I was diagnosed a couple of days after turning 7 years old back in 1980.  I’ve had a LOT of ups & downs being a labile diabetic & yet it has never & will never stops me from doing anything.  I’ve seen a lot of great advances in the way diabetes is treated & I’m excited to see what the future brings…hopefully, a cure!

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
When I was a kid I was at my softball game and had to get an injection when my mom asked me if I had any alcohol on me (meaning an alcohol swab).  I told her that I was out and asked if she could get me some & she said, “Sure, I’m on it!”  The other parents around her who didn’t know I was a diabetic were having heart attacks while me & mom were laughing about it b/c it was a stupid & funny moment!

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I was told that I shouldn’t have children b/c of how brittle my diabetes is and I defied all odds & had a beautiful, healthy, baby boy.  Granted he was born 3 weeks early & I had a bit of a rough pregnancy but I did it & it’s the greatest thing that I’ve ever done in my life!  With that being said after having him I did heed the doctor’s advice & decided to not have any more due to the health risks involved.

How do you inspire others?
I always try to stay positive about living with a chronic illness and offer an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on (b/c everybody needs it once in a while), advice when asked and to be a good friend to whomever needs it.  Being a diabetic & having friends or associates who are diabetic goes a long way b/c they understand what you feel and go through & they really are pillars of strength for you sometimes.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
I don’t get symptoms when my sugar drops so I can be fine one minute & out cold the next which can lead to some sticky situations.  When I was in the 5th grade my sugar dropped during standardized testing & my friend noticed that something was wrong with me & alerted the teacher.  By the time I got to the hospital my sugar was 19 & I was in a coma which lasted for a couple of days.  When I woke up the doctors thought I had brain damage (which I didn’t, thankfully) but when I finally well enough to go back to school it made all the kids & their parents afraid to be around me.  I never got invited to sleep overs or anything like that b/c they didn’t know what to expect.  My mom spoke to my friends & their families about my disease & explained what to look for in case I needed help & everybody came together to make me feel included instead of the class freak like I thought I was.  They were truly a great group of people that I grew up with!

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Diabetes has make me a stronger, more confident person b/c I know that nothing can hold me down unless I choose to let it.  There are some days when I get angry or depressed & then I remember that I control my diabetes & that it doesn’t control me! I don’t know what life is like without diabetes & I hope that someday I will but if I don’t then I still know that I’m going to have a good life as an insulin powered woman!  🙂

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

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