Another milestone – 4 years of looping

Today marked 4 years since I started “looping”: using a “DIY” closed-loop insulin pump system. I wrote about it on this blog at the time (see the “GERTY” article). At that point I had lived with Type 1 diabetes for almost 35 years (that milestone comes up in a few months). In retrospect the clinical benefits of looping have been amazing, and I’ve written about this from time to time.

I had to build this system myself: no medico was willing or able to help me directly. Luckily the online worldwide community of loopers helped me build it. Ever since I’ve been part of this community, helping each other with the tools to improve our lives.

My long-term health prospects seem much better, and managing my diabetes takes up so much less of my days. In fact I rarely even count carbohydrates. I do take a second to look at where my BG is up to and think about how much I’m going to eat, and I do have to keep my insulin pump “fed and watered”, but that’s just routine.

My regular checkups with doctors are no longer filled with things like trying to keep my BG balanced, and we’re able to have constructive conversations about the other health issues that don’t disappear just because we have diabetes.

DIY (“open protocol”) closed-looping has enabled huge positive changes in my life.

I’m very happy I took the leap in 2017!

I started out using OpenAPS on an Edison rig (a pocket microcomputer) using an Android phone with xDrip+ as the CGM controller and “console” for the rig. Today I use AndroidAPS running everything on a tiny KingKong Mini 2 phone. For now I’m still using xDrip+ as my CGM. Along the way my CGM sensors have mainly been Libre, Dexcom G5, and now G6.

The insulin pumps I’ve looped with have been quite varied after I set aside my Animas Vibe: the first was a Medtronic Paradigm 522, then lots of others including an Accu-Chek Combo and some models rarely used with looping.

I’m looking forward to what the coming years bring for diabetes management. In fact starting with the exciting things I think the coming months will bring!


Here in Melbourne we’re still in “Lockdown 6” thanks to COVID, but this afternoon happened to coincide with the weekly Zoom call we have for Australian loopers. It was good to meet up with old and new friends at least by video to celebrate my milestone (at least one person there has been looping for longer than me).

Cake and drink was had (see the chocolate & hazelnut torte above).

2 thoughts on “Another milestone – 4 years of looping”

    1. Well, I am using a fork with a few non-standard things (such as a different pump driver) from a clinical trial, but the core algorithm is the same and I could do this with standard AndroidAPS. Even the changes to allowed insulin duration are accessible in the standard build if you pretend you’re pregnant.

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