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Interview with Raquel

Your name, your occupation,  and for how long you’ve been a diabetic?

‘Raquel, Marketing / social media manager T1d for 19 years.’

When were you told you had diabetes and what was that experience like?

‘I was 5 years old. I do not remeber much except being told in the hospital that i would need multiple injections per day for the rest of my life. I was terrified of needles at the time and this was definitely not a fun few days!’

What assistance / information / technology were you given for your diabetes?

‘At the time I was sent home doing insulin injections and told to eat 45 carbs per meal and two 15 carb snacks per day. 3 years later i went onto an insulin pump and then as a sophomore in college got a continuous glucose monitor.’

When you were told you had diabetes, did you know what it was / did you know anybody else with diabetes?

‘I had a distant cousin who had it. Otherwise I did not know anyone!’

Did you tell people you had it? Do you tell people now that you have it or is it something you keep hidden?

‘It is hard to remember back that far but most of my classmates at the time knew about it. I often had to eat snacks in class or go to the nurse’s office at school. Now I tell almost everyone about it. The diabetes community is a huge part of my life and I often wear my devices in visible locations.’

What are the main struggles of living with diabetes? And what part does the technology play in this?

‘It is hard living with such a hard disease that people can’t see. On the outside I often look fine but am struggling with so much internally. It is hard having to manage blood 24/7 and how unpredictable it can all be. Technology is great for the most part but constant beeping from CGM’s or pump errors can get frustrating and annoying. Technology does not always work perfectly so that can be difficult to deal with at times.’

If you could design your own diabetes technology, what would it look like?

‘Hmm not too sure. Probably a smaller insulin pump that acted as a cgm at the same time rather than having two seperate devices. I love the way my pump looks (tandem Tslim). It is sleek and thin… doesn’t get in the way much at all.’

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