At Tidepool, we often hear most frequently from people who are recently diagnosed looking to understand the data that comes off our pumps, CGMs, and blood glucose meters. This makes conversations with people who have been living with diabetes for a long time, like Lisa, particularly rewarding.
Their experiences and appreciation for the advancements in diabetes technology and therapies presents a most-welcome perspective in the ongoing conversations in diabetes patient advocacy. If you'd like to share your story with us, fill out this form.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 45 years ago in a time of no technology, and no internet, so there was minimal data and information. Back then, I took insulin once a day and followed an exchange diet. My blood glucose levels were probably higher than would be recommended today, but as they say, ignorance is bliss. I don’t remember a lot of the details about my diagnosis but my mother tells me that I asked her, ‘Can I get it again or is it like the measles?’
It took 42 years of living with diabetes before I moved from MDI to a pump and CGM. For so long, I was very set in my ways and became apprehensive to consider trying out new technology. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to do it sooner.
I used other websites to upload and analyze my data before I discovered Tidepool, after all, I am a lover of data. I think Tidepool has a really nice user interface though, which makes it enjoyable to see my data there. I look at my data and patterns monthly, or when I know that I need to change some settings and do some analysis to investigate the problem. I mostly look for times of day when I am seeing a pattern of highs or lows so that I can adjust my insulin:carb ratio, ISF, or basal settings.
Being able to analyze my data through various avenues has helped me to fine tune my pump settings and maintain a better A1C. Because I regularly look at and analyze my data, I am always getting feedback from my numbers.
Another great place for me to get feedback is the diabetes online community. I belong to quite a few groups where I am able to help others with advice and learn a lot myself. As a community, there are so many people with varied levels of experience and expertise, and there is always someone there to lend their support when you need help.
I am a very structured and organized person who enjoys routine, so I don’t mind a lot of the tasks that go along with managing diabetes . The most challenging aspect for me, though, is that a big part of socializing with friends and family revolves around food. It can be difficult at times, but I think overall I am a healthier, stronger, and ultimately more resilient person than I would have been without diabetes. Plus, my daughter also has type 1 diabetes and every day I strive to be a good example for her.
When I think about the future of diabetes technology, I am interested in all of the exciting advancements that are coming in the next few years, but I am not going to rush into anything until the new technologies have had time to work out the kinks and improve their features. It would be nice though, in the future, to have a closed loop system that does not require as much planning for food or exercise so I can be a little more spontaneous.