downfalls to the pods… I HAD 4 SCREAMERS in 36 HOURS LAST WEEK! It was to the point where I had an anxiety nightmare about a screaming pod (and no, my pod was not actually screaming at this point). I had so many issues with screamers when I used Omnipod previously and these issues still seem to be there. But, overall, I love the system enough to deal with the annoyances.
Another downfall is when Loop cannot Loop! The most typical time this happens is when changing Dexcom sensors. However, I had a weird situation on Saturday evening- I had to pair a new transmitter with my Dexcom system and the transmitter wasn’t found! I called Dexcom technical support and everything to troubleshoot. I powered through and went to Barrio for my friend’s birthday anyways, and randomly a few hours later, the transmitter paired! After not having Dexcom running for 6 hours though and running on my pre-programmed back-up Loop settings, my BG was so high!! See graph below:
So, moral of the story, I need to figure out my true baseline basal settings for backup- I see this being a problem with many Loopers.
So the last point I want to address is no, I do not plan on trying to run my BGs tighter. For my lifestyle, this is AMAZING. To be in the last few months of my PhD, running around constantly, working a couple jobs, having many volunteer commitments on top of a family and social life… this BG management feels unreal. I didn’t show in the reports but at this point in my life, my insulin needs have increased beyond what I am comfortable with– I use a lot of insulin for someone of my weight who eats 80-130 carbs daily on average. I do not think it is worth it to increase my body’s daily insulin needs further.