Using his insulin pump to his advantage: Meet #MedtronicChampion Jean-Sébastien
Ultra-marathon runner Jean-Sébastien has lived with type 1 diabetes for most of his life. Over the years, he’s overcome several obstacles, but now he’s a proud #MedtronicChampion who spends his time giving back to the diabetes community while doing the thing he loves most — trail running. Here’s his story:
Early challenges of living with diabetes in Canada
I was diagnosed in 1982 at the age of 5. I started wetting the bed again at night because I was drinking so much water. I also lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. My mother brought me to the doctor and my glucose was 32.5 mmol/L (585 md/DL).
I’ve seen many ways to manage my diabetes over the years. In the first years, I had to take a urine test to determine my blood sugar because the glucometer was not approved in Canada yet. When it was approved, the glucometer was very large, and it took three minutes to get your results. It made it more difficult to manage your diabetes. I was in a coma three times when I was young due to hypoglycemia because the glucometer wasn’t accurate.
Growing up with diabetes
Through adolescence, managing my diabetes was okay because I had my parents’ help. In my late teens and early 20s, it was harder. I denied my diabetic status. I’d say, ‘forget it … I’m normal. I don’t need to check my blood sugar.’
When I was in my mid-20s, my doctor gave me a reality check. He said if you don’t care about your health and your diabetes, don’t come back to see me. He gave me three choices:
- Work with a nurse for multi-shot insulin
- Go on the insulin pump
- Don’t see him again
I decided to get on the insulin pump with Medtronic. Gradually, I was able to keep my health in check and started to have a normal life with the tools to help me.
Finding my passion
Insulin pumps have changed my life.
Jean-Sébastien on one of his trail runs.
My fear of being hypoglycemic kept me from participating in sports. With the pump, I started trail running. I fell in love with the sport and the trail running community. I can push my limits further and go longer distances because my pump helps me keep a steady blood glucose. Now, I just look at it to know if I need sugar.
When I’m in a race, I often say I have an advantage because I don’t hit the ‘marathon wall’. I regularly run distances above 42 km, which is called an ultra-marathon. My longest distance is 235 km in 42 hours. I didn’t walk at all – I ran the whole way.
I am a #MedtronicChampion because I pay it forward. I teach other people how to manage their diabetes while they are participating in sports. I also raise money for the Diabetic Children’s Foundation by participating in ultra-marathon trail runs.
The testimonial above relates an account of an individual’s experience using a Medtronic device. The account is genuine, typical, and documented. However, this individual’s experience does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response or experience other people may have using the device. The experience other individuals have with the device could be different. Experiences can and do vary. Please talk to your doctor about your condition and the risks and benefits of Medtronic devices.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you mus tbe prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment. Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected. Please visit www.medtronicdiabetes.com/about/safety.html for additional details.
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