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Interview with Lara

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

Hello, my name is Lara, I’m a Law student in Paris. I was diagnosed in February 2016, so 5 years ago .

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

When I first learned that I was diabetic, I didn’t accept it at all. I told everyone they were wrong, and that I was perfectly healthy. Later that day, I saw the machine my mom gave me to check my blood sugar and started to cry… I refused for a quite long time to do my insulin injections (even though I knew it was not reasonable haha). Today I can say I needed 2 years to completely accept it and to understand how to live with it !

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

For the first week after my diagnosis, the doctor tried to prescribe only 2 shots a day (one half slow half fast and one fast insulin shot). But we saw it didn’t and couldn’t work… so I had to inject the slow one every night before going to sleep and the fast one before every meal. I also had with me the machine to test my blood sugar level.

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

I knew what diabetes was, because my little cousin and my grandmother also have type 1. But I couldn’t identify myself to them.

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

My family knew directly I had diabetes. Then I told my friends and professors at school.
Now I don’t tell people anymore. I don’t hide it, but I don’t talk about it. It became something so normal to me that I sometimes forget I have it and don’t feel like I need people to know.

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

Of course living with diabetes is full of ups and downs. I struggle the most when I am under pressure or stress. It makes my blood sugar increase, but when it’s high I cannot focus on what I have to do so I stress even more ! It’s a circle. So I’ve learned to stress a lot less.
Also, there are some phenomenon impossible to explain and it can be really frustrating…

Everything got better when I put the freestyle libre (a device that allows me to check my blood sugar with my phone or with a small machine, without pricking my finger) and the insulin pump !
The last one is clearly s life changer 👌🏻 I don’t have to inject Insulin myself with needle, I just program it on a device which I change every 3 days.

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

Well I think science has almost achieve to design the technology I wish we had !
A combination of the sensor (freestyle libre) and the insulin pump that regulates itself according to the variation of the blood sugar.
That would just like wearing a pancreas, and it would be amazing !!

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