My name is Parteek Saran, and I’m a designer and avid cyclist living in San Francisco. I’ve been living with Type 1 Diabetes for most of my life, and I am still looking for better ways to improve control of my blood sugars. This is the story of how the team at Steady Health has been helping me lately.
The status quo of traditional care
After living with Type 1 Diabetes for 17 years, I had gotten into a pretty typical routine: I met with my endocrinologist, they asked me about my numbers, and then suggested one or two changes to my insulin treatment. We validated how well the changes worked the next time we met, typically 3 to 6 months later. If a particular adjustment went too far and caused recurring low blood sugars, I had to come up with a band-aid solution to the problem until the next visit.
For example, if we changed the carb-ratio settings in my insulin pump but did not accurately hit the target, I would have to override the pump’s dose suggestions manually until my next appointment, which could be months away. Doing this for months was cumbersome, but also made it difficult for me to learn, and ultimately made it impossible to achieve the blood sugar control I wanted. Diabetes management should be an iterative process, and I always wished I could have involved my endocrinologist immediately in finding the root of the problem and making the proper adjustments.
But this all changed three months ago when I found Steady Health. I can communicate with them anytime in the Steady app, and not only do they have specialized doctors on the team, but also Certified Diabetes Educators and Care Coordinators that support me with things like education, lab orders, and prescriptions. Let me give you an example of how it works:
I recently noticed that I was having low blood sugars around lunch more often. My initial reaction was to subtract some insulin from each breakfast and lunch dose, thinking that would be an easy way to prevent the low blood sugars. But instead, I sent a message to Steady and my Certified Diabetes Educator, Aimée. She replied on the same day, asking me to log my meals by taking a photo with the Steady app. Aimée calls it “tracking”, and it enables her to give me very precise advice based on my actual data. My continuous blood sugar data and physical activity are captured by my phone automatically, so no there is no extra work required on my part to capture them.
After a couple of days tracking, Aimée and my doctor, Dr. Wu, suggested that my carb ratio settings needed to be adjusted. Based on my data, I was more sensitive to insulin in the morning and therefore needed less insulin. I put the new settings into my insulin pump and then continued to track everything through the Steady app for a few more days. At the end of the week, we met to evaluate how the changes were working.
There are a couple of options for how I can interact with the care team at Steady. Typically, I’ll use the messaging platform in their app, but I can also schedule a video call or come in for a visit to their office. This time, I decided to do an in-person visit with Aimée, who had put together a presentation based on my data since making the carb ratio changes.
Aimée showed me how I responded to different meals, and how I had reduced the number of low blood sugar readings by 50% while increasing the time I have normal blood sugars (Time in Range) by almost 10%. It was relieving to see how quickly we had found more effective settings with minimal effort!
Within just one week, we had identified the problem, tested a solution, and validated the results. And I did it all by simply messaging with my care team within the Steady app.
Peace of mind
Since joining Steady three months ago, I have a new companion for my journey through life, always ready to support me. I get more personalized advice than ever and have learned how to interpret new patterns in my day-to-day management. I’m learning how seemingly small details affect my blood sugar significantly and deciphering them piece by piece.
After 17 years of living with Type 1 Diabetes, I am finally focusing my energy on making improvements rather than just trying to preserve the status quo!
This story is written by Parteek Saran and published by Steady Health.
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