Candid Abby – How I do Not suffer from Diabetes
1. I am a diabetic vs I have diabetes. What is your opinion on this?
I personally use the words interchangeably, but I do see how others could have a strong opinion about this! While I don’t have a preference on diabetic vs diabetes, I absolutely do NOT want people to say that I “suffer from” diabetes. I live a very happy, fulfilling life, and although there are hard days, I am certainly not suffering.
2. Diabetes affects your mind. Share some insight.
Diabetes invades my thoughts every day. I can never forget its there, or else crazy things happen. I have to be vigilant with my self-care, and I have to always be prepared for the worst. There are always back up supplies everywhere I go. This is especially important since I am a wedding photographer. It’s easy to focus completely on the wedding and forget diabetes. Having my dexcom connected to my Pebble watch thanks to Nightscout has helped the most! I’m able to continue working and know that I’m safe.
3. Misdiagnosing diabetes. What to expect?
I was actually misdiagnosed as a type 2 diabetic in 2012, when I was 22 years old. I was placed on a rigorous diet of only 60 carbs per day, and after 5 months of starving and never seeing a blood sugar reading below 200, I switched doctors and was immediately reclassified as type 1. The hardest part was speaking up and being my own advocate – you want to believe you can trust your doctor and that they’re never wrong, but the truth is, they are sometimes wrong.
4. Sick day management. Diabetes makes flu look worse?
I’ve been very lucky in that I haven’t had a major illness since being diagnosed. However, I recently dealt very badly with allergies, and it was a miserable 2 months of sniffling and coughing! My blood sugar was stable throughout my allergies, but I had my dexcom going, and ketone strips on standby at all times.
5. All you wish you could do today. Does diabetes bother you?
Lately, the only aspect of diabetes that has been bothering me has been my pump! It’s summer, so I’ve been wanting to wear dresses more, but finding a way to wear my pump with a dress is never simple. Sometimes I opt to go back to shots for a day to give myself a break from my pump and that helps.
6. Only if you could eat all of that. How do you manage cravings?
I’m very bad about giving in to my cravings! Luckily I have limited cravings, but those few things I want, I want badly! I just try to take things one blood sugar reading at a time, and not beat myself up about it. Sometimes, my happiness and mental health are more important than a 250mg/dL reading.
7. Friends. More or Many Or namesake. Diabetes makes you social?
I have met some AMAZING people through the Diabetic Online Community. I flew to California two years ago and stayed with Frank of www.blackdogsrule.com. He introduced me to Dorrie behind “Saving Luke” on Facebook (see photo). Diabetes has also connected me to other diabetics in my local area, which is so great! Not everyone wants to connect with others who also have the same illness as them, but to me, there is power and strength in numbers!
8. Managing Insulin when travelling abroad and during air-travel.
I have flown a few times since being diagnosed (I’ve gone to Alaska, Los Angeles and San Francisco!) and one trend I’ve noticed for me is that I tend to drop low toward the end of my flight each time. I’m not sure if it’s a situation of “I’ll always drop at the 4 hour mark of a flight” or what since all my flights have been 4-5 hours each, but that’s the trend I’ve noticed so far.
9. Your biggest fear is……..
My biggest fear (diabetes related, anyway) is that I will not be able to afford my diabetes supplies. I don’t want my husband to ever resent me because we have to sacrifice basic necessities to keep me alive. Not that he ever would because my husband is truly one of a kind, but I hope we are never put in that situation.
10. How diabetes made you better?
Diabetes has made me a better person. I am so much more conscientious of others with invisible and incurable illnesses. I am more thankful for what I have, and I try to do everything I can to be the best person I can be.