Ashlyn

ashlyn

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
I get asked strange questions daily but I think this situation is the weirdest. I once had a complete stranger come up to me and ask me if my Dexcom CGM was a government tracking device. She was completely serious and I couldn’t help but to chuckle. I told her that it was a continuous glucose monitor and it helps me better manage my type one diabetes. She was amazed by the technology and it was a good teaching moment.

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I am a college student and I was diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of my sophomore year. I have had so many people tell me I won’t be able to become a physical therapist, which is my ultimate goal. I prove them wrong every day. The semester I was diagnosed with diabetes I was taking 17 credit hours. I only missed two days  of class and finished the semester with a 3.75 GPA. When I am not in school I volunteer at a local rehab facility and I am learning more and more about my future profession every day. I will graduate with my first degree in two months. Diabetes will not stop me from accomplishing my goals!

How do you inspire others?
People say I inspire them by staying positive and being an advocate. I decided shortly after my diagnosis to get involved in efforts to help raise awareness for type one diabetes and to help organizations like JDRF find a cure. I will leave my mark and I will make a difference!

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
I remember the first time I ever gave myself an injection in public and how it made me feel. I wanted so bad to hide my new “flaw” that was diabetes. As I have lived with this disease and grown to accept it, I have also grown to learn not to be concerned with other’s opinions of me. I’m not scared to test my blood sugar or take an injection in public and I wear my CGM on my arm for the world to see. I have nothing to be ashamed of and this new mindset has led to me being much more confident about myself in general.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
In the short time that I have had diabetes, it has changed me from the inside out. Diabetes has made me tough as nails but diabetes also taught me that it is okay to cry. I get tired of diabetes, I have a good cry, I pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on fighting. It’s not always easy… It’s NEVER easy, but I can do it even though when I was first diagnosed I didn’t think I could.
Diabetes has also helped shape me into the future health care professional I will be. I now can look at things from a patient’s perspective and I understand how difficult things can be sometimes.


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