13 Nov Maggie O’Farrell
It was time!
When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 15 years old, it changed my life forever. It’s a never-ending job you can’t take a break from, you can’t change, and it doesn’t go away. It’s with you 24/7 and is so freaking demanding. Even though I knew this disease could cause severe damage to my body or even kill me, I tried to put it on a “back burner” and pretend like it wasn’t that bad. Now I’m twenty-three. Recently, after occasional scares with some of my regular tests for kidneys, eyes, and liver, and after feeling terrible from blood sugar levels that were all over the place, I realized that I had to stop trying to ignore this disease and start trying to get on top of it. I wanted my life back, or as much of it as I could get back. I was afraid of my T1D, and it was running my life because I let it. I realized that had to change, or I’d soon be in a lot of trouble physically.
I decided to give the Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and Omnipod Insulin Pump a chance. I started using the CGM first with shots, which helped but wasn’t providing the better blood sugar controls I could achieve with both. I often had very high blood sugars and felt awful physically. With encouragement and help from my dad, who’s had T1D for most of his life, and my family, I decided to try the Omnipod insulin pump as well. The closed-loop system of the Omnipod and Dexcom working together has made a big difference. It’s much less demanding because I don’t have to do all those finger sticks or give myself multiple shots of insulin. It’s also improved my overall physical health incredibly because I don’t have as many high or low blood sugars. Don’t get me wrong, highs and lows still happen, but I can react faster and deal with them because I can see how my blood sugar is trending up or down and act accordingly.
I often wake up with nearly normal blood sugars and am able to maintain them throughout the day by just dialing into my meter. Although there are still hard days and I don’t enjoy having to maintain two devices on my body, I wouldn’t change going onto the closed loop. I feel better now more days than not. It feels like I’ve gotten some of my life back from T1D