Hi, my name is Heather!
I was first diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 18. I had 54 gallstones that moved into my pancreas, which caused me to have pancreatitis at the time. Four months later, we found out that my pancreas had stopped working due to the damage from the gallstones I had previously had! So, from that moment on I have been a type 1 diabetic! It’s been a long road it seems, but I have learned to manage it as best as I can. I have two small children, and am now new to pump therapy (t-slim insulin pump)! I honestly couldn’t imagine a life without diabetes, it teaches you so much! That’s a brief story of my crazy journey, and I am so happy to be able to share it!

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
I have recently lost 75 pounds, and am trying to become as healthy and as fit as I can be, so I get asked DAILY, “wow you’ve lost that much weight and are still on insulin?!” I just try and respond with ” I’m a type 1 diabetic, yes I take less insulin now, but I will never be totally off of insulin so to speak.”

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Yes! I was told that I could not/ should not, have children due to how severe my diabetes was. I now have two little boys! The pregnancies were extremely high risk, but I closely watched and monitored my diabetes, and with the help of great doctors, I am now a mother!

How do you inspire others?
I try to just stay positive with everything. When people find out I am a diabetic, they seem to always have something sad/negative to say. I always respond with “no way! It’s made me who I am today!” or something of that nature.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
When I was first diagnosed, I wanted to continue to live as I had prior to my diagnosis. For the following few years I partied, I drank, and all the things that I should have not been doing really. I was in the ICU from DKA many times. My sugar reached 1856 at one point, but somehow I was still awake and walking into the hospital. I then met my now husband, stopped everything that was making me even more sick, and decided to try and become better at watching my diabetes and taking care of things. I had two children, and then really became serious with things. I now am able to be on an insulin pump,  workout 3 times or more a week, and closely watch what I eat. It took me almost 10 years for this all to happen, but it has been a scary, crazy, beautiful ride.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
One horse sized duck any day! 100 of anything seem scarier to me! Haha

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