Two years since my Loop start has gone by quickly. I was close to getting started for the two days before November 14, 2016, but glitches held me up and as fate chose, my life with Loop started on World Diabetes Day, the 125th birthday of Canadian Sir Frederick Banting, one of the co-discoverers of insulin.
I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 35 years now and Loop’s effect on my health and quality of life ranks right up there with insulin, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and a carb-limited diet. The largest contribution in the quality-of-life department is Loop’s ability to safely take me through the night and allow me to confidently sleep and wake up with an in-range glucose, often in the 80-100 mg/dL (4.4-5.6 mmol/L) range.
Even though I can’t call 1-800-Loop when glitches arise, the DIY community at the Facebook Looped group gives me their attention around the clock. Their support, intelligence and diligence are a wonderful reminder that I am not alone in this pursuit.
My recent diagnosis of coronary artery disease compelled me to step up my diabetes control another notch. I now eat no grains or added sugars. This adoption of Bernstein-level carb restrictions combined with Loop has propelled my blood glucose control to levels I have never witnessed before.
Here is my 14-day Clarity AGP report. I recently narrowed my target range from 65-140 mg/dL (3.6-7.8) to 65-120 mg/dL (3.6-6.7). Getting all five percentile lines, the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th, inside the 65 and 120 mg/dL boundaries is a visual game I like to play and delights me, even when I can get close.
Here’s my initial TuD story when I first started Loop.
And, here’s my one-year anniversary post.
I know this system is not easily available to anyone who wants to adopt it, but it is still within reach if someone wants to pursue it. For the others, I hope that my experience fills you with hope that better technology is indeed on the near horizon.
Tandem already has the low protection in its algorithm and will put in the high trigger sometime next year. Insulet has announced a partnership with Tidepool Loop, a version of Loop that will be FDA approved, soon, I hope. Meanwhile, Bigfoot and Beta Bionics continue their long quest to close the loop and deliver their prizes to us. None of this will take five years.
This is not some mythical ephemeral five-year cure that we rightly deride; this technology is nearing delivery and it will make our lives better!
Happy World Diabetes Day! I salute you, Sir Fredrick Banting and collaborators!