I was diagnosed at the age of 20. Even though type one does run in my family, I was initially prescribed anxiety medication to treat my symptoms. I thought I was anxious about who knows what, but in reality I was suffering from hypoglycemia. Once I was finally correctly diagnosed I quickly learned that life would be forever different. In the past 7 years I have successfully managed my diabetes while taking on life as a wife and teacher. My students know that when Mrs. Rodriguez is eating the tablets from her purse, give her a few minutes before you ask her any questions. (Glucose tablets!!)

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Most people ask if my insulin pump (OmniPod) is a nicotine patch? Hah. When I wore the Animas One Touch, people would ask if it was a pedometer or pager (hello we are not in the 80’s). I always take the time to tell them about the pump and educate them about type 1.

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
No one has ever told me that I can not do something due to my diabetes. I’m guilty of telling myself that I can not do things due to my diabetes. I prove myself wrong constantly.

How do you inspire others?
When hypo/hyperglycemia hits it’s difficult to always stay positive. However, with such amazing support and encouragement from my husband, family, friends, and little 2nd grade babes-it’s easy to have a positive outlook!

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Since I was diagnosed a bit later in life, I did not understand how the disease would effect me. I was in college and did not want to feel “different” and I felt inconvenienced by having to pull out my meter for a finger prick or needle and syringe, in front of a group of people before eating or drinking. I neglected my health for so long. More high blood sugars than lows. After a few health complications, constant thirst, poor blood circulation in my hands and legs, a hemorrhage in my eye, and thinking about starting a family in the future-I kicked it into high gear. I’m happy to say that my A1C is at 6.6 and I’m still working on bringing it down!

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
I don’t let anyone else control how I feel. I used to get self conscience when people stared at my pod when I wore it on my arm or as I was giving myself a finger prick. Some people would stare or some would ask questions and then say “awwww” and felt badly for me. I need to do what I need to do to live a life beyond type one! Now, I whip out all my diabetes supplies and do a site change in front of others with no embarrassment.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?

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