Taking Care of Myself with the Latest Technology

Over the last fifteen years I have tried nearly all the latest type 1 diabetes (T1D) technology, but even as recently as a year ago, I am not sure that I would imagine I’d be here holding a compact artificial pancreas (AP) in my hand, sitting in my apartment. It is designed to help people with T1D control their blood glucose by simulating a healthy pancreas and it is not (yet) available outside of a clinical setting. I am so happy to have my own AP device for the past three months and I will be able to keep it for up to two years. To learn more about my technological odyssey and the day I turned on my very own AP, click here to watch a brief video.

So cool, Kady! Thank you for sharing your experiences so far. I assume you are still using an existing CGM sensor? Is this a Minimed system or other vendor? I’m 32 years with T1 and look forward to the next round of trials…would love to be involved but I know lots of people would.

Thank you Kady,

… not only for this post and for the informative video - hope that that Danish Pastry was as sweet and tasty as it looked - but more importantly for what you are doing for all of us with T1D. You are providing a valuable service - just wish that I too had been selected as a tester.

What you are doing now to make life for people with diabetes more enjoyable, productive and a little less demanding [I hope] is similar to when, in 1966, I volunteered in the trials of the ruby laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy. I for one would love to hear additional reports from you during the next two years of your endeavor.

Hi angivan,

I am currently using a Medtronic 670G system for my trial. It is a normal pump and sensor with a pump site and sensor site, but all of the information goes directly to my pump, which is “smart” and enables the sensor to communicate my sugar levels to the pump which in turn can decide whether or not to give me insulin. I do not have a pump basal any longer, because instead this device is deciding minute by minute as my sensor readings come in how much if any insulin to give me.

Hi Dennis,

Thanks so much for your post! Since I made that video I’ve been using the system for 2 months and the one thing I could never give up now that I have it is the overnight blood glucose control. With the exception of a night that I had a failed pump site, I have not had my numbers go above 170 or below 70 while I am asleep. That means- NO ALARMS! I am so excited to be getting great sleep these days and I am feeling like I have much more energy during the day.


That’s so cool that you were involved in that, Dennis! My kidneys have taken a beating, but I’m amazed that my eyes are still intact after 32 years of T1, so knock on wood I guess. Isn’t it interesting which complications affect different people first, some with several, and some with none at all. Genetics are such a determining factor, and yet such a mystery. Glad you were able to be part of that pioneering technology.

Kady, I’m glad the technology is working so well for you. I have tried both the Enlite and Dexcom CGM’s over the years, but am still having issues with my flesh/muscle tissue crimping the sensor filament after a day or so, resulting in Weak Signals and Lost Sensors, and trying various sites has had only sporadic success. Even Minimed has admitted their current sensor style probably won’t be successful for me, yet I so badly want it to work! So I hope they continue working on different CGM insertion options, similar to the variety of infusion sets that are available.

Hi Kady, I just ended the same trial. :slight_smile: It was a great experience.

I’m interested in what you see as the pros and cons of the system, as I’m interested in comparing to my own list.

Great control when fasting (ie, overnight)
Finer adjustments than ever before to basal rates (when in manual mode) and insulin to carb ratios (manual/auto modes)

Ineffective at postprandial glucose control (still not able to have high carb meals)
Auto Basal turns off after meal boluses (likely not helping the above)
Can not correct blood sugar to a number lower than 150
Can not take manual boluses
Enlite 4 sensor much better, but still not as accurate as Dexcom
Tubed system (can’t be worn while swimming, difficult to wear with dresses/nightgowns)

Best, Erin

Kady - my wife, daughter (T1D)and I heard you speak about the AP at the Burlington ride last weekend. I curious to know what I should do to make sure that my daughter is able to receive the AP as soon as it is commercially available.

How to we know that it will be available in April 2017? Have all the FDA approvals been secured and they are just waiting for it to ramp up production? Could this date be pushed back for anything - I really don’t want to get my hopes up too much - many thanks - Roger

Hi Roger,

There is really nothing you can do right now to make sure you can get it ASAP, because we just don’t know what the protocol will be like when it comes out. We can’t predict what insurance companies are going to do or what Medtronic’s policy will be. Check out this article about Medtronic’s info from the ADA conference recently- http://diatribe.org/drugdevice-name/medtronic-minimed-670g . Everything is always up in the air with the FDA, but so far everything is on track with the timeline for April 2017. I would still suggest continuing with whatever pump and CGM is working for you- I would not switch brands in anticipation of this device.

do you know why your muscles do that? never heard of this before.