Athlete & YouTube Sensation: Elijah

Tandem Diabetes Care Pump

This content originally appeared on Tandem Diabetes Care’s blog. Republished with permission.

Elijah is 11 years old and doesn’t let diabetes slow him down — not while pounding the pavement running cross country, and not while playing basketball, football, baseball, or his favorite, golf.

Having spent most of his life with type 1 diabetes, Elijah is a pro at overcoming challenges and adapting. He started on an Animas pump at four years old, then later switched to a tubeless pump. With support from his family, all of this change was manageable.

What Inspired Elijah to Try a Tandem Diabetes Care Pump?

One day, Shawn, a family friend and Tandem Diabetes Care team member who met Elijah the day he was diagnosed ten and a half years ago, proposed the idea of switching to a Tandem pump, but Elijah was reluctant. Elijah liked his current pump. Plus, he still had lingering worries from when his dog grabbed on to his tubing when he was four years old.

“Elijah did not want to switch,” explained mom, Molly. “And we understood, change is hard. He does a great job, but things were not going in a direction we felt good about… he was doing well, considering diabetes is a tough disease, but he had three consecutive A1c results, each higher than the one before it.”

Elijah wasn’t satisfied either. “My first experience wearing and using a pump was great, but I was always going really high and low. My blood sugars were not controlled well,” he explains. It also made some of his favorite activities more challenging, “My blood sugar, especially during baseball, would go low.”

The innovative Control-IQ® technology available for the t:slim X2™ pump piqued his parents’ interest. Around this time, they also moved in next door to Shawn. This created an opportunity for Elijah to get the feel of a Tandem pump, without an infusion site. He wore one around as a test drive of sorts.

Known by his family as a “numbers guy,” Elijah was really interested in the tech and advancement, and his parents reminded him that his body awareness had improved since he was four. They were optimistic the tubing would be less of a challenge, and it was a perk that the t:slim X2 pump offers a variety of infusion set choices.

It didn’t take long before he told his parents, “OK. Let’s do it.”

In October 2020, Elijah officially made the leap. He adjusted with help from some “diabesties” (friends in the diabetes community) and essential mentor, Shawn. By November, he was enjoying his newfound freedom.

“Everyone needs a Shawn,” exclaims Molly. Having that person, whether it be a diabetes educator or Tandem representative, can be an essential part in bridging the gap in “pump 101.”

Tandem Diabetes Care Pump

What Does the Family Love Most About the t:slim x2 Pump?

Elijah’s pump has settings for activities like Exercise and Sleep that can adjust basal rates and deliver automatic correction boluses, and it’s helping him focus more on his sports. “Putting my pump on the Exercise setting makes a big difference.” Whether he’s up to bat or sinking a hole in one, his blood glucose levels are on his mind a little less often these days.

“I sleep all night now,” says Molly, who loves the Sleep feature. “I can’t remember sleeping through the night before.”

These days, Elijah can go to bed at 200 mg/dl and wake up in the morning at 90 mg/dl–now that he wakes up with better numbers, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. After-breakfast spikes are also less likely. Molly describes the switch to Tandem like many often do, “It’s been a game changer.”

After trying a couple different infusion sets, Elijah has found his favorite, the TruSteel, which is rigid and is inserted manually. “He likes it because he controls it going in,” explains Molly. Elijah found that the automatic insertion of this tubeless pump would cause him anxiety each time it was changed. He counted every click in anticipation and was bothered when the timing differed from insertion to insertion.

“I was a little scared of tubing at first, but I don’t even notice it anymore,” says this active guy.

After a few months of use, it was time to see the endocrinologist. Starting at a 7.6 A1c in October, Elijah had achieved an impressive 6.8 by January. While they wish they would have made the switch to the t:slim X2 pump sooner, Molly wanted to wait until her son felt he was ready.

“As a parent, it changes the diabetes game 100%.” Molly goes on to say she knows that highs and lows are still possible, but are far less extreme with Control-IQ technology. When asked who, in her opinion, is a good candidate for a Tandem pump, she replied, “Anybody with type 1—if I was diagnosed tomorrow I’d go on one.”

Tandem Diabetes Care Pump

What Is Elijah Working on Now?

As for Elijah, his focus is on other things. He is hard at work on his own YouTube channel, Diabetic Dude, which features feel-good content and messages about diabetes awareness. “I mainly started to show people what type 1 diabetes is. It’s a serious disease, but I want to show people I can still do everything normal. I’ve started making more fun and hilarious videos.” He hopes his channel becomes lucrative, so he can donate proceeds to JDRF, a nonprofit 501c organization that funds type 1 diabetes research.

“I feel like he has more freedom, I feel like he can be a kid,” Molly says, excitedly explaining how nice it is that he can just have a popsicle at a friend’s house if he wants one. Elijah and his family have only good things to say about other diabetes devices, but Tandem has brought them to that next level of diabetes achievement. They leave us with this insight about Tandem, “The tech is just better. “

We thank Molly and Elijah for sharing their story and wish Elijah a very happy 1-year anniversary of Diabetic Dude! Check out his channel and be sure to subscribe!

