I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 18 months. I have struggled with my health and have learned many things in the last 35 years. When I was nineteen, I went an entire year without checking my blood sugar. I ate what I wanted and injected. I am very lucky that despite many years of ignoring my diabetes, I suffer no complications.
I have spent much time researching diabetes and interacting with others like me and I would love to help others, specifically, pregnant Type 1 diabetics. Though, I would of course help anyone who asked for my help.
Diabetes has become my passion over the last 5 years. On January 4, 2010, the day after my 30th birthday, I made a huge decision. I was 200lb, my diabetes was out of control and I was taking a myriad of medications for cholesterol, high blood pressure and many other things due to my poor health. I made the decision to make a life change in my eating plan. I found the website of a man (Steve Cooksey of Diabetes-Warrior.net)who had reversed his type 2 diabetes and had lost 75lb and gained back his health by following a low-carb Paleo/Primal eating plan. I decided to follow suit and the results have been amazing.
After cutting out cutting out grains, sugar, starch, soda, fast food and other processed food, I focused on eating real food-meat, vegetables, eggs, healthy saturated fats, dairy, nuts and occasional berries. I also started exercising at my local gym. The results were astounding. I dropped 55lb, 6 dress sizes, my blood pressure normalized, my cholesterol numbers are phenomenal, I cut my insulin usage in half, my blood sugars normalized, my kidney function is great, my liver function is excellent and every single one of my health markers improved. I no longer catch every illness that is running around. My yearly bout of Pneumonia is no more. My ophthalmologist says he can’t even tell that I am a diabetic. My doctor is thrilled with my results. I also stayed low-carb throughout my last pregnancy and it was a much easier pregnancy than my previous two. My blood sugars were more stable, I gained less weight, my blood pressure stayed in the 110/60 range and I never got swollen fingers and feet as I had with my previous 2 pregnancies. I was also able to drop the weight pretty quickly afterward and successfully nursed my son for 15 months while staying low-carb the entire time.
It has been 5 years now and I am the healthiest I have been in my entire life. I have maintained a healthy weight and my current a1c is 5.1 (4.8-5.2 for more than a year now!) This is a permanent way of life for me and I would never go back! I am now about to start my 2nd year of nursing school. I’m getting my R.N. so I can become a Certified Diabetes Educator. I just finished my Level 1 Associate Diabetes Educator Certificate.
A little over a year ago, I was able to participate in starting an awesome new Facebook group with R.D. Dikeman, Derek Raulerson, and Debbie Theriault called TypeOneGrit. It is my absolute privilege to be a part of this amazing community. My blood sugar management has done a complete 180 because of these people.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
How can you be diabetic? You aren’t fat. You look healthy.
I responded that I am a type 1 diabetic and went into an explanation of type 1.
Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I was told from childhood, that I wouldn’t be able to have children and that if I did, they would be hideously deformed, or it would kill me (think, “Steel Magnolias”. I have gone on to have 3 healthy pregnancies, my last one being a vba2c (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) at 40 weeks with no complications.
How do you inspire others?
I admin a group for type 1’s and parents of type ones. I also admin a pregnancy group for type 1’s. I’m trying to lead by example and my goal is to become a Certified Diabetes Educator, so that I can help more people.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Absolutely. It has affected me in all ways. If not for my diabetes, I know that I would be overweight and unhealthy. It has made me a stronger person who has GRIT and has made me stubborn and determined to reach all goals. It has given me compassion and empathy for others in my situation, and has enabled me to help them. I firmly believe that I have T1 for a reason, to help others like myself.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
EEEEK! That sounds like an utter nightmare!