What happens when a Registered Dietitian, myself in this case, gets diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? A tragedy is met with an opportunity! But my easy-going, adventurous and healthy life just got a bit more complicated. From the beginning, I was determined to accept the diagnosis and not let type 1 diabetes slow me down.
I am first a Registered Dietitian. This work has lead me all over this country, learning from other amazing Dietitians and creating my own set of values and philosophies. From the beginning of my training at Colorado State University, the wise professors preached about diets where there is no need for taking vitamin and mineral supplements and the idea that in a truly healthy relationship with food, every food can fit with one’s lifestyle! These messages have resonated in me and is such a different tune than the public is used to hearing. The problem with being on a diet is that it implies that there is an end. Diets are seen as purposeful restriction and a warning for you that this will be a hard test of your willpower and restraint. But I am here to tell you that the “anti-diet” is the way to go. Sustainable changes that allow you to carry out health behaviors daily is the key to success!
I am second, a Type 1 Diabetic. My world came crashing down on the 22nd day of July in 2015. I had no choice but to face the fact that my life would be changed forever. After four days in the ICU and an additional 2 days in the hospital the never-ending blood sugar battle began. It was time to start picking up the slack from my no-longer-functioning organ. I like to tell people that one day my body started a little civil war and the casualty was my pancreas. We know that it is only the beta cells of the pancreas that die but those beta cells are EXTREMELY important, they produce a hormone (yes, it is a hormone) called insulin which is essential for human life! It digests the energy, carbohydrates, from the foods we eat to feed and fuel all the different cells of the body!
Want to know how I am managing?
- Basalglar insulin pen- 18 to 22 units every morning
Humalog KwikPen insulin pen- right at about 8 grams of carbohydrates per unit. Good thing this thing fits in my purse!
- OneTouch Verio meter- Works like most of the other blood-sucking meters. Nothing fancy. No Bluetooth or any other features. I took mine out of the case it comes in and shove it into my purse.
- No pump. And really don’t have any interest in it- yet. With the promise of LOOP expanding and reaching more than Medtronic products, something could be in my future
- I made the jump to add a CGM to my management! Information is key. The more I can be aware of my blood sugars the easier it is for me to make choices based on my health.
I believe that Type 1 diabetes has made me a healthier person. I am not perfect, and I hope to never be! We all need a bit of motivation, guidance and inspiration! Type 1 diabetes is now with me, every day for the rest of my life. I don’t get a vacation or holiday. 10 years from now, when I am tired of stabbing myself and drawing blood daily, I am going to need a community, support system and life to keep me motivated. Let’s pick each other up and conquer life with our organs in the bags or pumps beside us.
Stay Happy and Healthy,