As Community Manager, I have the luxury of hearing stories from the Tidepool, and broader diabetes community every day. These stories give us an opportunity to learn from the diversity of experiences across this disease, reminding each of us that your diabetes may vary. They also highlight the shared experiences that make this community special. This summer I’m working with our Digital Content Intern, Anja to share some stories from you, the Tidepool community. If you’d like to share your story, fill out this form and I’ll be in touch.
-Christopher Snider, Community Manager
I’ve lived with diabetes for the past 43 years. I’m my own best coach and I’ve never been healthier than I am now – I hike three times per week and eat low carb, organic foods. I also enjoy giving and sharing advice with the diabetes online community. I’ve had low 6% A1Cs for over 4 years, every 3 months. Before this, I had to learn and research to keep up-to-speed on the new devices for diabetes.
But getting to the point I’m at now has taken time and experience. I can still remember the day after Thanksgiving, 1975. I was in the doctor’s office, almost comatose. The doctor told my dad I had type 1 diabetes and gave me a shot of insulin in my shoulder area. In just 10 minutes, I started to feel my battery of life recharging. It was amazing – the feeling of energy coming back. The big shocker was when the doctor told us I’d have to take insulin shots for the rest of my life.
Adding in the use of Tidepool, and seeing my data all in one place for the first time, was awesome. I love the layout look, feel, and detail, and I look at my data once per week when I can. It allows me to find patterns of preprandial and postprandial BGs that helps me fine tune my pump settings.
With access to all my data, I feel empowered to make changes to my diabetes management without relying on my endocrinologist visits.
Tidepool also helped me out when my night time trends showed I was snacking too much before bed, and my insulin-carb ratio was too high to support the carbs before bed. This knowledge allowed me to stop the snacking binge before bed and lowered my BG trend.
Diabetes can be take a lot of learning and research, but there have been some funny moments. I remember one time at work, I had a low BG. Someone called HR, not understanding the cause of my different behaviour, and I got a call from HR asking if I was drinking at lunch. I burst out laughing and wasn’t offended at all.
If I could go back in time and give my younger-self some advice, or give advice to anyone in the diabetes community, I would say, “Learn how each food changes your BG hours later, and learn how to bolus early for meals depending on the type of food or snacks.”