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What We Learned from the Online Community This Month
Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for answering the Questions of the Day, inspiring others, and sharing your expertise with others. Here is what we learned from the 3 most popular questions of August 2021!
1.) Do you currently use any of the following insulin pumps?
August’s most answered Question of the Day had 537 responses! The most common insulin pump used by members of the Online Community is the Tandem t:slim X2, with 40% of the responses to this question. The total percentage of people who selected that they use one of the three Medtronic pumps listed was 23%, and about 18% selected that they use one of the two Omnipod pumps in this question.
Many commenters who selected “Other” noted in the comments that they use Omnipod Eros and were unsure about the option for Omnipod UST400. As mentioned in our Behind the Scenes of Question of the Day article, the writer(s) of a question may not always know the full scope of responses to a question, as each of us are writing through our own lens of the T1D world.
For questions like the above which require a list of all possibilities, we do our best to research the options. In this question, which I wrote, I found very unclear information through my web searches about what the older Omnipod models are called. After reading through the comments, I’ve learned that before Omnipod DASH, we had the Omnipod Eros. I often say that I learn something new from Question of the Day every single day, and it’s true!
Here are other quotes from comments that generated some conversation on this question:
- “With the way insurance is (mine has gotten worse and worse over the years) you can’t guarantee that you can get or afford a new pump every 4 years so switching to something with a limited life scares me.”
- “Being able to recharge is one of the positives in my book. I charge when I am in the shower and if need be, I can charge while at my computer or in the car. During a week-long power outage, I used a portable charger thingy. I like not having to save up old batteries and searching for a place to responsibly dispose of them.”
- “Use the original Omnipod. Don’t see anything that says the model. Omnipod badgers people to switch to dash. Not carrying an extra meter and messing with doses. Their website doesn’t even say what the Omnipod UST400 is.”
- “I wear a Medtronic 530G. When I first got it in August 2016, it was right before the 630 came out. The intention was to eventually upgrade me once it was officially on the market, but between changing endocrinologists, moving, and other circumstances, that never happened. Now my current endo has talked with me about switching to either the 770 or the T-slim.”
- “I love all aspects of the tandem the only thing that is a tad bit bothersome is the appendage aspect of the pump. If tandem and Omnipod were to merge together I think that would be the cat’s meow. 🙏🤞🤞”
2.) Do you currently use any of the following CGM systems?
Our second most popular Question of the Day in August had 498 responses! We learned from this question that 75% of our community uses a Dexcom G6, while 10% use one of the Freestyle CGMs listed, and about 11% use one of the Medtronic CGMs included in the list of options.
Although not all CGMs listed in this question are available from the device companies anymore, we know that some people could be using discontinued versions and did not want to rule out the possibility. For example, the Dexcom G5 sensors were discontinued, however we see in the responses to this question that there are still a couple of Dexcom G5 users.
Here are some of the top comments on this question:
- “I have used the Freestyle Libre system for 4 years and currently use the Libre 2. I did not realize most people used Dexcom. Just curious if I should change over. Can anyone tell me why Dexcom is better than Libre? I am not opposed the making the change.”
- “The primary advantage of the Dexcom G6 is that in conjunction with a Tandem t:slim x2 it makes a hybrid closed-loop system. The pump adjusts your insulin based on CGM readings with (limited and occasional) user input.”
- “Both the G5 and G6 have been amazingly accurate, and their high and low alerts, their interface with my iPhone, and the feedback reports provided by Clarity enable my doctor and I to easily work out any changes in my insulin pump delivery. Obviously I would like to try something that would automate basal and other settings, but giving up my G6 (and soon G7) will be very hard for me.”
- “I was given a Freestyle Libre 2 by my endocrinologist, who had a free sample. My insurance supports it. My doctor said the latest one has adjustable alarms for highs and lows, which was the important point. I’ve frequently cross checked the accuracy with my meter and strips. It’s accurate, easy to use, and my fingers have healed. I always know what my blood sugar and how it’s trending.”
- “The results really surprised me! So many people on Dexcom. I love my FreeStyle 14-day. My T1D sister had a Dexcom in the past and she had to calibrate it, tweak it and all the alarming drove her crazy. Things must have improved with the system over the years, heh? For now, I’m sticking with the less complicated FreeStyle.”
3.) If you wear a CGM, how many times in the past month have you had to change your sensor more than 24 hours before its session expired?
Our third most answered Question of the Day received 476 responses. Although the most common response was “None” with 45% of the votes, more than half of respondents to this question had to change their sensor more than one full day before it expired.
Early sensor changes could happen for many different reasons, including inaccurate readings, accidentally ripping the sensor out, lack of sensor readings, having to remove it for a medical procedure, or general sensor failure alerts. Commenters mentioned that device companies are often good about replacing the sensors when the early sensor change is reported.
Here were some of the most popular comments on this question:
- “It is so disappointing when it happens and for me it is often. Is it because I am skinny? Dexcom is so good at replacing which I am thankful for because I am addicted to my Dexcom!!”
- “Usually at day 9 my CGM transmits only intermittently.”
- “I have been having transmitter loss issue for 1 1/2 to two months now. I lose my transmitter signal anywhere between 8 and 30 times each day, every day. I’ve had to change my sensors and transmitters numerous times. I’ve also spent many hours, many days on the telephone trying to get it corrected. Tandem replaced my sensors, transmitters and now insulin pump. I’m still having transmitter problems, and suspect that my G6 app on my telephone may be causing the problem. Otherwise, most of my sensors last 10 days, but on occasion, they last 8 or 9 days.”
- “I’ve been using Dexcom sensors for years. The G6 occasionally fails on the 8th day for me but because I’m on the Tandem Control IQ the company replaces them with a new sensor every time I report a failure. It’s a small inconvenience but the accuracy of the Dexcom sensors makes it worthwhile. I also use the Dexcom Overlay Patches provided free by Dexcom and my sensors always stay in place.”
- “Once only because I ripped it out on day 5! 😭”
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