So, after more than 5 years on DIY systems, and around 3 Looping, we are moving on to our first commercial system for automatically dosing insulin – the Tslim with Control IQ.
We started Samson on a DIY system when he was just 2 years old and still in diapers; Mitch had to build it with an old Raspberry Pi and it took weeks of late-night coding sessions to set up. That first mii computer literally caught fire, and we moved onto more and more sophisticated hardware and interfaces. The most recent build of Loop took maybe an hour, so it has come a long way. We feel so incredibly grateful for the DIY community, and for all the years of great control it provided.
But the last year of Looping has been rough.
Ultimately, it came down to the Omnipod cannulas. We had to migrate from changing sites every 3 days to doing so at least every 2 days, if not sooner. We would have tons of unexplained highs with ketones which never occurred with the steel cannulas we used before. And the site changes were extremely painful. Pretty much every time we change out the Omnipod, there is dried blood on the cannula.
And as our son has gotten older he has become more mobile. Not having to remember to bring around his phone and OrangeLink became a bigger and bigger issue. The Tslim will work even if we can’t see his numbers, meaning we don’t have to nag him to go get his phone or OrangeLink every time he leaves a room. Also, I don’t have to do things like update the firmware on a mini-computer if it’ dropping signal all the time. And I’m hopeful we won’t have to fiddle with his settings all the time, like we do with Loop.
I have no idea if ultimately we are making the right decision, and I’m a little nervous that if the Tslim doesn’t work out, we won’t have other options – maybe we’ll have trouble going back to the Eros pods needed for Looping, for instance. But I’m ready to rely on a system that is a little more off-the-shelf, and requires less babysitting from either me or our kid.
Anyways, I’ll try to document how things go. I suspect the control will be a little less good than Loop on a good day. But if we have fewer bad days, with failing sites, it will be better in the long run.