When were you diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 4 years old. As I was so young I don’t remember much of it! I remember feeling very tired and thirsty. My mum then took me to hospital where I was officially diagnosed.
Being so young I didn’t know what was happening apart from people wanting to put needles into me so I remember it being a scary experience.
As time went on, managing diabetes became part of my day to day life. My mum, who also has Type 1 diabetes played a huge role as well as the rest of my family include my dad and sisters. They looked after me lots and provided the foundations to allow me to manage my own diabetes.
Why did you choose an Animas insulin pump?
I was put on an insulin pump when I was 10 years old as I was previously using multiple daily injections which didn’t give me much control because of the amount of sport I was playing. As the pump was relatively new it was hard to manage to start with but it made a huge difference to my life.
A number of years later I moved onto an Animas® Vibe® Insulin Pump & Dexcom G4® PLATINUM CGM System because the design of the pump and the use of Continuous Glucose Monitoring would continue to help me further with my sport and day to day life.
How did your Animas insulin pump change your life?
The Animas® Vibe® Insulin Pump with CGM component changed my life. Playing so much sport I didn’t always know why certain things were happening. The CGM let me view blood sugars at different times of the day and then I could make adjustments to solve the issues, such as overnight hypo’s.
It especially helped when I moved to university. I moved away from home which was scary at first because I wouldn’t be surrounded with people who could help if anything went wrong. Using the Animas® Vibe® Insulin Pump gave me the confidence to move away and have complete control of my diabetes.
What sport do you practice, and how has the Animas® Vibe® Insulin Pump had an impact on exercise for you?
I play lots of sports such as tennis and cricket but I also play semi-professional football. Due to the amount of sport I play I needed a pump that would be small enough that I didn’t notice it whilst playing and something that was reliable.
The type of sports I play are never the same because sometimes I might be really active and sometimes I might not do anything! The CGM can track my blood sugar as I’m playing sport and tell me if I will become too high or too low which is really useful to keep on top of things.
What are your main day-to-day challenges with living with Type 1 diabetes and how do you cope with them?
The main day to day challenges with living with diabetes is that not everyday is the same so I find it difficult to have a routine and to notice any patterns. The CGM keeps me on top of my blood sugar throughout the day and night which allows me to live a varied lifestyle.
What would you say to someone who has heard your story, also lives with Type 1 diabetes and now wants a challenge of their own?
I would say don’t let anything stop you! I’ve always said don’t let diabetes control you. You control your diabetes! So whatever it is that you want to achieve, with the use of insulin pumps and CGM anything is possible!
What advice would you give someone who has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes?
Some good advice would be to not let it stop you do anything. Listen to people who try help you along the way and try speak to people who have the condition and it’ll prove to you that you will live a normal life.