#TeamJetlagged T1D Tales: The Fainting Goat Becomes a Guinea Pig

#TeamJetlagged is excited to announce the start of a new blog series: T1D Tales!

T1D Tales - Fainting Goat

These stories showcase what life as a diabetic is like – all the full, gory, exciting, adventurous, frustrating details about T1D life. Some stories will take you behind-the-scenes with #TeamJetlagged members, Courtney and Broche, and some of them might be from Featured Jetters who have experiences to share that require more than a brief interview. Either way, we hope you enjoy, and if you have a T1D Tale of your own, don’t hesitate to reach out so we can share your story, too!

The first story is all about Courtney’s latest visit to the endocrinologist (endocrine).

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Shout-out to our favorite nurse-receptionist at our endocrine – Katia! She’s always got the biggest smile and was wearing this sweet t-shirt the last time we were there.

Courtney will proudly tell you that she is a fainting goat. This is because she often has the impulse to faint when she’s getting her blood drawn at the endocrine’s office, and in the ensuing hullabaloo the last time we were there, one of the nurses called her that. It was only when researching fainting goats for this blog post that we found out fainting goats don’t actually faint, but simply experience a brief paralysis. Courtney most definitely faints. Still, even if it it is technically incorrect, it’s pretty fun to call her a fainting goat.

Last week, she became a guinea pig.

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Shout-out to our favorite nurse who takes care of Courtney’s initial check-up and prescription issues – Kedzie! She also shares Courtney’s #WisconsinPride.

There are many ways that a diabetic manages their condition. Courtney’s way is to prick her finger with a needle up to 10 times a day, putting a drop of blood on a test strip that’s inserted into her glucose monitor, and adjusting her insulin level according to what her monitor reports. She gives herself a daily injection of long-term insulin once a day, and injects herself with short-term insulin 20 minutes before every meal, and sometimes has to adjust if her numbers are high or low by giving herself another injection (high) or eating something (low). For someone who started out as needle-phobic, you can imagine the challenge this presented, but with her characteristic courage and aplomb, Courtney handles it like a pro with no muss and no fuss. (Unless it’s a blood draw, when the fainting sometimes happens; see above fainting goat reference.)

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FreeStyle Libre CGM modeled by Courtney!

There are devices out there that can be inserted into the body on a more long-term basis that monitor blood glucose levels constantly, beeping if she’s out of her target range, but for a variety of other reasons ($$$, lifestyle), we had not yet gone that route. Luckily, that made Courtney the perfect candidate to be a guinea pig. She’s testing out the new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, the latest in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology!

The rep had been at our endocrine’s office two days before our appointment, making Courtney the second patient in the office to get a starter kit to try it out. Lucky us! So far, Courtney is loving that she’s basically a scanable supermarket item.

While we encourage you to click this link to read all about it from the actual website (we are in NO WAY medical professionals), in short, how it works is that there’s a sensor placed on the body that uses a tiny needle embedded into the subcutaneous fat of Courtney’s upper arm to read her glucose levels. She waves a sensor over the monitor and her levels appear. Of course, she’s still doing a back-up finger prick occasionally to double-check the sensor, but not only is it a lot more cost-effective for checking her levels more often (those little test strips can get expensive!), but it’s also a lot less invasive to her body and to her lifestyle. We’ll keep you posted, but so far, Courtney’s loving her new favorite “toy,” and especially her transformation from fainting goat to guinea pig!

Don’t forget to DONATE today to help us raise $11k for diabetes research during our JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA this October 2018!

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