Q&A with Global Hero Lindsey Burch
Today, we hear from Lindsey Burch, a science and math teacher from Mission, Kansas who is also a Global Hero What’s a Global Hero you ask? Well, it’s a runner who benefits from a medical device to treat a chronic disease (i.e. diabetes) and has been chosen to run (for free) the Medtronic Twin Cities marathon on October 2nd. A cooperative effort of Twin Cities in Motion and the Medtronic Foundation (Medtronic’s philanthropic arm), the Global Heroes program was launched in 2006 and was designed to celebrate the runner’s accomplishments and passion for the sport – serving as an inspiration for others that live with chronic diseases. From all of us at The LOOP, we wish Lindsey the best! Happy running!
1. Can you tell us about when you were diagnosed with diabetes?
A: Let’s see, I was about 9 years old and was at a Kansas City Royal’s baseball game with my mom and her best friend. I pretty much ate everything at the concession stand and was also very thirsty. My mom’s best friend was a nurse and figured out by my habits that day, that I had diabetes. She told my mom that I needed to get checked out by a doctor.
Diabetes does not run in my family so it was definitely a shock. I first started on MDI, and about 10 years later, which was my first year of college, I started on an insulin pump.
2. What made you decide to go on an insulin pump?
A: Well, I’ve always had pretty good control, but thought I could fine-tune it even more so thought, why not? The pump wasn’t too hard of a transition for me since I was used to testing my blood sugar a lot.
I recently did the REDMAN Half Distance Triathlon with my fiancé on our 1-year anniversary and found the precision of the pump to be very helpful. My fiancé will also be my running buddy for the Twin Cities marathon – though he’ll be my husband by then!
3. And do you use CGM (continuous glucose monitoring)?
A: I actually got the sensor about a year ago and now can’t imagine life without it –especially with my training. It’s great being able to see and track my glucose levels continuously. During training, it has been a little bit of a struggle with the humidity. The tape I use with the sensor kept coming off, but Medtronic recently sent me some different tapes to try out, so hopefully one of those will work.
The best news, though is that, at my most recent Endo visit, I found out I had the best A1C I’ve had in 20 years! It feels great that what I’m doing is working! I feel like CGM has really helped me see trends and, with the help of my Endo, I’ve been able to make adjustments accordingly.
4. How long have you been a runner?
A: Well, when I was young I played every sport: soccer, softball, basketball, swimming. And my mom also had an aerobics business. My main sport was soccer, but in high school I decided to run track. It was in college where I started to do triathlons for fun and ended up loving that!
My fiancé ran track and cross country in college – it’s really fun to have something that we can do together and with friends. I’m kind of a fast-moving person – running felt natural.
5. What made you apply to be a Global Hero?
A: My fiancé heard about it on the radio and told me about it. It was a really cool thing we could do together and I would have the chance to run a marathon for free! I found out about it right before the deadline and just applied to see what would happen. I was also excited at the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who were also running with medical conditions. I don’t know anyone else who trains for endurance events with a medical condition like diabetes. It does make it harder to do things sometimes, so it’s nice to know there are others out there – lets you know that there are others in the same boat as me.
Being a teacher, I am excited to take back my story from the event to my students. . They know about my diabetes and my insulin pump. And I try to do a lot with wellness/fitness in my classroom
6. How does diabetes affect your training?
A: With diabetes I have to take into consideration what I eat before, during and after the event. Also, I have to determine what basal insulin I will need. Depending on what my blood glucose is before I train or before an event, I may need to make adjustments. I usually turn my basal to 0% for a race, but I am of course checking my blood sugar regularly. Typically, I check my BG every three miles.
Basically I have been through a lot of trial and error. I have figured out what the best pre-race breakfast is and how often I need to eat during an event. I take a lot of notes and have learned a lot. Even the most perfect training plans can go awry. I’ll have to be cautious before the Twin Cities race, since I’m really excited and bound to be nervous!
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.
Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.