Mike has lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for over 35 years, and during that time he has spent a lot of time on his motorbike, exploring all that NSW has to offer. We recently spoke to Mike about his journey with T1D, from his experience riding with diabetes to his use of diabetes technology, like Dexcom G6, to manage his glucose levels. Keep reading to find out more about Mike’s unique story!
Q: Tell us a little about you and your journey with diabetes so far.
I have had T1D since I was 18 years of age. Diagnosed on a Friday, it was a real downer for the first day of my long weekend off. A first-year apprentice Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, I felt that life was beginning to start for me. Suddenly the brakes were thrown on and I had to adjust my lifestyle accordingly.
Having worked shift work for my entire working life, I have had many challenges with my maintaining my glucose levels. Now, I find myself 36 years down the road and I feel my T1D control is the best it’s ever been. For me, this has only been possible with CGM, in particular Dexcom G6. I’m looking forward to even better control with more advanced CGM technology… the future for people living with T1D couldn’t be more exciting.
Q. And what do you do in your down time?
I enjoy motorcycling and in the past, this was a challenge as I became hypo-unaware in my 20’s. At first I was using Dexcom G5 Mobile but now I use Dexcom G6. I know I can look at my phone or watch* and see my levels instantaneously. On my bike I can even have my phone attached to the handlebars and see at a glance what my sugar levels are doing. I believe CGM is life changing for a person living with diabetes.
Q. How does wearing Dexcom support your riding?
With the use of the Dexcom G6 app, I can see my levels on my watch so it is very easy to monitor every 5 minutes. The ability to set my own glucose alerts is a great advantage as well. I can change these alerts as needed, and set them at a higher limit if I want to have a higher ‘warning’ limit, as is needed when riding. I also like wearing my Dexcom G6 when riding as it gives me a feeling of comfort knowing I’m not the only one who can see my sugar levels with Dexcom Share^. I share my sugar levels with my wife, so she can see where my levels are at. It gives her comfort too, knowing that I am okay whilst riding.
Q. What is something that you’ve learned from riding?
One thing I’ve learned about riding with T1D is that it takes a lot of energy to ride a motorbike, especially all day as we sometimes do when touring. As per everyday life, it takes constant vigilance as sugars can drop without warning, so more than ever I think it is extremely important that I’m aware of my glucose levels whilst riding my motorbike.
Q. What features from Dexcom G6 have helped you manage your glucose levels?
I think just the constant visibility of my sugar levels, it takes away the worry and sometimes crippling mental burn-out from constant fingerpricks and not knowing what your levels are doing. I also like that I can go 10 days without having to change a sensor. Also, with Dexcom G6 there is no need to calibrate#. It is my experience that once I’ve started the sensor and waited the 2 hr warm up, the sensor is accurate and very reliable for the next 10 days.
Q. What would you say to someone looking into Dexcom G6?
I find Dexcom G6 to be reliable. And now with the subscription offer for the supply of my Dexcom G6 sensors and transmitters at a regular time, I think it’s quite affordable for me as a self-funded CGM user. However, I would also like to say that having T1D is a cost burden and anything that AMSL Diabetes and the Government can do to help ALL people with T1D to lower this burden would be most appreciated.
Q. Lastly, what words of wisdom would you like to share with the T1D community?
The motto I live my life by is “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. I feel that using my Dexcom G6 CGM with my iPhone and watch means I am doing the best I can to manage my T1D.
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.
*To view a list of compatible smart devices, visit dexcom.com/en-AU/compatibility
^The Dexcom Follow app will need to be downloaded on the Follower’s phone. To view a list of compatible smart devices, visit dexcom.com/en-AU/compatibility. Internet connectivity is required to access Dexcom Follow.
#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.
“The ability to set my own glucose alerts is a great advantage… I can change these alerts as needed, and set them at a higher limit if I want to have a higher ‘warning’ limit, as is needed when riding.”
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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