When I first met Nikhita, she was one of only a handful of people I had talked with who had real-life experience with the MiniMed 670G system. While I had been in many, many meetings about this exciting technology, I was so excited to hear what it was really like for those in the clinical trial. She immediately blew me away. She’s warm, eloquent and so full of life. Today, I’m thrilled that you get to “meet” her too, as she answers some of your most popular questions about her life with diabetes and with the world’s first hybrid closed loop system.
1. First, tell us a bit about you. What do you do for fun and what are a few of your hobbies? What are you most passionate about?
I’m 15 years old and currently a high school sophomore in the Bay Area. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on February 8, 2007. I’m the captain of my Varsity tennis team, Vice President of my school’s Interact club, and Stage Manager for my school’s theatrical productions. I love public speaking and sharing my opinions on topics that I’m passionate about. I’m an Authentic Fan of the Golden States Warriors and rarely miss a game. One of my biggest passions is helping my community, and I’m glad I’m able to support others through my experiences.
2. How does your MiniMed 670G system help you manage not only the stress of being a teenager but also your multiple commitments?
I started using the MiniMed 670G system the October of my freshman year of high school, and the way that it has helped me is extraordinary. Because of the MiniMed 670G system, I can have a more “normal” high school experience. Whether it’s playing tennis or going to speech tournaments, I can put my all into whatever I’m doing without having to constantly think about my blood glucose. My MiniMed 670G system has gained my trust, and because of that, I feel so much more involved in whatever I’m doing.
3. Have you noticed specific moments where the system was helpful to you as a young woman?
As a young woman, the MiniMed 670G system has really helped level out my blood glucose levels whenever I have a cold or when I’m on my period. My blood glucose used to be all over the place because of the different hormones affecting my body, but the MiniMed 670G system has removed that stressor from my body during these times.
4. How has the MiniMed 670G system helped you with playing sports competitively?
When I was younger, I used to play basketball and loved it, but because of my diabetes, I would have to sit out for most of the game. As I got older, this got to be more and more of a problem, and eventually I switched to tennis, which I thought would be easier to manage. However, even playing tennis, my numbers would drop drastically, and I would have to sit out until I got back in range. The MiniMed 670G system has really allowed me to be more involved in sports and I can even play an entire tennis game in range!
5. How has the MiniMed 670G system helped you better manage stress, especially around final exams?
Managing my diabetes used to be my biggest stressor because it took up so much of my time and affected everything I did. The MiniMed 670G system has taken away so much of the stress, and I feel that a huge burden has been lifted. I’ve been able to get involved in so many extracurricular activities that I enjoy and have been able to spend time de-stressing from the hectic reality of high school.
6. Are there any tips that you can share with other young women when it comes to pump placement?
I would say embrace your pump bump. Don’t let that stop you from wearing something that you want to wear. If somebody asks you what it is, then take the time to tell them, because it’s ultimately a part of you.
7. How has the MiniMed 670G system allowed you to enjoy different foods? Especially during family events, holidays, and other engagements? Are there certain foods that you avoided before that you find yourself more comfortable eating now with the new system?
The MiniMed 670G system gives me more freedom with my diabetes than I ever would have imagined. My family is from India, so we primarily eat a lot of Indian food at home and when we go to our friends’ houses. Indian food has a lot of carbohydrates, and therefore my numbers would spike a lot if I didn’t know how much insulin I needed. Now, I am able to eat my favorite Indian foods without having to worry as much about spiking because I know that the MiniMed 670G system will prevent me from doing so. The other big food that I feel so much more comfortable eating now is pizza. Pizza is notorious in the diabetes community because it never affects your body the same way. The MiniMed 670G system manages to keep up though, and I can eat pizza without spiking over 300 mg/dL.
8. Can you give me a specific example of when the system made a difference in your diabetes management?
The number of ways the MiniMed 670G system has improved my quality of life is unbelievable, but the biggest and most impactful is keeping me in range all-night and waking up with a good number every single day. The blood glucose level you wake up with really does affect the rest of your day, and I have found that the MiniMed 670G system allows me to start every day with a fresh start. I don’t have to think about waking up worrying about bringing my number back to range.
