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Joanne Tyndall

Type 1 Diabetes Success Story

Joanne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1964 at 16 years old. Her biggest frustration is that “you can do the exact same thing every day but get different blood sugar results.”

She receives her UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence care from the team of Dr. Asem Ali and nurse practitioner Nancy Sidhom. Joanne rotates appointments with each of them every six months. Between visits she uses myChart for any questions, prescription refills, to access test results, upload CGM data and manage future appointments. 

“I like working with both of them very much,” Joanne said. “Dr. Ali is very progressive and willing to try new things. He listens well and takes my input into consideration when developing my care plan.”

She appreciates the different styles of the two providers, which complement one another. “Nancy is a lot of fun. They both review my CGM data and together we make adjustments as necessary.”

For the past two and a half years her A1c has remained at about 6.5% since switching to a hybrid closed-loop CGM/insulin pump system. “Prior to that my numbers were very inconsistent,” she said.

During that time, Joanne also lost 20 pounds. “I made small changes including reducing portion sizes, cutting out unnecessary snacks and drastically reducing the amount of soda I drink.”

Joanne is amazed at how far diabetes management tools have progressed since she was in her teens. The insulin pumps she first heard about after being diagnosed “were the size of a suitcase,” and checking blood sugar “was like donating blood,” she joked.

She appreciates the fact that the Dexcom G6 doesn’t require finger sticks and the peace of mind provided by the Control IQ technology from the Tandem insulin pump. “I can sleep at night,” she said. “The Control IQ takes over. No more thinking or calculations. Once the settings are in there, it’s so much easier!”  

Joanne worked closely with a UMass Memorial diabetes educator to learn the new technology and to program the device settings such as basal rate, carb ratio, target blood glucose, insulin on board (active insulin), alarms, etc.

The combination of healthier eating and using a hybrid closed-loop CGM/pump system not only lowered Joanne’s A1c, but she also feels better. She understands it will also help prevent the many complications caused by uncontrolled blood sugars

“I’ve developed diabetic retinopathy in my eyes which affects my vision,” she said. “I know what I need to do to manage my diabetes. I’m confident in the technology and thankful my care team is available to help me anytime I need them.”

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