Diabetes story: Miracles happen!
7 min reading time
Diabetes story: Miracles Happen
Who is this story about?
Her name is Ashley and she is 31 years old. She is the mother of a 5-year-old boy named Logan. Ashley is a stay at home mom. She is crafty and creative, always doing something. She loves spending time outside with her son and dog. Meditation helps her a lot. She worked as a CAN (Certified Nursing Assistant). Her jobs were connected with type one diabetics and endocrinologist. Ashley is a type one diabetic for 30 years. Learn Ashley’s whole story.
First Diabetes Experience
Dianurse: For how long do you suffer from diabetes? Ashley: I have been living with Type One Diabetes now for about 30 years. I was 16 months old when diagnosed and I am now almost 32.
Dianurse: How did you realize it? How did you start your diabetes journey? Ashley: I was too small to know. My father tells me that I had been sick for a week or so. The doctor did not think about Diabetes back then, but rather a cold or a sort of virus. He told my mother to feed me popsicles to keep me from dehydration. The popsicles had sugar in them so it was doing the opposite. I ended up getting so much worse than I was put into a coma. The doctor had told my mother one night that things were not looking good and to prepare herself to say goodbye. But, 🙂 because here I am at 31!
Dianurse: Did you know what diabetes was and how to act with it? Ashley: Again, I was much too young to even know what was going on, my meals and my medical equipment were all taken care of by my parents. It was not until I was 8 that I learned how to inject my own needles. I can tell you that I did not like finger pricks or needles at such a young age though.
About biggest fears …
Dianurse: What were your biggest fears at that time? Ashley: I did not have any fears of being so young, but as I got older and went to school, I did start to notice how different I was. You have to remember that when I was diagnosed, there weren’t as many tools to connect with other Diabetics. I often felt alone and quite honestly, embarrassed that I had to be the one to go to the nurse every day to have needles and finger sticks. I had friends but no one was walking in my shoes.
How To Manage Diabetes
Dianurse: What’s the best way to manage diabetes, based on your experience? Ashley: I am no doctor, by any means, but I will say that proper glucose testing is the one big savior. You need to know what your BG levels are in order to correct and keep a great balance. In my own personal journey, I like to definitely eat in very small portions. I can eat great stuff but still eat in a healthy way as to not cause damage to my Diabetes. I can say you do need to have a food that you’re craving every once in a while, but in a portion and making sure to take insulin for it.
Dianurse: Tell us more about your lifestyle, diet, and fitness/sport activities? Ashley: I am a stay at home mom. I have a five-year-old son, who is very active. I have a pretty good schedule for my days. I walk the dog a lot and also workout on my elliptical. I am always outside with my son. He plays flag football so we practice playing and we always like to have play dates to run around and exercise. Aside from daily life, I am working on a Diabetes book in my spare time. Nothing set in stone yet though, just starting the journey.
Dianurse: What is your favorite dish and why? Ashley: Hmm… I think I would have to say white chicken chili, I love spices and especially if you are eating something a little bland like most stuff is with fewer carbs and all that good stuff. Although white chicken chili is not a carb friendly meal, it is yummy every once in a while. Call it my cheat meal.
Dianurse: What would be the best/most effective way to keep your blood sugar in the healthy range, again based on your experience? Ashley: I would have to say having technology that all works together such as an insulin pump, glucometer, CGM (continuous Glucose Monitor) combo. Along with that, an endocrinologist that is empathetic to your life, not someone telling you what to do but working alongside you. Last but not least, just a great diet, there are so many apps now to help with carb counting and recipes that are low in carbs and sugars. Just eat healthy, that would go for anyone though whether Diabetic or not.
About diabetes and tech
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 technology advances for diabetics? How technology can help diabetics to effectively control their diabetes? Ashley: I believe that technology has come such a long long way. I started out with needles and a glucometer and everything was manual. I love being able to test my BG level and it sends to my pump and I can press a button to correct. The way technology is advancing may make it to one day have your CGM testing fully capable and sending to your pump and just giving insulin or maybe even just telling your pump like “Siri” or “Alexa” what you’re eating and it calculates and gives your dose. A girl can dream!
Dianurse: What do you think about the constant connectivity that tele-health app brings to both diabetics and healthcare providers? Ashley: I do not have this and actually haven’t heard of it before this question but I do think something like this would be extremely helpful, especially in an elderly person or a child.
Dianurse: How can you inspire others to take better care of themselves and their diabetes Ashley: I think we all inspire each other. I may have important lessons to teach a young diabetic but they may be hip to the new technology that I don’t know about. If anything, I will say that when I was younger, I was angry about this disease, I rebelled and felt awful most of the time. When I took a step toward better health, it made me realize how horrible I felt when I was younger and how much sports and better control could have made me feel amazing. The best feeling in the world was just feeling healthy and active, I never wanted to go back to the way I used to feel.
Monica is a marketing maanger at Dianurse and a blogger.