Getting to Know My (Basal) IQ Thanks to My t:slim X2

Well- I got my t:slim X2 quite a while ago- to be exact in January! There’s been a lot going on in my life, and I’ve been in a writer’s block/funk/stuck in my own head situation for a bit. But luckily, a lot of people have shared their experiences including Kerri from Six Until Me.

“Unfortunately”, I didn’t get my new pump until after the new year. Why? Because when I got my t:slim the first time over four years ago, I was VERY close to the end of the year. Things do take time- duh- lots of parties involved. My doctor, insurance, the pump company, the company distributing my new pump, and of course- myself.

Fortunately, (reasons it was okay for me to get it after the new year): I do not have a deductible. Thank you Massachusetts health insurance (and the fact that because I mostly freelance these days, I purchase my own health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector.) So I feel pretty lucky (and privileged) in that sense especially after those years of hell with GA health insurance…

(Other reasons I also wasn’t in a huge rush to switch? I wanted to see how other people experienced it because I like to wait it out on new technology. I was also getting used to my G6 on my phone.)

My endocrinologist was informed that this was getting ready to happen, and she was excited!

getting-to-know-my-basal-iq-thanks-to-my-t_slim-x2

Getting my new insulin pump!

Well my new pump came in the mail early January, and the gig I had at the time was okay with me working from home so I could sign for it. As soon as I was done with work, I took the required training (I tend to be impatient and was VERY excited). Once I was due for a new pump site (I didn’t want to waste supplies or insulin), I said goodbye to my old pump and previous Pump Peelz, and connected to my new one and put on a new Pump Peelz.

Can’t Forget The “It’s Complicated” Relationship with my CGM

(or my mental health in general for that matter!)

I am also very glad that I had had several months to get used to the G6 on my phone. That “too much data in my face bit” is always present for me. It will always feel complicated with my CGM (even if it is less complicated than it used to be)!

The beginning? Was filled with alarm fatigue and WAY too much data in my face… 

At first I kept the alarms similar to the alarms on my phone/CGM for blood sugars- ranges and falling/rising rates. 

Nope. Nope. Nope. I cannot have alarms coming at me from two places.

So on my pump? I don’t have alerts for rise or fall rates. I also don’t have a high alert.

If I’m in a professional setting and need to check the time (aka- not looking at my phone)… I wear a watch more often now (and no not a smart watch). I avoid my phone (same with looking at my BG’s- I don’t love the big receiver for my Dexcom but I’ll use it if I need to for situations like these and others).

I used to check my pump for the time… but now- there’s this bit of data right on the screen looking at me- always- and sometimes it’s not good for me to keep looking at it- actually it’s never good for me to look at it- that’s when my OCD starts obsessing over every little thing I could do about the line or the number on the screen. So now- I look at my phone or my watch for the time.

My need to be in control…

I was apprehensive. All of my fears originate from my fear of being out of control.

Letting the Basal-IQ take some control? That did scare me. It really did. I’m not joking (ask some of my friends). This idea that a piece of technology- this idea that something other than me would be “making decisions”- TERRIFIED me. I had been in charge of my diabetes management since I was 12- we’re talking 14 years of this girl with OCD and anxiety having control of what decisions she’d make with diabetes (I’m not talking about the management of diabetes being completely under control- that’s hilarious and not possible 100% of the time).

I do not like letting go of control. At. all.

But here I was. Taking a leap to let go of some control.

So what do I think? What’s been my experience?

Side note- my mom cried when I explained how the pump worked. Now she talks about it to everyone.

Overall- pretty darn good but Basal-IQ and I are still getting to know to each other. (I do have to charge my pump more often than I’m used to. I’m getting used to it, but I ran into a lot more 5% and under red).

There have been some moments where I feel like I’m playing frogger… I see that the insulin is shut off because I’m low or going low. But do I completely trust it? Do I not treat? Do I treat? The cars- They’re the idea of going lower. Or going high because of the lack of insulin plus a low treatment.

I’m getting more comfortable with the notion of trusting it. I’ve set some rules for myself about when to step in. Rules?

Well it’s based off:

  1. How I feel
  2. What situation I’m in
  3. How long my pump has been suspended

We’re still doing the tango. But a big part is that I listen to my gut. 

The Dirt On Lows and Suspended Insulin

It’s definitely caught some shopping lows I could never manage to avoid even if I did remember to prepare with a snack or a temp basal.

It’s stepped in when I had an extended bolus going on and was plummeting. This was probably one of the scarier trust moments. I kept thinking- NO- I’m gonna need that insulin later- but it all ended up okay!

IMG_0331

I used to occasionally have those “wake up in the middle of the night low and stuff my face until I fall asleep again” lows. However, knock on wood– I haven’t had one since I started.

IMG_0877

However, sometimes I have those very stubborn lows where I still need all of the carbs. Where I need to evaluate my lows and possible treat with carbs (hopefully not glucose tabs…)

Sometimes I spike afterwards between the two and sometimes I don’t. I’ve gotten better at resuming insulin if I feel I should. I also pay attention to my “rules”

Staying in Tune with My Body

One of my fears was not feeling my lows anymore… But I still do. (It’s also a concern with using a CGM). I don’t ever want to 100% trust technology. I want to be able to take care of myself without the technology if I need to. I make sure to be aware of how I’m feeling at certain blood sugar ranges so I can recognize it.

Oh for the love disdain of periods…

I think it’s also helping with PCOS and endometriosis flair ups. One issue I have with my periods is having a very high BG a day before my period starts and then the tendency to run low randomly during my period. So it can be hard to treat highs with the fear of going too low. My endo and I agreed that I should run higher and not fully treat highs during my periods… Which personally, my anxiety hates and so do I.

Now, I don’t have to run higher, and I can fully treat!

Realizing when I might need to make a change

Patterns are hard- with Basal-IQ stepping in… it can be a little harder for me to catch patterns. However, I now look at what my total basal is set for the day and what is actually delivered- if it’s consistently a lot less and Basal-IQ steps in around the same time, time for a change (might not always be basal though- so many things that it could be).

Less Burden

But something I realized recently? (Kind of glad I procrastinated on this post).

It’s taken away something I have to do/think about regularly.

A reason I love my pump is thanks to temp basals. Now high BG’s are still in my court, but with lows- I don’t very often find myself setting a temp basal with less insulin. Basal-IQ is doing that for me. For workouts, shopping, running low for  whatever reason, and more.

It’s taken away a burden. It takes away something that I was guessing at or having to think about.

Which… let’s be real. That’s a VERY big deal. Also a big deal that I don’t have to hand it back over (aka why I haven’t done any of the studies related to artificial pancreases and other similar devices). 

IMG_0815

That’s a pretty big deal.

Maybe letting go of some control isn’t so bad?

Getting to Know My (Basal) IQ

Thanks to My t:slim X2

Hey you! Yes, you!

Let’s connect on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (maybe even 2 or all of those!).

If you enjoyed this post, please comment and share. I’d also appreciate your feedback.

and of course-don’t forget to keep up with “There’s More to the Story” via email! (Right sidebar towards the top).

We’ll both be glad you did! -Mindy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s