Newly Diagnosed and Impressed with T1D Technology
Cardiac nurse shares her journey as a newly diagnosed T1D
We spoke with Leika Scott, age 22 and a 2018 graduate of Saint Anselm College Nursing School who self-diagnosed her diabetes in September.
“I had the usual symptoms of Diabetes; polyuria (excessive urination) and polydipsia (excessive thirst). I remembered learning the typical signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in nursing school and this felt exactly like that. At my annual physical, I mentioned my symptoms and I asked my primary care doctor for an HbA1c test. It came back at 14 so they immediately sent me to the ER. I was lucky to avoid DKA. After a few hours and a liter of IV fluid, they released me because my other lab results were within normal limits and I was familiar with how to administer injections and count carbs.
“Within two months of diagnosis, my doctors felt it was safe for me to start pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) therapy. After lots of research of the various pumps/continuous glucose monitors available, I chose the Dexcom 6 CGM and the Omnipod pump, based on what I thought would fit best with my lifestyle. I chose the Omnipod pump because of my active lifestyle and appreciated its waterproof and tubeless features. I chose the Dexcom because of the compatibility with the Apple Watch.
“I have been impressed that with these tools because I have been able to continue my active life. I ski in the winter and run, bike, hike, swim, and waterski in the summer. In order to prevent lows during exercise, I decrease or suspend my pump prior to an activity and throughout my workouts, I am able to quickly glance at my blood sugars through Dexcom’s Apple Watch support. These features have made it so diabetes hasn’t stopped me from continuing all the activities I did prior to my diagnosis.
In addition, I utilize these technology features in the workplace as well. I am a Registered Nurse on a cardiac unit at Maine Medical Center. While working in a busy environment and in order to provide the best care possible to my patients, I am able to quickly glance at my blood sugar on my watch as often as a need and can adjust my basal rates on my PDM (personal diabetes manager) with my Omnipod if I notice I am trending higher/lower than I would prefer. These features make it so I am able to take care of myself, while I am also taking care of others.
“What impresses me the most is that I have not had to change my habits and patterns of living nearly as much as I expected. I can’t imagine coping with diabetes without these tools. I am extremely fortunate to have been diagnosed with diabetes in a time where there have been immense technological advances, making living with diabetes extremely manageable.
Today my HbA1c is 5.5. I attribute this ideal A1C to the technology I am fortunate to have.