Lydia was diagnosed aged twelve with type 1 diabetes. She initially used insulin pens, but after six months her diabetes clinic offered her an insulin pump. After six months she managed to achieve good control; her HB1C was 6.5. Lydia has always wanted to be fully involved in managing her condition and made a point of doing all her injections and finger pricking and later, learning on how to use and care for her pump. She says that the insulin pump has made the management of her diabetes even easier. But Lydia says you never stops learning’ about how to manage diabetes and added I’m still learning’.
Lydia is a second year university student. She plays hockey and is a keen user of social media. She says that her mission’ is to educate the public about Type 1 diabetes.
Lydia was diagnosed at the age of twelve following an infected cut on her foot that didn’t healing despite antibiotic treatment. She says that from the start, her paediatric diabetes care team has given her and her family information, advice and support on all aspects of how to manage her condition. She said that there was a lot to learn about insulin levels, about carbohydrate counting and so forth, to maintain good diabetes management. Lydia got on fine with her treatment and following her diagnosis, she decided to do all the injection and finger pricking herself. After six months, her HB1C score was 6.5 and she was controlling her type 1 diabetes well.
Lydia feels that since diagnosis her parents and her family have given her vital assistance and support. Initially, she found it very difficult to carb count – to memorise all the different carbohydrates as well as knowing how much insulin to take. Her parents supported her a lot with this aspect of her diabetes management. Regular check-ups with her diabetes nurse and lots of diverse information and talks about different subjects also boosted her confidence on what to do to keep good control.
Because Lydia was in paediatric care and controlling her diabetes well she was offered an insulin pump six months after her diagnosis. She found it a lot easier to use than insulin pens. She found the control of her blood sugar levels, especially when doing sport or when ill, less stressful with an insulin pump as she is able to increase or reduce her insulin according to her needs. Lydia uses a patch pump called Omnipod.
Recently, Lydia started using a blood sugar monitoring device called the Freestyle Libre -it consists of a handset and a monitoring device that she inserts into her skin and replaces every fourteen days. Lydia finds it easier to use it and she is able to scan her blood sugars any time she needs it without the need of doing a finger prick. However, she does a finger prick every time before driving because it is a legal DVLA requirement. Lydia takes the graph Libre produces to her diabetes clinic appointments because she feels it provides her team with accurate and additional information about how she is doing. Initially Lydia got two Libres and the handset on a clinical trial, but now she pays for it herself and it cost about ¬¨¬®¬¨¬£100 a month.
Lydia has always felt very well cared for by her diabetes care team and has lots of praise for her diabetes nurse and consultant. Currently she is in the transition clinic where she sees both her paediatrics and adult consultants at the same time. She finds this process very reassuring.
Lydia uses Twitter and Facebook and blogs regularly. She feels that the support she has from the virtual community of other young people with type 1 diabetes has made it much easier to live with it.