Abrupt unplanned change can sometimes be good

I think most of us prefer to avoid changing our comfortable and familiar routines. Sometimes, changing up a routine, even briefly, can illuminate insights that the contrasting experience provides.

I’ve just gone through a significant insulin therapy change and it’s brought me a different perspective and appreciation for my preferred automated insulin dosing system.

I use the do-it-yourself system called Loop. It runs off an app on my iPhone. Five weeks ago, I found my iPhone battery bulged and pushed my phone display away from the body. Apple gave me a credit for the failed battery and I bought a new phone. Unfortunately, that meant giving up my Loop app until I could get it installed on my new phone.

In the do-it-yourself automated insulin dosing world, for legal and other reasons, each app is built and installed by the person or parent who will use it.

It’s been over two years since I originally installed Loop and I had some help doing it. With all the updating that Loop has undergone, the build/installation process has morphed some, too.

I switched over to “manual” pump therapy and met with very good results. I learned from my Loop experience and used temporary basal rates a lot. My glucose performance (I still used my CGM.) was degraded, but not much. I was surprised and pleased that I could do that well without the continuous help of Loop’s number crunching.

My procrastination was given an opening and while I initially thought I would get Loop installed on my new phone within a week, the time stretched to 3, 4, and 5 weeks.

I did have a hard deadline in that I was scheduled for a two-week tour of Scotland and really wanted Loop on-board to permit me the luxury of the social distractions. So, with the help of the community, I got back online with Loop last Friday.

My control is better and I didn’t have to pay attention as much. You sometimes don’t notice a burden until it is relieved. Off-loading that small cognitive burden onto Loop has been perceptible the last few days.

After being off it for a month, I felt shades of that rush I experienced when I first started Loop in November 2016. I have no urge to return to manual but I feel a renewed respect and appreciation for how this technology makes my life better.

I think we should all have a back-up insulin therapy plan and rehearse it from time to time. This is likely more important for those of us who depend on electronic technology.

And when you do change up your insulin therapy, does it make you appreciate your former habit more? I find the stimulation of the contrast in treatments can provide an interesting point of view.


So I will be getting my hands on a minimed 522 this week, and my Rileylink is on order so I’ll have the hardware in the next couple of weeks. I now need to build the app. I have been looking around online for instructions and there are so many places, I’m not sure where to go. What is the best place to get the straight forward info for building the loop app? Thanks!

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I would start by reading both Loop Docs and Loop Tips. There is a wealth of information packed into these instructions written by someone with deep experience and a pay-it-forward philosophy. It’s well worth taking the time to read these thoroughly now.

Maybe you should trade messages with @Jimi63, another 522 owner looking to set up Loop.


Terry - I’m curious if you find the new build / install much improved from what you were using?

I need a new phone (same reason as you) so my install is temporarily halted.

@Dr_B - I sent you a PM regarding info / docs etc :+1:t4:

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It is improved with a better level of detail than what was available back in 2016. I did, however, run into problems with this installation that were not covered in the manual. I had help from someone with experience in this process.

I would recommend reading the Loop docs and Loop tips twice, then attempting the installation and if any hurdles arise, post your experience in the Facebook Looped group. There is an alternate forum source of help listed in Loop Tips called Zulipchat, but I haven’t used it.


For the past few years, once or twice a year, either planned or spontaneously, I’ll go off my pump for a period of time. Typically it will be planned for a week, but usually I end up going back on the pump sooner than that because my control degrades so much that I can’t stand it.

My last pump break was a month-long period of trying Tresiba at the beginning of 2018. That roller-coaster was bad enough that I have had no urge to have a pump vacation in more than a year. It definitely makes me appreciate my pump more.

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