As a 4-year user and lover of the Omnipod System, I had spent a longggg time waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for Insulet to develop an automated insulin delivery system. The Omnipod 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System communicates directly with the Dexcom G6 CGM to make insulin delivery decisions based on my customized Target Glucose so I can spend more time in range. And the Omnipod 5 makes those adjustments (to increase, decrease or pause insulin delivery) automatically every 5 minutes! Can you see why I was eager to get started?
Once my Intro Kit arrived in the mail, I could not wait to open it. First of all, the contents within and the box itself made me feel like a celebrity doing an unboxing for my fans – it was more of an experience rather than my typical mail order prescription delivery.
Step one of getting started was to follow a link to determine what my options were for training. The best option for me was to complete the e-learning module independently, and on my own time…which was ASAP because I was so excited. I learned all about the new System, and followed along to input my insulin to carb ratios (I:C), correction factors, active insulin time, etc. from my previous pump settings. (Of course, I also worked with my endo all along the way ).
My first day using Omnipod 5, my blood glucose was more than 90% in range – which is a number I did not often see or have the chance to celebrate. Although not every day afterwards looked the same, there were certainly more victories to celebrate, and more learning experiences to be had. So far I’ve worn the Omnipod 5 and Dexcom G6 for about 5 months. I’d love to share some things I’ve learned along the way:
- Fewer lows. Automated Mode is a game changer. I very regularly experience low blood glucose, and when I do, it’s typically the result of a hefty ‘rage-bolus.’ (It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.)
- In-range blood glucose overnight. Every night. Another benefit of Automated Mode is having in-range blood glucose nearly every night. I wake up in-range, right around my target blood glucose, every morning. Starting off the day off with in-range blood glucose lends itself towards a positive start to a new day with diabetes.
- Customization. I appreciate that Omnipod 5 has the flexibility to customize settings based on the user’s needs. For me, I feel better when my blood sugar is around 110. Other people might prefer to float around 150. Having the option to choose what I need.
- Settings will need to be adjusted. Upon switching from Omnipod System Pods to Omnipod 5 pods, I needed to adjust many of my settings in order to stay in range (I’ve seen this repeated around the diabetes community as well). For me, I needed to increase my I:C ratio, and shorten my active insulin time.
- Be patient. With each new Pod, the System is learning and changing your adaptive basal rate. It takes time for the System to learn. It’s going to use that data to help increase your time in range.
- Pod/Dexcom CGM location. Be sure to wear your Pod and your Dexcom sensor on the same side of your body. For me, this doesn’t necessarily mean both devices on the left or right side, but ensuring that they can ‘see’ each other. This required some trial and error!
Overall, I think that switching to a new device has a learning curve for everyone. It can be scary to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to diabetes management, but it’s totally worth it. Take time to learn all about it from the experts, your healthcare provider, your peers, and through your own experiences. Figure out what’s working, what’s not, and how to make those things meet in the middle.
For more information about all Omnipod models, visit Insulet.com.
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