9. Is there something you do less now that you use the MiniMed 670G system?
Worrying about my diabetes! I no longer have to constantly stress about staying in range because the MiniMed 670G system takes care of most of that on its own, with a little help from me. The faith I have in the system makes such a difference and has removed that huge stressor from my already stressful life.
10. How has the MiniMed 670G system impacted your family life / relationships with others?
The MiniMed 670G system has allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends without having to constantly worry about my blood glucose. It has also made me a lot more independent, relieving the stress for my parents when it came to managing diabetes. Since I have been on the system, I‘ve barely had any night time lows, which allows me to get a full night’s rest and spend more time doing activities that I enjoy. Whenever I hang out with my friends, I no longer limit myself because of my diabetes. I know that the MiniMed 670G system has my back and because of that, I have been able to foster and grow new relationships.
11. What has your experience been like with the Guardian Sensor 3?
I love the Guardian Sensor 3! It’s so accurate and really assures me that my MiniMed 670G system is working correctly. I had used old Medtronic sensors when I was diagnosed ten years ago, but never stuck with them because they were painful and inaccurate. The Guardian Sensor 3 is a huge improvement and I can’t imagine life without it!
12. What are the top 2 things you would like to share with people who are considering using an insulin pump system?
Insulin pumps, at least for me, have been a huge improvement on my life. Not only the significant decrease in injections, but my MiniMed 670G system has improved my way of life and allowed me to do so many things I wouldn’t have thought of doing five years ago. Using an insulin pen or syringes, it’s very easy to over and under bolus, but with the MiniMed 670G system, it’s constantly working to figure out the way your body reacts and what your body needs. While using syringes you don’t have a machine connected to you, it really does allow you to play sports, eat, and have fun without the added worry.
13. What is something inspirational you would like to share with others who are struggling with managing their diabetes?
If you’re struggling with managing your diabetes, the one thing I would say is that you are not alone. Even though it’s really hard sometimes and it feels like nobody understands you, recognize that there are others like you. There will always be a diabetes community willing to support you, whether it be online or a group of friends. I would also say that if you’re struggling, it’s worth it to try new diabetes technology (like the MiniMed 670G system) because it really does improve the way you perceive your diabetes. I used to see it as a burden, but now I see it as a part of me and have seen how much I‘ve grown because of it. Just remember that you’re going through a lot more than a lot of your peers probably are and that you’re a lot stronger because of it.
Editors Note: If you’d like to hear more from Nikhita, watch her Facebook Live here.
Important Safety Information
The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system 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. The system requires a prescription. The Guardian Sensor (3) glucose values are not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a fingerstick may be required. A confirmatory finger stick test via the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian Sensor (3). Always check the pump display to ensure the glucose result shown agrees with the glucose results shown on the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter. Do not calibrate your CGM device or calculate a bolus using a blood glucose meter result taken from an alternative site (palm) or from a control solution test. Do not calibrate your CGM device when sensor or blood glucose values are changing rapidly, e.g., following a meal or physical exercise. If a control solution test is out of range, please note that the result may be transmitted to your pump when in the “Always” send mode. WARNING: Medtronic performed an evaluation of the MiniMed 670G system and determined that it may not be safe for use in children under the age of 7 because of the way that the system is designed and the daily insulin requirements. Therefore, this device should not be used in anyone under the age of 7 years old. This device should also not be used in patients who require less than a total daily insulin dose of 8 units per day, because the device requires a minimum of 8 units per day to operate safely. Only use rapid acting U100 insulin with this system. Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional. The safety of the MiniMed 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women. For complete details, including product and important safety information concerning the system and its components, please consult http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-670g and the appropriate user guide at http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library
Tags: diabetes management
, MiniMed 670G system
, MiniMed Ambassador
, personal experience