Tandem Diabetes Care Pump


 

Responsible Use of Control-IQ Technology

Even with advanced systems such as the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology, you are still responsible for actively managing your diabetes. Control-IQ technology does not prevent all high and low blood glucose events. The system is designed to help reduce glucose variability, but it requires your accurate input of information, such as meals and periods of sleep or exercise. Control-IQ technology will not function as intended unless you use all system components, including your CGM, infusion sets and pump cartridges, as instructed. Importantly, the system cannot adjust your insulin dosing if the pump is not receiving CGM readings. Since there are situations and emergencies that the system may not be capable of identifying or addressing, always pay attention to your symptoms and treat according to your healthcare provider’s recommendations.

From time to time, we may pass along suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem insulin pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. Please note, however, individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Tackling Carbs with Tech

Many people who live with diabetes avidly avoid eating carbohydrates, as historically speaking, it has been notoriously difficult to cover carbohydrates appropriately with exogenous insulins. But with access to better, faster insulins and the uptick in the use of patient-friendly technology, things are changing, and people’s diets (and their feelings of freedom) have expanded more than ever. Here are the best tech-friendly hacks to tackle the carbohydrate conundrum.

MyNetDiary

This popular app has a searchable database with nearly a million food entries for people to access and look up carbohydrate counts on the go. The company also has a separate Diabetes app that allows users to track blood glucose levels, HbA1c results, and insulin doses, to track their progress over time. If you’re looking to lose weight, MyNetDiary can create a diet plan to meet your needs. You never have to feel restricted when eating meals with family or friends, having all your carbohydrate counting needs right at your fingertips.

Photo credit: GreaterGoods

GreaterGoods Nourish Digital Scale

This food scale is a game changer for those who cook with lots of fresh produce, where carbohydrate counts can vary quite a bit. This scale lets the user view nutrition facts for over 2,000 foods in the scale’s built-in database, and create up to 99 more custom entries. Measure individual ingredients, track full meals, and calculate daily carbohydrate intake much easier with this digital scale.

InPen

This revolutionary device is the only FDA-approved smart pen insulin system that helps prevent users from “stacking” their insulin doses and take the right amount of insulin at the right time. This device works in tandem with a phone app, where users can track insulin on board/active insulin, personalize your doses, sync with continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or glucometer data, and share reports with others. The pen itself is compatible with Humalog, Novolog, and Fiasp, and will even dose in half units. Eating carbohydrates has traditionally been much harder on multiple daily injections, but advancements such as the InPen are making strides to make life much easier for people with diabetes.

Use Alternative Pump Boluses

If you are an insulin pump user, dosing for a high carbohydrate meal can also be difficult, especially if the meal also has a moderate amount of protein and fat (which can delay the absorption of the glucose in the meal). To handle that, try opting for a combination bolus (a.k.a. Combo Bolus or Dual Wave Bolus,  for Animas or Medtronic users, respectively; Omnipod, Tandem t:slim users will use “Extended Bolus”). This is a hybrid delivery mode: a specified portion of the total insulin bolus is delivered upfront, as a normal bolus, while the rest is delivered over a specified period of time as an extended/square wave bolus.

For example, given a 12U dose delivered as a 60/40 combination/square wave bolus over 3 hours: 60% of the total dose (7.2U) will be delivered within seconds of pressing the “deliver” button; the remaining 40% (4.8U) will be delivered equally every few minutes over the next three hours. The result is an initial dose to cover faster-digesting foods, plus an extended amount of insulin action to deal with the slower-digesting foods (which tend to be fattier or have more protein), and to prevent postprandial spikes in blood glucose. Utilizing these settings can be extremely helpful when you’re eating foods like pizza, pasta, Chinese food, Mexican food, or ice cream. Always consult with your diabetes healthcare provider before making any changes to your dosing routine.

Dexcom CLARITY Diabetes Management Software

Photo credit: Dexcom

Dexcom Clarity App

This software can be helpful for patients already using the Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system, but are wanting to track and change problematic patterns in their blood glucose. This app lets you set target goals for your blood sugars, will track time-in-range, detects patterns of highs and lows and will alert you to them, and will even give the user a predicted HbA1c result. You can also choose to share your data with your health clinic to make changes to your insulin routine or insulin to carbohydrate ratio in real time, and to really find what will work best for you for optimal management.

Living with diabetes is never easy, but thankfully technology has made counting carbohydrates and eating easier than ever before. What apps or tech has helped you to navigate food, eating, and counting carbohydrates? What’s worked best and what hasn’t? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Tech Updates: Spring 2019

This content originally appeared on Type 1 Writes. Republished with permission.A couple of Saturdays ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Type 1 Tech Summit in Perth, where I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the reps from the diabetes device companies to find out what’s new. Mylife Diabetescare Last May, […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

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