MiniMed Ambassador and professional musician, Jonni Lightfoot, has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 27 and pumping since age 29. You may remember the Air Supply bassist and band leader from his past LOOP blog posts, Rock N Roll Road Trip with Diabetes and A Little Help from a Friend: How I Started Insulin Pump Therapy. Today, he shares some of his diabetes insights, from his favorite awkward diabetes moments, to explaining diabetes to his girlfriend. Can you relate to Jonni’s stories? (We think his answer to the second question is pretty crazy!)
Q. What diabetes items do you typically carry in your bag?
I normally take extra syringes, Quick-sets, Quick-set serter, batteries, alcohol wipes, test strips, blood glucose (BG) meter, IV 3000 and Tegaderm tape, insulin, and hard candies for low blood sugar.
Q. What is your favorite awkward diabetes moment?
I was at a dinner with friends while I was on the road in China. Before we ate, I checked my BG and found myself to be really high. At this time, I was taking multiple daily injections (MDI), and decided to give myself a shot at the table. I pulled out the syringe and filled it with insulin. I noticed the restaurant manager looking at me very strangely, and when I went to lift up my shirt to insert the insulin, he came running toward me, screaming something in Chinese. I had no idea what he was saying, but noticed a lot of people turned around looking at me. We had someone with us who spoke Chinese, and he explained to the manager I had diabetes, settling him down. He later told me the manager thought I was doing drugs in his restaurant, yelling at me to get out because they do not accept that kind of behavior in his place! Needless to say, after that event, I would go into the bathroom if I needed take insulin.
Q. Tell us about the most memorable time explaining your diabetes to a new friend, significant other, or colleague.
I was on a third date with my Girlfriend, and felt it was time to let her know about my diabetes, and the related struggles and concerns. I remember sitting at the table with her saying, “I have something very important to tell you.” I swear the look that came over her face was priceless. I saw some concern and a worried look in her eyes. I explained I have had diabetes for several years, have to be careful of what I eat and drink, and how I react when I have a high or low blood sugar. She was very understanding and really cared about my safety. She asked questions like, “What do I do if you have a high blood sugar?”
“What do I need to give you for a low blood sugar?” After our conversation, she gave me a huge hug and said, “I will be there to make sure everything is perfect with you.” She later told me when I said, “I have something important to tell you” she thought I was going to tell her I was married. In this case, it’s better to tell someone you have diabetes.
Q. How do you reward yourself for practicing good diabetes management?
I don’t really “reward” myself for practicing good management. Once in a great while, I have some cake or some pie (FYI, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Banana Cream pie). But what I find as the true reward is the way I feel. When my blood sugar is under control, I feel so good, no pain or aching. I just feel great. That is my true reward.
Q. Who is your diabetes superhero and why?
I have to take a different road when it comes to this question. I feel my Superhero is everyone who supports diabetes with the walks/runs and the doctors who help fight and are trying to find a cure. Every person who does not have diabetes, but is with someone or helps take care of someone who does, and every person with diabetes who helps with diabetes awareness. These are my true Superhero’s.
Connect with MiniMed Ambassador, Jonni, to discuss his real experiences and get a better understanding of what life is like on an insulin pump and CGM.
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