Diabetes management equipment


Iwas diagnosed on the 1st of

August 2006 when I was 8

years old. I was lucky that my

grandma was a nurse - she

noticed the symptoms, like

weight loss and going to the toilet all the

time. I had a blood test done at the GPs

and I was 24.7mmols/l so they sent me

straight to hospital where I was officially

diagnosed. What I remember most was

just getting thirstier and thirstier.

As far as kit is concerned, straight

away I was given a blood test meter and

I was put on two injections a day, at 8am

and 6pm. What I recall from that period

was that it all felt really restrictive; I had eat

certain foods at certain times and follow

the rules. A few years later I moved onto

four injections a day, which allowed for a

bit more spontaneity, though I did have to

carry my pen around with me all day.

I finally went on a pump on 3rd August

2010, so four years after diagnosis, and

four years ago when I was 12. Ever since

being diagnosed, my family and I had

looked into pump technology. Getting one

was a complete life-changer, it really lifted

my spirits and gave me much greater

freedom. It was an absolute turning point

for me. Previously, I'd felt that diabetes

controlled my life; now I feel that, in the

main, I'm in control the diabetes. Now it

does not stop me from doing something,

whereas before I might not do things

because of the restrictions I felt were


I currently use a Medtronic Paradigm

Veo pump and a Bayer Contour Link

USB blood test meter. When I do a test,

the meter sends the result direct to the

pump, where I can use it for a bolus

calculation if I want to. It all goes on

record via the pump's software, so I can

see the insulin doses and the blood test

results side by side. It makes it easier to

see patterns and figure out adjustments.

The pump has the capacity for low

glucose suspend (LGS*) but I can't use

it, as I do not have funding for continuous

glucose monitoring (CGM), though I have

done a trial.

After the pump itself, the CGM trial

was the next best thing I have used in

terms of diabetes kit. It was fantastic

to have continuous results. When I had

the CGM I could turn on the LGS on the

pump, which stopped me from going a lot

lower than I would have done otherwise.

My intention is to avoid highs, as they

carry the risk of complications in later life,

so I stay as low as I can and risk having

hypos. However I am hypo aware and

keep a bottle of Lucozade to hand. Now

I'm on a pump I carry fewer carbs around.

When I was on injections I tended to carry

around biscuits, which could be a hassle.

I'm 16 now and have just started

studying for my A Levels. I'm doing

maths, physics and biology and I think will

end up as some sort of engineer, or with a

career in physics. Maybe because of my

interest in science I found the transition to

the pump OK. It took a week or so to get

the hang of it. I'm now a pump advocate

- I literally do public speaking and work

with the JDRF to talk about pump therapy

in order to raise awareness not only of

Type 1 diabetes but of how pump therapy

and CGM can help improve outcomes

for people with the condition. I think I've

become a different person since I went on

the pump and I think it's vital that people

have access to one if they want one.


Low Glucose Suspend is a feature of the

Medtronic Paradigm Veo pump combined

with Medtronic's Enlite CGM sensors. When

it is turned on, the LGS can suspend insulin

delivery based on readings from the CGM

sensor. It has been proven to lead to fewer

night-time hypoglycaemic episodes.

George's kit: The Contour

Next USB blood test meter,

Medtronic Paradigm Veo

andCGM sensors if possible.


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