Loop at two years -- the magic continues


#1

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!


#2

That new algorithm, Control-IQ, is what I’m looking forward to, not knowing if it will work any better than the 670 in Auto Mode, but hey, it can’t be any worse, right? (Disclaimer: I don’t own a 670; nor do I want to. I’ve just read a ton about it)


#3

Terry,
I love reading your posts about your “looping”! They give me great hope for the future of tech and diabetes. I know a cure is our ultimate goal but I am all in having a pump/sensor that can make my life so much easier!
Your charts are stunning. Those are graphs from someone without diabetes. And while I am not into the low carb and my graphs don’t look anything like yours, I continue to fight the fight. But you and the others I have talked to who are “looping” (I love that term!) love the system. And I look forward to one of the new pumps coming out soon.
So keep up the fight! You are such a strong and compassionate person. This looks like a perfect fit for where you are in your diabetes story.


#4

I met parent of a child with diabetes and Loop-docs author, Katie DiSimone, at a diabetes conference a few weeks back. She was wearing a Dexcom sensor and transmitter on the back of her arm. I commented that, as a non-diabetic, she must be doing an experiment. She said she was and offered that her teen-age daughter’s blood sugar control was often better than hers!

I told her that a post with charts from a gluco-normal like herself would attract much interest from the diabetes community. Katie is an amazing diabetes advocate and has recently joined Tidepool in a full-time employment capacity as the non-profit pursues an FDA-certified version of Loop.


#5

I have seen a few pancreas functioning people’s charts. And this is why I tell people that sometimes the numbers don’t behave because we are human and the body does what it wants to. People who have insulin production also have up and down blood sugars. I hope she will share her data. It would probably make us all feel so much better about our charts!