Diabetes Story: Balance is Key!
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Diabetes Story: Balance is Key
Who this story is about?
Claire is born in the ’90s. She was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2003. She is a lover of dogs, sheeps, and anything that has 4 legs. She finds joy in small things in life and tends to always look on the bright side.
First Diabetes Experience
Dianurse: For how long do you suffer from diabetes? Claire: I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 17 years.
Dianurse: How did you realize it? How did you start your diabetes journey? Claire: October 2003, I was 9 years old. I had an unquenchable thirst and the fluid just passed through me. I was diagnosed roughly 2 weeks after I had a hamstring operation. I was wheelchair-bound so my bathroom breaks were noted. My aunt recognized the symptoms and took me to get tested. My BG was over 50mmo/L. I somehow, miraculously, was not in a DKA state when I was admitted.
Dianurse: Did you know what diabetes was and how to act with it? Claire: We had a family friend who was diabetic – I didn’t know too much.
About biggest fears …
Dianurse: What were your biggest fears at that time? Claire: Honestly, being at the hospital alone, without my loved ones. The surgery I had was a rather traumatic experience and I didn’t like the hospital association. I asked if my brother (who was 13) could stay with me – they said my Mom was allowed to stay over. So my fears were soothed.
How To Manage Diabetes
Dianurse: What’s the best way to manage diabetes, based on your experience? Claire: Take it as it comes and always be prepared. Diabetes is for life – Make friends with it. Bolus BEFORE you eat – it makes a huge difference.
Dianurse: Tell us more about your lifestyle, diet, and fitness/sport activities? Claire: I try to live a balanced life. I think balance is really important. I love donuts! I enjoy wine and tequila – not together. Broccoli is one of my favorite foods and I really do enjoy veggies, so I consume a good amount of them. I listen to my body and I think that’s really important. Fitness is challenging for me because I have cerebral palsy – my legs are overly attached to one another and I use my pelvis to get them to move. I waddle like a penguin so jogging, running, weight training, and even yoga is not really doable. I have a treadmill so weekly strolls on it is how I try to stay “fit”.
Dianurse: What is your favorite dish and why? Claire: I love food – this is like asking a parent to name the favorite child. I’d have to say my Dad’s special fillet, with a blue cheese sauce and roasted veggies. It’s heavenly and it tastes like home. Also, it’s low-carb so my BG stays in range.
Dianurse: What would be the best/most effective way to keep your blood sugar in the healthy range, again based on your experience? Claire: Dexcom!!! You cannot do better if you do not know better. Also, I drink fruit juice to treat hypos. It’s fast-acting and I find it easier to not over-correct. Over-correcting whether for highs or lows usually causes havoc for me.
About diabetes and technologies
Dianurse: Technology is rapidly penetrating healthcare. There are literally thousands of apps capable to track vital signs of humans, or simply data loggers ( carbs, blood glucose, etc.). What would be the added value of these technological advances for diabetics? How technology can help diabetics to effectively control their diabetes? Claire: Technology has revolutionized healthcare. When I was diagnosed, all we had available was the standard BG meters. Now we have CGMs and hybrid closed-loop systems. The burden of diabetes is made much lighter. Apps are great trackers. I remember having to record all my readings, my bolus amounts, and what I ate. It’s all so easy to do with apps now. Apps and sites like Dianurse are amazing at providing peace of mind – they are a compass that really helps point us in the right direction. A light in the dark.
Dianurse: What do you think about the constant connectivity that the telehealth app brings to both diabetics and healthcare providers? Claire: Humans desire and require a connection. Tele-health apps make needed, relevant, information is more accessible. There are few feelings worse than that of feeling alone. Connecting diabetics to each other and to healthcare providers create a support network that makes living with diabetes significantly easier.
Dianurse: How can you inspire others to take better care of themselves and their diabetes? Claire: I hope to achieve this with my blog “Diabetes is a Dog” – It might sound negative but I adore dogs and I use this analogy to help me manage my BG. I still need to tie a ribbon around the concept but in essence, dogs are companions. I’ve had to train my dog but it’s a dog and sometimes it chases its tail, chews the couch, and barks at shadows. It’s mine though and I am its keeper – I best look after it. I’ll expand on the notion in a future blog post.
Monica is a marketing maanger at Dianurse and a blogger.