“There is no one big challenge in living with this disease.”
Tammy Moran, aged 32, living with type 1 diabetes
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in July, 1997, Tammy has been living with the condition for close to 24 years.
And while no two days are the same for Tammy, she says her self-management has changed drastically over the past two decades — for the better.
“When I was initially diagnosed, I was told to test my BGLs at breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime and if I needed or wanted a snack,” she says.
“However, my insulin requirements were steadfast, only if my levels were drastically low or high was I to alter the amount given.
“Additionally, I only gave insulin at breakfast and dinner. This way of managing lasted for six years however, within those years, my BGLs were an absolute rollercoaster and I knew no difference.”
Tammy admits that she knew little about how factors such as food, stress and even sunburn could impact her BGLs.
“I did not know about counting my carbohydrates or that I could alter my insulin dosage substantially in order to ‘flatten my line’,” she recalls.
“Thankfully, as a teen, I never rebelled against this disease; I completely understood the seriousness of what could happen if I didn’t test, inject, eat food and so forth, yet the frequency of my testing definitely lessened.
It wasn’t until Tammy turned 13 that she began seeing an endocrinologist and diabetes educator and developed a better understanding of the condition.
“My world was literally ‘blown wide open’,” she says.
“I felt like I was learning how to walk and talk again, there was an immense amount of information and knowledge.
“These two incredible people, wished to hear my thoughts, were happy to be challenged and overall a cohesive relationship formed which spanned 17 years.”
Starting out using syringes and vials alongside a Blood Glucose Metre that took 30 seconds to countdown, Tammy now administers multiple daily insulin injections alongside a Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor.
Despite the latest advancements in diabetes technology, living with type 1 diabetes presents everyday challenges.
“There is no one big challenge in living with this disease — it’s the everyday struggles.
“Carb counting correctly, remembering to administer insulin before you eat, learning I have a cold coming on and that’s why my levels have been slightly higher for the past day.”
To mark 100 years since the discovery of insulin, Diabetes WA is sharing 100 stories from West Aussies living with diabetes. If you would like to #DWAjointhefight and share your story, complete these questions.
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