Grace has a busy schedule. When she’s not going on small hikes or playing social sport, she’s working towards finishing her undergraduate degree! Grace has also lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 8 years now. Each day, Grace stays on top of her diabetes with the t:slim X2™ insulin pump and Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system. We chatted to Grace about how she keeps busy and her journey with diabetes.
Q. Tell us a little about your journey with diabetes?
I was diagnosed with T1D on December 5th, 2012 – I was 12 years old at the time. I currently use the t:slim X2 insulin pump along with the Dexcom G5 Mobile to manage my diabetes.
Q. And what’s a day in the life of Grace like?
As I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree, most of my time is spent studying! The first thing I do in the morning is test my sugars, calibrate my CGM and pre-bolus for breakfast. I then set up my workstation to begin my day, whether that’s watching lectures, reviewing concepts or taking part in a group study session via Zoom. I try to get some sort of exercise in each day as well, whether that’s a walk or some social sport, as I find it makes managing my diabetes so much easier. So I might go for a walk in the afternoon to take a break before some more light revision in the evening.
Throughout the day, I check my Dexcom to ensure my sugars are in range, as despite my daily routine being pretty consistent, I’ve found that no day with T1D is ever the same for me.
T1D plays a big part in my study schedule, as high or low levels can really affect my ability to focus on my work. For me, when my sugars are high, I usually get a headache, feel quite tired suddenly and just have no energy to continue studying. However, having a low sugar level makes me feel dizzy, unfocused and flustered, leaving me without the ability to study as well. So it’s really important for me to try manage my sugars as best as possible, to maximise the efforts I can put into my studies.
Q. How does type 1 diabetes affect other areas of your life?
T1D plays a big role in all aspects of my life, although I believe extra precaution needs to be taken when I’m playing social sport or going on small hikes for example. For me, T1D affects these activities, often causing changes in my levels, both highs and lows. I believe there is so much to take into consideration when managing T1D such as how much insulin I already have on board, how intense the exercise is and how recent my last meal was.
Q. Earlier, you mentioned you are using the t:slim X2 insulin pump to stay on top of your levels. Which features from t:slim X2 do you find most useful?
I like having an insulin pump with a small, sleek design that has a rechargeable battery. Charging is so simple! Another favourite feature is the compatibility with Dexcom* – being able to see my levels on the front screen and being able to set alarms to levels that work for me.
The t:slim X2 insulin pump also allows me to make as many changes as needed, from basal rates^, insulin to carb ratios as well as correction ratios. Temporary basal rates are such a useful feature of the pump as I can temporarily adjust my insulin doses to suit my activity levels or to work around a sick day.
I am also really looking forward to being able to move to the new Basal-IQ technology one day. I have seen others beginning to use this feature and it looks incredible!
Q. And with Dexcom G5 Mobile, which features specifically help you keep track of and manage your diabetes?
I have 2 favourite features from Dexcom G5 Mobile! One is the ability to see where my sugar level is trending so that I can make necessary adjustments before I may feel the effects of a low/high sugar level. For me, this makes management so much easier and helps in keeping my sugars in range as much as possible.
The other feature is the ability for Dexcom G5 Mobile to alarm when my sugar levels are low, specifically through the night. Dexcom has woken me up countless times, when my levels were low, but my body was not waking up on its own. When Dexcom alarms, it lets myself, or a family member know to wake up because I need to treat my low. The reassurance my loved ones and I feel from being able to monitor my levels 24/7 via Dexcom Share is great.
Q. Lastly, why did you choose AMSL Diabetes, t:slim X2 insulin pump and Dexcom CGM to manage your diabetes?
For me, the control I am able to achieve with the t:slim X2 and Dexcom G5 Mobile is incredible. Also, there are really great support systems in place. AMSL Diabetes provides easy to access assistance surrounding my chosen insulin pump/CGM.
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Always read the label and use only as directed. Read the warnings available on amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.
*The t:slim X2 insulin pump is compatible with the Dexcom G5 Mobile only. If you are using the new t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology, this software version is only compatible with the Dexcom G6 CGM system.
^ It is recommended that you speak to your healthcare team prior to changing your diabetes management plan.
“The t:slim X2 insulin pump also allows me to make as many changes as needed, from basal rates^, insulin to carb ratios as well as correction ratios. Temporary basal rates are such a useful feature of the pump as I can temporarily adjust my insulin doses to suit my activity levels or to work around a sick day.”
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