With no family history, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 26. My diagnosis was less than one month after my one year wedding anniversary. I felt awful for my husband. I felt like he didn’t know what he was getting into… and neither did I.
I had several appointments in the next couple weeks with the diabetic educators to learn how to count carbs, give injections, check my blood sugar, etc. It was quite overwhelming. Three months later I was able to gain control over my blood sugar and shortly after became pregnant with our first child. Almost immediately after learning about our pregnancy my doctor started me on the insulin pump to help keep tight control over my blood sugar. I remember holding my hand over my meter every time I had to check my blood sugar. My pregnancy hormones were making it more difficult to control my blood sugar level and I felt horrible if it was too high. We were induced and ended up having a c-section with our daughter, who continues to be very healthy. Two years later we got pregnant again. This time my husband was traveling a lot, so in addition to my insulin pump I began using a continuous glucose monitor. This device offered safety features that were critical to have while home alone with two young children. I could set an alarm to go off if my blood sugar dropped below a certain level.
Diabetes can affect your entire day. A typical daily routine consists of checking your blood sugar at least 5 times, paying attention to the amount of carbs consumed, always having food prepared for a sudden low, and doing injections or monitoring your insulin pump.
Despite my diagnosis, I have gained the confidence over the past four years that has allowed me to compete in sprint triathlons, half marathons and marathons. I recently ran in the Boston Marathon this past April and am currently training for my first half ironman. Diabetes will continue to be a challenge, but it doesn’t define me. All these devices have helped me live a healthier life with my diagnosis, but I want “our” children to know what life is like without diabetes. Thank you for helping fight to find a cure.