Christine Merrell – Employee Spotlight
Hello! I’m Christine and I am part of the team at AMSL.
I have had Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) for almost 50 years. I exercise regularly and wear the Animas Vibe Insulin Pump and Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System to help manage my T1D. One of my proudest achievements is completing my first marathon, the Sydney Half Marathon, on the 18th of September 2016.
What motivated you to run the Sydney Half Marathon?
The Sydney Half Marathon was a challenge that I set myself. I did not want to let my T1D get in the way of achieving something I really wanted. I decided to “give it a go” as the worst thing that could happen is that I would not complete the race, which fortunately was not the case. I am very pleased to say that I have achieved this.
How did you manage your T1D during the Sydney Half Marathon?
I was wearing the Animas Vibe Insulin Pump and Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM system during the run. My Animas Vibe Insulin Pump helped me easily adjust my basal rate for the 24km run by 50%. Although I was monitoring my glucose levels on my mobile phone, by using the Dexcom follow app, my husband was also able to follow my levels on his phone. He would call me when he saw that my levels were heading into an upward or downward trend. My husband was at all the water stations to cheer me on and tell me how my levels were doing! Without Dexcom CGM, I would have needed to stop running, step aside and test my BG levels. Ultimately, this saved me a lot of time.
What can you do now that you couldn’t do before, using the Animas Vibe Insulin Pump and Dexcom G5 Mobile System?
Prior to using the Dexcom G5 Mobile System, I would not know when my glucose levels would drop very quickly especially when I was running on my treadmill at home. With Dexcom CGM alerting me when my levels are dropping, I have been able to address these lows accordingly.
We all experience hypos and highs at some stage and as we all know, the hypos generally happen at the least times! Wearing Dexcom CGM has made a big difference in managing hypos and highs especially when I am traveling for work. The Animas Vibe Insulin Pump has also given me the freedom to adjust my basal and bolus insulin rates when required – What a difference from trying to work out insulin injection dosages and times.
Why should others look into pumping or CGM?
I often compare multiple daily injections to a landline phone and an insulin pump to a mobile phone. Using an insulin pump gives me more freedom and flexibility to do what I want. What an improvement in my quality of life! Dexcom CGM is another amazing product for my T1D. For a partner, mother and sister, to be able to see what one’s glucose level is doing, is amazing. When I am in meetings for work and it’s not convenient to test my levels, with Dexcom CGM, I am able to look at my phone and obtain an accurate level. It is so convenient!
Do you have any tips for others looking into pumping or CGM?
Medical technology continues to advance at an amazing rate. The Animas Insulin Pump and Dexcom CGM are products that help me manage my diabetes. Being able to give one-twentieth of a unit rather than one unit makes such a difference to me. Being able to wake up at night, look at my phone to check my glucose level and not have to get up to prick my finger is such an advance in the treatment of diabetes.
What have you learnt from this whole experience?
It is very important to set small goals for yourself and then set time aside to try achieve these. If I can do it, then you can do it too!
Disclaimer: This video relates to an individual’s response to treatment with our products. The testimonial does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. Responses to treatment with our products may differ. It is important to consider individual circumstances and consult your healthcare professional before considering any changes to your diabetes management.