Jeremy is an avid traveller. He loves venturing overseas to snowboard, surf and ultimately, have a good time! He has also lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) since age nine. He remembers worrying that T1D would slow him down from his ever-active lifestyle. Luckily, this was not the case!
For the last few years, he has managed his glucose levels with the support of Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). We spoke to Jeremy to hear more from him about managing diabetes when travelling abroad.
Q: Can you tell us about your recent trips abroad?
Definitely! I’ve done quite a lot of travelling recently! In November 2019, I was extremely lucky to travel to Indonesia for my honeymoon. And earlier this year in February, I went to Japan to snowboard, and then a few weeks later, back to Indonesia to surf.
My wife, Tayla, and I spent a week in the tourist hotspot suburb of Shinjuku in Tokyo, where we loved to use the amazing subway network to explore as much of Tokyo as we could.
Aside from dragging Tayla to every one of the numerous Pokémon Centres spread throughout the city, we loved going to Disneyland, venturing through Golden Gai of an evening and seeking out amazing ramen and karaage restaurants, that are completely Gluten Free! We then caught the Shinkensen (Bullet Train) out to Hukuba and were blessed with the best week of snow they had received all season. I love to snowboard any chance I get!
When we travelled to Indonesia in February, we opted to stay amongst the hustle and excitement of the Legian and Seminyaki areas for a few days, before we retreated out to the tropic paradise of Nusa Lembongan which sits off the east coast of Bali. There is not too much which compares to the feeling of sitting poolside and taking in the vast array of blues and greens from the stunning oceans and reefs that surround the island.
Q. How does Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM assist you in your diabetes management whilst travelling?
Travelling with diabetes can be very tricky, as it’s so different to your everyday life. There is no ‘normal routine’ so I really need to keep a close eye on my sugar levels. With Dexcom G5 Mobile, I can rely on the alerts and alarms to let me know if I am going high or low, so that I can enjoy whatever it is I have planned to do that day – whether it be surfing the worldclass reef of shipwrecks on Nusa Lembongan or spending the evening checking out everything there is to see in the streets of Shibuya, Japan. But if I’m really lucky, it can also mean dropping into waist deep powder snow when snowboarding in Hukuba, Japan.
Between the elements of freezing temperatures, strenuous activity and the excitement of being at the snow, managing my T1D can be difficult. Wearing Dexcom G5 Mobile lets me know exactly where my sugar levels are at, and where they are headed, just by looking at the trend arrow. This allows me to respond quickly, then giving me the freedom to get back to my day.
For me, when I am travelling, I tend to set my low alert a little higher than normal, just to give me as much notice as possible before my levels go too low. There were a few times in Japan where my Dexcom alarmed, just as we are about to jump on the subway. The alarm allowed me to grab a drink from one of Japan’s amazing vending machines, before I went too low.
My mum also absolutely loves the Follow feature as well, because even though I am in my mid-20’s, it gives her peace of mind knowing I am managing my sugar levels. It’s great that she can receive data in Australia, regardless of where am I in the world and whatever I may be doing.
Q: And what are your favourite features of Dexcom G5 Mobile?
I love using the Dexcom G5 Mobile widget on my iPhone, which allows me to check my sugar level and trend arrow extremely quickly without unlocking my phone. I personally don’t mind if people know that I have diabetes, but I love that there’s an option in case I ever want to be discreet. It just looks like I am checking a message on my phone!
I also love that the alerts and alarms can help me manage my sugar levels. The notifications really help me stay on top of my diabetes management. And on the flip side, it’s also great when my phone isn’t going off, as I know my sugar levels are staying within my pre-set range.
Q: What advice would you give to others living with T1D?
I’m a massive fan of ‘being proud of who you are’ and ‘making the most with what you have’. I love nothing more than talking to others, both living with and without diabetes, about T1D. I believe T1D doesn’t have to stop you from doing anything in your life that you want to do, especially if you take care of yourself.
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“I love using the Dexcom G5 Mobile widget on my iPhone, which allows me to check my sugar level and trend arrow extremely quickly without unlocking my phone. I personally don’t mind if people know that I have diabetes, but I love that there’s an option in case I ever want to be discreet.”
Sam believes that T1D doesn’t need to hold you back from accomplishing your dreams. In 2007, Sam debuted in professional AFL for the Western Bulldogs, and since then has gone from competing on the field to fatherhood. In 2020, Sam upgraded from Dexcom G5 Mobile to Dexcom G6 to monitor and manage his diabetes.
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