I don't think people should have to fight to live their lives. Technology plays a major part in many people’s control over their blood sugar levels.
I was diagnosed when I was 14, so almost 10 years ago. I started on insulin pump six months after I was diagnosed and a year after that, I got my first CGM. I was one of the first in Scotland to get CGM funded by the NHS.
My tech journey has had its ups and downs. There have been some things that have been frustrating, but I think that's because of the period I was in my life. For example, when you go to university and you're going out with your friends and you're having fun. The first problem is being a girl and trying to find somewhere to put your pump!
And then when I had high blood sugar and was having to juggle that with the difficulties and stresses of university, I would often want to chuck my pump at wall and be like “leave me alone.” I had the pump and CGM for eight years, but they weren’t compatible to achieve a closed loop. In April 2022, I moved to the Tandem T:Slim and Dexcom. So, I have had hybrid closed loop for 10 months now.
However, overall, it's been very positive because I do have epilepsy and the main trigger is low blood sugar. So, I do have that fear all the time that I'm going to have a hypo when I'm by myself. Now the closed loop alleviates a lot of my anxiety and improves my quality of life. I can trust myself; I can go out by myself. The closed loop system means that it will act quickly to control my blood sugar and alarm me way ahead of time if it knows I’m going into the danger zones. It just means that I feel safer living my life essentially.
One thing I have noticed is the differences in healthcare from one area to another. Every clinic has different technology that they use. For example, where I lived previously, they said that the T-Slim and Dexcom together wasn’t really an option. But when I moved, this was very easily offered to me. I also had my first clinic appointment in another new city very recently. They said they might need to change my technology, because “they don’t do that pump there.”
I'm worried that even if I'm happy on the technology that I'm on, they're going to change it because every area is different. I'm hoping I get to keep it.
I don't think people should have to fight to live their lives. Technology plays a major part in many people’s control over their blood sugar levels. It has been really instrumental in making sure that I can be independent because I have diabetes, and I am also prone to seizures. If I didn't have this technology then I wouldn’t be able to live by myself and I would really struggle.
I really want to share my story and hopefully have it make a difference.