Diary of An Artificial Pancreas – November 2018

Welcome to our JDRF Bay Area blog series, Diary of an Artificial Pancreas, written by 14-year-old Jamie Kurtzig. In each entry, she shares her day-to-day experiences living with the Medtronic MiniMed 670G closed-loop system, or Artificial Pancreas. Jamie, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 19-months old, participated in a clinical trial for this system with Stanford University in the summer of 2016. She was able to keep the system and has been living with it ever since.

By Jamie Kurtzig

Soccer tryouts: This year, I decided to try out for the MA soccer team. I have never done soccer except for a one-week camp this summer. To add on to that, I have never even done a team sport! I thought that I might like to do a team sport during my high school years, so I decided to go to tryouts. It was a little bit intimidating because every single person trying out (even all of the freshmen) had been playing club soccer for years. At the tryouts, we did lots of drills like passing the balls to each other and where we had to keep the ball away from the other team. We also did scrimmages where I mostly played defense because I absolutely have no aiming skills and there is a 0.001% chance that I could score a goal. I actually surprised myself and saved a few goals. I was obviously the worst person there, but I tried my best, and I think that is all that mattered. One thing that was tricky about playing soccer was that I cant really have my phone on me, so the Dexcom couldn’t receive any data and the loop didn’t work. I think that might be a problem if I played soccer since it would be 90 minutes every day and games during the week and the weekend.At the end of the week of tryouts, I found out that I made the JV team (like I expected since they have to let everyone on to the JV team). I decided that I didn’t want to do soccer because I thought that it would take time away from other things I liked more. I am proud of myself for trying it out, and I just learned that high school soccer is not for me. (As you may or may not know from this blog, I have been doing taekwondo for 7 years, and feel ready for a change.) I hope I can find another sport/exercise soon!

Thanksgiving: Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful that I am spending thanksgiving with my family this year and that I have so much to be thankful for. Even though my pancreas doesn’t work, I am so grateful for all of the parts that do work. My heart, brain, feet, hands, arms, fingers, lungs, and basically everything else works. I am so grateful that I do not have a worse condition and that I wasn’t diagnosed 100 years ago, since insulin was first injected into people with diabetes in 1922! I am thankful for my loop system and that I have amazing friends, family, and teachers. I am thankful that I have a place to call home. I am thankful that I go to a great school and am learning a lot (although I am glad to have a little break from school). I am thankful for all of the crazy adventures I have had. I am thankful for movies on Friday nights. I am thankful for swimming pools on hot days and sparkling apple cider to celebrate with (30 grams for a glass). I am thankful for reading books in bath tubs and checking things off of my to-do list. I am thankful for my life!

Skywalker recording: Today I am going to record Les Prelude by Franz Liszt in a super cool recording studio! I have never done a recording before, so I am really excited to do this with my orchestra. When I walked in, all of the chairs were set up normally, and there were microphones over every other set of chairs. There was one right over me! There were so many chords that I don’t know how they ever find out which one has a problem. First, we played through our piece, and then we ran through many different sections of it. Since it is a recording studio and not a live performance, they can use the best tiny parts and put them together to make the whole piece. I am so glad that I didn’t beep! Whenever I have an occasion where I need my equipment to be quiet, then I just silence everything. I do not power off my phone because it has my loop on it, and I still want to stay healthy. After the recording session was done (it took about 2 hours), I went into the control room. There were so many buttons! Before, I thought that pilots were really smart to know what each button did, but there were even more buttons! I also heard that they could just take one note from one recording and add it to the final version. I think that must be why it takes so long. I think it will come out in a few months.

This is a picture I took of the sun one day during the fires. I am thinking positive thoughts for all those that were affected by fires.