Geographer, Cyclist, Ceramist
"Diabetes is one piece of my life that I now have some control over."
Why did you choose a meter and pump?
The pump has helped reduce blood sugar spikes (highs and lows). While I do not like being attached to a machine, it helped me re-love my body. I had thought that my body was "acting" out and causing highs and lows. But the real problem was the variability that comes with balancing a few shots with a day full of activity, eating, and stress. Continuous insulin balanced out my blood sugars. After making the change [to a pump], I feel much better.
What are the trade-offs of using a meter and a pump?
I really don't like relying on a machine. I want to believe that I can treat my diabetes best. Unfortunately, I cannot give myself continuous shots. Additionally, the pump has failed (stopped working) at the most inopportune moments (i.e. 30 km into a 50 km cycling race; 8 miles into a bouldering field; 20 minutes after arriving at work in the morning). Nonetheless, a pump gives me enough control and confidence to begin those adventures.
Diabetes devices can produce a lot of information and numbers. How do you feel about this? What do you do with all the data?
At work, I am a GIS data technician. So unsurprisingly, I am guilty of testing limits, my own theories, and changing rates (basal, sensitivity etc.) in my lifelong effort to find the perfect balance. Instead of downloading the data, I look directly at numbers on the device.
How do you respond to people when they notice or comment on your devices?
Growing up, I did not know anyone else with diabetes. However, as an adult I have met two people with T1D and have worked at a kids' camp for those with T1D. I loved talking to others about diabetes that summer! Now I am happy to answer questions, but still have not been found to start a diabetes discussion.
How do you make the devices comfortable on your body?
This is hard. I am very sensitive and very active. Only about 1/3 of the time is the device comfortable on my body. However, I find peace knowing that my blood sugars are balanced and that I can do physical activities.
What helps you trust your devices?
I am one of those people who does not trust technology. I certainly would not trust someone else changing rates on my device. However, I have read the manual and have 26 years of knowledge about what feels right and how my body reacts to anything and everything. Therefore, I trust myself to use a device that is providing a constant, predictable rate of insulin. It is the only option.
What would you tell someone considering this same combo?
If your highs and lows are controlling you, a pump is worth the money. In a typical month, I spend more on healthcare than on housing. That's okay! I feel great when my mind is not cloudy and when I can exercise without being stressed. Diabetes is one piece of my life that I now have some control over. What do you prioritize?
What challenges do you have and how have you overcome them?
I carry extra batteries. Also, I use the vibrate alert setting when I'm at work!