At age 12, Issy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Almost one year on, she is making strides with her diabetes management, whilst also excelling within her representative sport teams and educating her friends and family about type 1 diabetes (T1D)! We spoke to Issy about when she was first diagnosed, how things have changed since then and what technology she uses to manage her glucose levels.
Q: Tell us a little about when you were first diagnosed with diabetes?
I was diagnosed in November 2020, and at first, I didn’t really know what to think. To be honest, I didn’t even really know what diabetes was! I think I was super lucky because we caught the diabetes early and secondly, because I was able to get the Dexcom G5 Mobile in the hospital before I left. It was the best thing to have as I left the hospital and gave us all peace of mind that first night! After heading home, my family and I were super careful with carb counting, which I guess was natural because it was all so new. Fast forward to now and me and my family are confident in how we do things but accept that we’re still learning all the time.
Q: And how has diabetes affected your life/hobbies?
Well, I have always been very sporty, and when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was worried that it was going to change that. Prior to my diagnosis, most days I would usually be doing at least 2 hours of high intensity sport, which actually helped me reduce the amount of insulin I had to take. Nowadays, I play a lot of representative sports such as basketball, netball and swimming. These are all intense sports that tend to make my levels go low, even just during training!
The other thing that I love to do is be with my friends and family. They are all so supportive of me and my diabetes management, and I love them so much!
Q: What tools do you use to manage your diabetes?
I was on MDI for the first six and a half months after my diagnosis. I found it really tough as it made it hard for me to be normal around my friends I think. But when I got my t:slim X2 insulin pump, it made things a whole lot easier! It really has helped me so much since diagnosis!
And the same goes with my Dexcom G6. The Dexcom G6 system is my glucose monitor and helps me make sure my sugar levels are in range and the pump gives me the insulin my pancreas can’t produce so that my levels stay in range.
Q: Why do you like using the t:slim X2 insulin pump to stay on top of your levels?
I love the Basal-IQ technology on my t:slim X2 pump, as it has helped me so many times and has saved a lot of juices as well (previously needed for my lows)! For me, it always suspends insulin delivery* at the perfect time and I’ve found, my levels have gone low so much less with the pump and it’s technology (plus, I’m getting a lot more sleep!)
Q: And what about Dexcom G6 CGM?
It’s such an amazing piece of technology! I think my favourite feature would definitely be the accuracy^! And when I was using Dexcom G5 Mobile before this, I still had to do fingerpricks, but with Dexcom G6, I do little to no fingerpricks# and I love it!
I especially love the Dexcom G6 Urgent Low Soon alert, as it helps me catch lows early and be able to keep doing what I love. It has really reminded me that diabetes doesn’t have to stop me from doing anything!
Q: We love that optimistic outlook! So, tell us how do you feel when your glucose levels are within your target range, compared to when they are not?
When my levels are within range, it’s amazing! It makes me feel proud to see how far I have come with my diabetes, so I love it when I’m in range! When my levels are outside my target range though, I feel frustrated but I know sometimes you can just hit a rough patch and that’s ok. This is when I tell myself “Even though diabetes can be really hard sometimes, you are doing the best you can!”.
Q: And lastly, what would you say to others living with type 1 diabetes?
Initially I was really shy and tried to hide my diabetes, so to all the other people out there living with diabetes that feel uncomfortable or like their being judged, you’re not! Show off your medical devices – it makes T1D normal and easier for others to realise what we’re going through!
Editor note: Issy refuses to see type 1 diabetes as a barrier to the things she loves doing! She is passionate about her sport, her friends and family, and showing the world that she is a type 1 LEGEND! She believes that by showing off her diabetes tech, like her t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology and Dexcom G6 CGM, she can raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and normalise a condition that so many live with.
Wanting to share your personal journey? Join our AMSL Diabetes All Star Program and claim your exclusive AMSL Diabetes All Star kit today at product.amsl.com.au/all-star-program.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Read the warnings available on amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.
*Basal-IQ technology is not a substitute for active self-management of your diabetes. Dexcom G6 is required for this feature. Dexcom G6 is sold separately.
^Shah VN, Laffel LM, Wadwa RP, Garg SK: Performance of a Factory-Calibrated Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Utilizing an Automated Sensor Applicator. Diabetes Technol Ther 2018;20:428-433 – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29923775
#If your glucose alerts and readings from the G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions.
“Initially I was really shy and tried to hide my diabetes, so to all the other people out there living with diabetes that feel uncomfortable or like their being judged, you’re not! Show off your medical devices – it makes T1D normal and easier for others to realise what we’re going through!”
Emily talks about staying motivated with her T1D care, all while balancing a busy and active lifestyle! She also reflects on some of her biggest challenges throughout her journey with diabetes and touches on some of the biggest lessons she's learnt over the years!
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