Guest blogging: Standing up for your own health

 
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It’s 2019. A new year. New goals. New mindset. Or even the continuous improvement of what you were doing right in 2018.

For this new year, I set myself many objectives and things that I want to pursue, and one of them is to find the time to write more blog posts, as I know they do and can help a lot of fellow T1Ds.

However, to start this year with a special twist, I decided that I wasn’t going to be the one writing the first blog post of 2019, but that I was going to let another T1 friend be a guest blogger so she can share her part of experience with T1D. You’ve heard a lot about me and my stories, so enough about me for now, and you can read more about Savannah Lee, an inspiration and a fighter (@sav.b.lee). Here is her story about her experience with the Medtronic 670G, or as you may know it, the closed loop system. In other words: the artificial pancreas. She will show us that standing up for your own diabetes management takes a lot of courage, but at the end, it is all worth it. Savannah, you go now:

“I don’t know how many of you reading this have ever felt like this, but bare with me. When I was diagnosed (July 2016), Medtronic was just about to release the 670G, the latest in diabetes care technology, and it was all my endo could talk about. So, a short 6 months after my diagnosis, I began using the 670G with CGM integration ( Continuous Glucose Monitor) and I was officially on automode. Granted, I was excited to start it since I was sick of shots, and the hype around it was real. Long story short, I went along with it for about a year. Slowly, I stopped wearing the CGM, until I realized it had been almost 3 months since I last wore it.

Later on, I had an appointment with my endo, and my NP ( Nurse Practitioner) says “I don’t see any sensor data, you really need to be better at it”. After the appointment was done, I left feeling like sh*t. I felt like I had failed to be a “good diabetic” but I couldn’t bring my self to WANT to wear the CGM. My A1C was a 6.7 % and I was in range 70% of the time. I wasn’t in burn-out, I knew that for sure. I was just so consumed by what automode was doing that I couldn’t focus on anything else. So here I was, trying to explain to my doctor that I didn’t like the CGM and the 670G Insulin Pump together, and she still did not understanding my point. I had to explain my situation every single time.

For a lot of you, maybe reading this doesn’t make sense or you may not see where the problem is. I’ve talked to countless people who tell me that they LOVE the 670G and CGM integration, and that they LOVE being on auto-mode. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that experience, and for anyone else who didn’t have that experience, TRUST ME I FEEL YOUR PAIN. It’s so hard trying to explain something to someone that honestly doesn’t make sense to me. I just know that I felt much more anxiety surrounding my diabetes when I was on automode. The whole idea of automode is to give you the peace of mind that your blood sugars are being controlled since you don’t have to do anything. Although for me, I was obsessing over what my pump was doing and was always wondering if my blood sugars were in range and if everything was working correctly.

. After months of arguing and trying to explain to my NP (who was also using automode) why I didn’t like it , she finally let up. Medtronic then came out with the Guardian Connect, which doesn’t connect to my pump but it does connect to my phone and it changed my life. I was spending hours worrying about my diabetes, and finally I could take a breath. I started to worry normally around my diabetes, and I could live my life again. I was able to do that because I had to fight for my own care. You don’t always have to do what your NP says. It’s your body, it’s your life, and you make the decisions for your care.

Just because something works for one person, it doesn’t mean it has to work for you.

-Savannah