Jaimee Rossborough (RN, AEP, DE, T1D 17 years) exT1D The missing link exercise and Type 1 Diabetes

Jaimee Rossborough Registered Nurse, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Post Grad. Diploma Diabetes Education, lived with Type 1 Diabetes 17 years

“Allan has developed an incredible program which has improved my performance, confidence, happiness and overall quality of life! I cannot thank him enough.”

Jaimee Rossborough Shane Crawford

Hawks supporter Jaimee with Shane Crawford AFL Hall of Fame member and former Hawthorn HAWKS Club Captain and legend player.

Hi Allan, after working through exT1D’s e-coaching modules recently I felt compelled to let others know how much it has helped me and how much I appreciate the time and effort I can see you have put into developing it. Just figuring how to write about it and do the tools justice is a challenging task, it’s kind of like an assignment where you know what you want to say but how do you cover all bases? So I’ve had a go at it from both a personal and professional perspective.

Personally, as a person living with type 1 diabetes

Where to begin?! exT1D has helped me in more ways than one. As someone with Type 1 Diabetes for over 17 years, I can surely share the struggle of exercise and managing my blood glucose levels. I was diagnosed at age 14. Now there is enough going on hormonally with a teenage girl who absolutely loves her sport without adding the diabetes in. Ah well. There it was. Another challenge 🙂 I must admit I was terrified to participate in not only PE after coming back to high school, but also cross country running, aussie rules football, and all the other sports I participated in before the diagnosis. Why? Hypo’s! I would become uncoordinated and often a blubbering mess. I couldn’t risk this in front of my peers.

As time went on I became more confident with a little assistance and encouragement. I wasn’t one to sit on the sidelines for long. I went on to study Exercise Science at University and worked as an Exercise Physiologist for a few years before deciding to complete the postgraduate Diploma of Diabetes Education. I really needed and wanted to know more about how to manage diabetes and exercise. Most recently, I then went on and studied to also become a Registered Nurse. I figured with my knowledge from all of my studies, and personal experience with diabetes and exercise, surely I must be able to manage my diabetes and choice of sports better than I had been.

Over the years I did participate in all sorts of sports from aussie rules and softball at university, to gym classes and weights, to several half marathons, triathlons and low and be hold, even completed a full marathon. High intensity Crossfit training has been my latest passion, putting yet another spin on how exercise affected my BGL’s. Why couldn’t I get it right? For the first 12 years or so I was on MDI’s, but over the past 5 years or so I have been ‘playing around’ with an insulin pump and exercise.

Jaimee Rossborough Running

Jaimee tackles the Port Douglas Half Marathon.

I cannot rave enough about how exT1D has helped me over the past month or so since completing the modules and having the added privilege of speaking with the man himself, Allan Bolton. While I was able to participate in all sorts of sports, of all intensities and various durations, I have NEVER been able to do this with optimal BG control pre, during or post-event. I was constantly told by health professionals I shouldn’t be doing so much or the sports I chose. To add another deterrent, I had to pull out of a half ironman triathlon because….well 1) I wasn’t fit enough, but 2) because I ran out of insulin after the bike leg (just like my endocrinologist told me I would)….and hadn’t planned on how to manage it all. No need to explain what this does for one’s confidence!

I have always known it is possible, and that I needed to plan and prepare a lot better than I had been. I have just found the missing link to allow me to do this - exT1D!!! I now know I will be able to complete a half ironman triathlon. I have been doing longer rides (around 3 hours) and runs (around 90 minutes) and managing to keep my BGL’s within ideal range. Absolutely unheard of for me even with my background as a health professional. I can’t believe how much better I feel during the training. I am yet to master the post-exercise part but am well on my way to getting this right too.

The modules within exT1D have helped me understand what to do with my insulin pump pre-training and during training. I have a much better understanding of how my body utilises fuel, and therefore how to maintain optimal BGL’s. I train better, I feel better, and possibly the most exciting part after years of struggling with health professionals to understand my concerns, I am not having to stuff down a whole heap of carbs before I head out on a long ride or run.

If only others could understand the mental and physical battle with trying to lose weight, avoid hypo’s, train and perform as best we can. If only!

exT1D allows me to plan for all of this to help minimise or even overcome all of these barriers! To be able to get a full night sleep without a hypo after 3-4 hours of cardio exercise that day is amazing! I could go on and on about the benefits!

Allan has developed an incredible program which has improved my performance, confidence, happiness and overall quality of life! I cannot thank him enough. I am about to fulfill one of my big goals I wasn’t sure was possible (being an on insulin pump) until discovering exT1D. I am about to complete the Tough Mudder event. With the 21km obstacle course including mud, fire and water (so they say) I knew there was no way I could wear my pump. I also new I couldn’t go without insulin for 4 hours plus. Thank goodness I searched the internet to see how I could plan for this event! I came across exT1D and haven’t doubted for a moment that this is possible. Allan and the modules within exT1D has helped me come up with a plan to allow me to participate! THANK YOU. I cannot wait. I am now also confident enough to be able to participate in a whole range of adventure and endurance events I was unsure about! I will not engage with any health professional who tells me I can’t do something or who continue to ask me, “when are you going to give all this up?” 🙂

Professionally

As both a health professional (RN, AEP and DE) and someone who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for over 17 years, I am extremely excited, yet also extremely disappointed. Excited because I have finally found the resource I have been searching for to help me lead the active and adventurous life I choose to live, while managing my T1D. Disappointed because the resource is not widely accessible to health care professionals who are in a position to enhance the lives of others living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Jaimee Rossborough

Jaimee in front of a beautiful Port Douglas backdrop.

I have volunteered on children’s diabetes camps over the years, helping parents and young people understand Type 1 Diabetes. More often than not, both parents and those with Type 1 were terrified of sports and associated barriers of having Type 1 Diabetes. Whether it be risk of hypo’s, what to do with insulin before, during and after physical activity, or issues relating to weight management and food consumption. With more and more children becoming overweight due to lack of physical activity, many health professionals are in a position to educate both parents and children surrounding the benefits of keeping active. This should be even more important for those with Type 1 Diabetes.

From both personal and professional experience, I believe there is a lack of knowledge and confidence from health professionals to really assist with the almighty challenges involved with all that goes along with physical activity and Type 1 Diabetes.

exT1D has the potential to address this issue. Only recently I was at a conference and met a diabetes educator working from one of the large Western Australian hospitals, specialising in management of diabetes in children. This diabetes educator has also lived personally with Type 1 Diabetes for many years, and openly admitted to a lack of confidence and knowledge in relation to exercise and Type 1 Diabetes.

As someone who has not only lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 17 years, but also completed 4 years of university in Exercise Science, a Graduate Diploma of Diabetes Education, and Bachelor of Nursing, I can honestly say I have never come across this absolutely essential information covered in exT1D to enable someone with Type 1 Diabetes to manage their physical activity and BGL’s. I believe all health professionals working with people with Type 1 Diabetes should be aware of this resource to gain the knowledge and confidence to not only encourage physical activity on a daily basis, but also to allow the more gifted and driven people with Type 1 Diabetes to excel to a higher level of their chosen sport without the hindrance of Type 1 Diabetes.

The modules allow for flexible learning times, are easy to access, and are easy to follow and understand. The modules provide essential information, which is then reinforced with quizzes at the end to ensure information is understood.

I am saddened to think this information is available, yet not easily accessible, to health professionals who have the ability to enhance the lives of those living with T1D.

On a positive, I will certainly be doing my best to spread the word and knowledge about this amazing program! Jaimee Rossborough.

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