Finding a Community through Connected in Motion’s Slipstream

We were proud to sponsor the 2017 Connected in Motion SoCal SlipStream event, an adventure weekend for adults with T1D. I attended with MiniMed Ambassadors, Chris and Julie, and we had an absolute blast! (An island adventure with 60 other people with diabetes? Yes, please!) Today I welcome Chris to share his experience on his very first SlipStream with you.

After I was diagnosed, I was told of the importance of finding and building a community of other diabetics for support. The idea is that every diabetic goes through similar struggles – battling that high glucose that just won’t come down, waking up in the middle of the night to a low, keeping glucose levels in range during exercise, and countless others. However, I have never fully felt like I’ve been a part of such a community until the Connected in Motion Slipstream weekend.

Connected in Motion is an organization focused on building active communities and teaching experiential T1D education in North America. To help accomplish this, they occasionally hold “SlipStream” events – weekends where a bunch of type 1 diabetics come together and spend a weekend hanging out, going to workshops, and spending time outdoors. I recently attended the SlipStream at the beautiful Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. While there, I went kayaking, shot archery, went for a hike, and went snorkeling – all with other type one diabetics from various walks of life. Furthermore, we went to workshops and talks with topics including managing blood glucose levels with exercise, mindfulness, and emerging technology in the field – notably new methods of treatment including the hybrid closed loop system.

Using the MiniMed 670G System

Regarding this topic of emerging technology, this was also the first weekend wearing the new MiniMed 670G System with the Guardian Sensor 3. Wearing this new system on the island was great because during some of the activities (running, kayaking, snorkeling) my blood sugars would drop due to the exercise, and the MiniMed 670G has a “Suspend Before Low” feature that would suspend my basal insulin before reaching a low, helping prevent activity induced low blood sugars. Then, once my glucose levels recovered back to normal levels (or stop dropping toward a low), the pump automatically resumed by basal delivery. Furthermore, the MiniMed 670G system is also waterproof*, so I could keep it on while I was both kayaking and snorkeling. I looked at my sensor graph underwater, just because I could! It was such a cool experience.

There were a few people at the Slipstream event who were using Auto Mode on the MiniMed 670G system. Putting the pump in Auto Mode allows the device to automatically alter your basal insulin to help bring you back into range**. This means that if it is predicting a low, it will suspend your basal, and if you are trending high, it can increase your basal delivery. Unfortunately, I had only been on the pump for a few days, so I wasn’t yet in Auto Mode, but I’m looking forward to trying it out soon!

Diversity in Backgrounds & Experiences

Another awesome part of this Connected in Motion event was the diversity of perspectives and experiences of the other people on the retreat. With ages ranging from 21 to over 70 years old including people who have had diabetes for over 40 years to people diagnosed less than 6 months ago, the group captured a multitude of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life. People who remembered the first insulin pump being the size of a backpack, to those who have been on a pump and CGM for nearly their diabetic entire life. And there were people who had done some incredibly challenging things with diabetes – a group of all T1D who had biked from New York City to San Francisco, and another group who had just done a seven-day backpacking trip in British Columbia. It was extremely empowering to learn from many of these people and their feats.

Focusing on Bright Spots

One of the main points of focus during the retreat was trying to highlight our “bright spots” based on the book “Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Handed Me.” Bright spots are all about identifying the positive moments of our diabetes management, and trying to reproduce those – as opposed to just getting frustrated and trying to change the negative ones. For example, when I woke up and went on a run during one of the mornings, my blood sugars naturally came down due to the exercise, rather than rising like usual due to dawn phenomenon. Understanding this positive moment and trying to do more activity in the morning (even if it’s just going for a walk) could lead to a better overall outcome of my day.

This SlipStream event helped remind me of the importance of finding a community, focusing on reproducing the positives in diabetes management, staying active every day, and staying informed of the newest diabetes technology. There are millions of other people dealing with the same struggles of the disease, and finding people who you can relate to, bounce ideas off, and experience life with will make managing the disease that much easier.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

*At the time of manufacture and when the reservoir and tubing are properly inserted, the MiniMed 670G pump is waterproof. It is protected against the effects of being underwater to a depth of up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) for up to 24 hours.

** Individual results may vary.

The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system requires a prescription and is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of Type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, fourteen years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed 670G System includes SmartGuard technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery of basal insulin based on Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor glucose values, and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values.Important Safety Info

WARNING: Do not use Auto Mode for a period of time after giving a manual injection of insulin by syringe or pen. Manual injections are not accounted for in Auto Mode. Therefore, Auto Mode could deliver too much insulin. Too much insulin may cause hypoglycemia. Consult with your healthcare professional for how long you need to wait after a manual injection of insulin before you resume Auto Mode.

The Guardian Sensor (3) is not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a finger stick may be required. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using a home glucose monitor and not on values provided by the Guardian Sensor (3).

Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Do not use the serter on products other than the Enlite sensor or Guardian Sensor (3). Medtronic cannot guarantee the safety or efficacy of this product if used with other products. The reservoir is contraindicated for the infusion of blood or blood products. Infusion sets are indicated for subcutaneous use only and not for intravenous (IV) infusion or the infusion of blood or blood products. Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for those who are unwilling to perform at least four blood glucose tests per day. As insulin pumps use rapid acting insulin only, BG testing is required to help identify rapid glycemic deterioration due to insulin infusion occlusion, infusion site problems, insulin stability issues, user error, or a combination of these. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional.

The safety of the 670G system has not been studied in people with impaired kidney function. Please let your healthcare professional know if you have kidney disease so you and your healthcare professional can determine if the potential benefits of using the system outweigh the risks. The safety of the 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women, people with type 2 diabetes, or in people using other anti-hyperglycemic therapies apart from insulin. Please let your healthcare professional know if any of these conditions apply to you so you and your healthcare professional can determine if the potential benefits of using the system outweigh the risks.

For complete safety information, please consult the appropriate User Guide.

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