I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1992 at the age of 10. If there was ever a best-case scenario for being diagnosed, I had it. My grandfather was a world-famous endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. I was immediately released into his care and began, as all people with diabetes do, to learn to live differently. I was the model of good control as a young kid, but as I entered my teen years, bad habits began to slip in. It wasn’t until I woke up in the hospital at age 18, with an insulin drip in one arm and an IV in the other, having nearly died of ketoacidosis, that I vowed to take control of my disease. It was then that I became my own best advocate. I found the right doctor, I started asking questions, I became involved with the diabetes community, and most importantly, I stopped apologizing for having diabetes.
Diabetes advocacy and supporting people with diabetes is my passion. I have created a strong diabetes network here in San Diego for myself: I work for a pharmaceutical company that makes diabetes drugs, and I take every opportunity I can to do public speaking about living well with diabetes. I know that having diabetes will always be an ebb and flow of the highs and lows (every pun intended!), and that support and understanding are some of the greatest tools for managing this disease. I hope this blog allows other people with diabetes and those that care about someone with diabetes to connect, to offer hope, to commiserate, to laugh, and to know that there are other people who get it.
I live by the this statement every day and encourage others with diabetes to internalize this idea and let it crush those paralyzing, fearful thoughts about diabetes:
Well controlled diabetes is the leading cause of nothing.
To good health!