I recently updated my t:slim X2™ insulin pump software to Control-IQ® technology. I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 10 years (my decade diaversary was in August), and have been wearing an insulin pump for nine years.
I’m 22 years old and work at the University of Toronto. I’m preparing to move to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I will pursue a Master of Arts in History at Dalhousie University. I love Connected in Motion, and was very grateful for the chance to partner with Tandem Diabetes Care and speak at a recent Virtual Slipstream event.
In the session “Control-IQ Technology in The Real World,” I shared my experiences with this new advanced hybrid closed-loop system and wanted to summarize that information into this blog post. Here are four of my most frequently answered questions regarding the new software on my pump:
Have you found the Sleep Activity feature helpful?
Very! When I first started using this Control-IQ technology feature, I spent a couple weeks setting the Sleep Activity manually each morning and night to get my perfect schedule figured out. Now that I’ve got it finely tuned, it just kicks in automatically.
I have two schedules set up, one for weekdays and one for weekends. I leave the weekday schedule on, well, on weekdays since I’m a pretty predictable person. My friends know to text me before 10 PM if they need a response that evening.
I do have a weekend schedule that works as a default, but I often override it manually since my schedule is much more flexible.
Do you use the Exercise Activity feature?
I do! I recently moved and leaving the setting on definitely came in handy through the day of heavy lifting. Without this feature, I would have turned Control-IQ technology off and used a temp basal rate in an attempt to achieve similar results.
Having that prior knowledge about basal adjustments made setting the Exercise Activity very intuitive. It’s still the same starting steps: Tap “OPTIONS” and then “ACTIVITY,” then just simply tap “START” next to Exercise. It’s fewer setup steps than before since the details of basal rates are decided by the pump.
What is a tip for others trying Control-IQ technology for the first time?
Learn to trust it. It sounds simple, but this was a big element to my onboarding. At the beginning, I was doing more than I needed to. I would look at the pump and think, ‘I know I need a correction,’ and override it when it told me that I didn’t. I was forgetting that it already gave me a correction.
I was stacking insulin and receiving more than I needed. Using the Current Status screen really helped me learn to trust it. I don’t even have to unlock the pump. I simply tap the top right corner [the insulin level indicator], and it tells me everything I need to make an informed decision.
What was your experience working with your doctor during onboarding?
I was the first person in my clinic to use Control-IQ technology and my healthcare team was extremely supportive. It took me about 10 days to get things dialed in and sort out my schedules. I had a virtual visit with my endocrinologist shortly after this, and we made very fine-tuned adjustments based on my experiences with Control-IQ technology so far.
I have a pretty tight schedule on weekdays, so my endocrinologist worked with me to make these small adjustments without too many variables. My endocrinologist asked many detailed questions, and we were both learning together, which was a very positive experience.
I hope these topics were helpful, and that I was able to answer at least one question you have about Control-IQ technology. One of the clearest ways that I can see the impact of Control-IQ technology is through my time-in-range* data. During my latest endocrinologist appointment, we had many months of Control-IQ technology data to analyze. Not only had my A1c lowered, but my time-in-range* percentage had increased.
But numbers and percentages alone cannot illustrate the positive impacts of Control-IQ technology. I also want to highlight the reduced burden of daily life that data cannot articulate. I feel an increased peace of mind since onboarding to Control-IQ technology, something I am incredibly grateful for as I prepare to move across the country on my own. The more time I have spent using it, the more I have learned to trust and appreciate it. I have learned how each new feature, including Sleep Activity and Exercise Activity, work best for me.
I frequently check in on the Current Status screen and am always curious to see what the pump is “thinking.” My healthcare team continues to support me and is there to work through variables and questions as they arise. I hope this was helpful if you are considering Control-IQ technology. I look forward to seeing you at another Connected in Motion event in the future.
* As measured by CGM.
Thank you, Evelyn, for sharing your story about onboarding with Control-IQ technology. We’re thrilled that you’re having such a positive experience. For more information about Control-IQ technology, please visit tandemdiabetes.com/control-iq
Note: Evelyn Riddell was compensated by Tandem Diabetes Care for her contribution on this topic. However, she created the content and it is based on her personal knowledge, experiences, and observations.
From time to time, we may pass along suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem insulin pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. Please note, however, individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.
Responsible Use Control-IQ Technology
Even with advanced systems such as the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology, users are still responsible for actively managing their diabetes. Control-IQ technology does not prevent all high and low blood glucose events. The system is designed to help reduce glucose variability, but it requires that users accurately input information, such as meals and periods of sleep or exercise. Control-IQ technology will not function as intended unless all system components, including CGM, infusion sets and pump cartridges, are used as instructed. Importantly, the system cannot adjust insulin dosing if the pump is not receiving CGM readings. Since there are situations and emergencies that the system may not be capable of identifying or addressing, users should always pay attention to their symptoms and treat accordingly.