Drumming with Dexcom – AMSL Diabetes

Tim Burnham

Drumming with Dexcom

Meet Tim – he’s a professional drummer with type 1 diabetes!

Tim says it all started with two halves of a honey sandwich. Two halves of a honey sandwich that he would tap as if he were drumming at school. Growing up, Tim says he drove everyone crazy, constantly tapping beats on anything he could. And it wasn’t long before this was noticed by his family, friends and school teachers who recommended he join music class.

Nowadays, not much has changed as Tim still loves nothing more than locking himself in his studio all day, playing music and giving drum lessons. When performing, he thrives on stage; playing all kinds of music to all kinds of people in all kinds of places – this is all he’s ever wanted to do.

However, in 2011 he experienced a bit of a shakeup following a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Tim found himself pricking his finger every hour and constantly thinking about his sugar levels. He had become obsessed and so he decided he needed a change.

Tim has always loved being on stage!

Q: Can you tell us about your journey with type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed around July 2011. I can’t remember the exact date as that chapter in my life is somewhat blurry – I was so preoccupied with touring and recording in my studio. After my diagnosis, I became obsessed with checking my sugar level to the point where I would sometimes find it hard to relax – something needed to change.

I’ve always found myself to be a curious person – I love to learn new things and figure out how they work and build things. So after being diagnosed, I couldn’t help but learn all about diabetes – I wanted to know everything! And honestly, I believe type 1 diabetes has taught me a great deal and I am a far healthier person now because of it.

Q: How do you manage your type 1 diabetes?

Well that’s a question I could spend all day answering. Besides using the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System, I like to keep active and do some weight training twice a week. I’m all about trying to run my body in a way that keeps it sensitive to insulin.

Whether exercising or performing, Dexcom CGM has meant that he can check where his glucose levels are and where they are headed.

Q: And how did you find out about Dexcom CGM?

Initially, I was asked to participate in a trial by my diabetes educator. They loaned me a Dexcom G4 PLATINUM* CGM system to trial for the week. When the week was up, they came to take the kit back and I told them they would have to fight me to get it – and I was serious. I felt like I couldn’t go a day without it! So they let me keep the trial kit for another two weeks until I had purchased my own Dexcom CGM system.

Q: What was your first impression of the Dexcom CGM?

It was love at first sight. Well actually, it was love at ‘the first time I avoided a hypo when the alarm sounded’. I spent weeks checking it every five minutes as I was so in love with it. Having this little black box [Dexcom Receiver] in my pocket that does all my worrying for me is invaluable. Also having the support from my local AMSL Diabetes representative – they were so helpful and reliable. Most importantly I’ve found AMSL Diabetes really seem to care. That’s the difference.

Tim said with Dexcom CGM "For the first time, I could stop thinking about my sugar levels and feel free again."

Q: It’s great to hear that Dexcom has given you greater peace of mind! Are there any other features of the Dexcom CGM System that you like?

In a word, alarms! The alarms are what make the Dexcom the best CGM for me. Just set and forget. When the alarm sounds, then you need to do something. For the first time, I could stop thinking about my sugar levels and feel free again.

Q: And how does Dexcom CGM help you do the things you love, like drumming?

Before using Dexcom CGM, I would bump up my sugar level before performing so I could get through a show without having a hypo. I’d also do this before sleeping. Now with Dexcom, I can leave my sugars where I want them without having to worry about a hypo. Can you imagine how weird it would be to pause a gig while I check my sugar levels with a finger prick in front of a few thousand people? Now I have my Dexcom CGM System and some glucose tablets on the floor next to me while I perform. In between songs I simply poke the buttons on the Dexcom Receiver with a drum stick, take a glance and then get back to work. For me, it’s life-changing.

Q: What advice would you give to others looking into Dexcom?

Just get one…
Right now.
Get up.
Go get Dexcom.

Using Dexcom CGM to capture his glucose data and alert his if it is high or low means a little less worry and a little more rock and roll!

Editor note: Tim wanted to share his experience with Dexcom to express how much peace of mind it has given him. He knows that with this technology, he can more easily monitor his sugar levels whether jamming in his studio or performing on stage in front of thousands. Tim now has the freedom to get back to what he loves doing, tapping beats on anything and everything, even if that’s only two halves of a honey sandwich.

To learn more about Dexcom CGM, click here

Always read the label and use only as directed. Read the warnings available on www.amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.

If you would like your story posted by AMSL Diabetes, please contact marketing@amsl.com.au

*The Dexcom G4 PLATINUM CGM system is not available for private sale within Australia. Dexcom G5 Mobile and Dexcom G6 are available. For more information, contact us on 1300 851 056
Testimonial Disclosure
This testimonial relates to an individual’s response to treatment with our products and has been edited to ensure it is consistent with the products’ indication(s). 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 with your healthcare professional before considering any changes to your diabetes management
Tim is an AMSL Diabetes All-Star and received sponsorship from AMSL Diabetes for speaking at the Sports & Exercise Weekend 2019.
Dexcom is a registered trademarks of Dexcom, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.


“The alarms are what make the Dexcom the best CGM for me. Just set and forget. When the alarm sounds, then you need to do something. For the first time, I could stop thinking about my sugar levels and feel free again.”

Drumming with Dexcom

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