Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Local Betes Thursdays: Sarah


This is Sarah. She is our FIRST local Type 1 diabetic of the week. Sarah and I work together; well not together we are both admins at The Well. When I got this job everyone was so excited to hear there was another Type 1 on staff. So, I decided to make her my first local Type 1 because we work together and we both have broken pancreases.

Here is Sarah’s story:

My next door neighbor growing up was diagnosed a couple years before me so I was really aware of what diabetes was. Fall of 1997 (I was in the 5th grade) I found myself being SO tired and SO thirsty. Drinking "big gulp" sized waters multiple times a day. My mom began to notice my cheekbones and collarbones sticking out and so we went to the doctor. We then noticed that I had lost about 11 pounds in 2 weeks. They tested me and I was 402. I asked "Is that good?" The nurse replied, "um... it could be worse I guess." I had no idea that 402 was extremely high.  

I started out on shots and the adjustment wasn't too bad for me. My mom is pretty easy going like I said, I was pretty used to it because of my friend. My mom helped me with shots for the first 6 months or so and then I took over. About a year and a half after being diagnosed I got a pump (May 1999). I love life with the pump. I currently use a Minimed 722 which works with the Real Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. This system tests your blood sugar for you every 5 minutes and alerts you when you are low or high. It lowered my A1c from 10 to 7 in a few months! I have found it to be very helpful. I wish I would have had it during my adolescent years when my A1c's were very high.

My teenage years were really hard as a diabetic. There was a huge power struggle going on between my mom and I. I wanted to rebel against her so not only did I neglect my diabetes, I also struggled with my weight which added to high blood sugars. Not until I moved out of the house and lost weight did my blood sugars become easier to handle. I began to see myself as in charge of my health and body. I realized that I could rebel against my mom all I wanted, but I would be the one with the complications as an adult! 

And a little fun story about Sarah’s insulin pump.

Sarah’s insulin pump is not just a pump. They have a relationship. In fact they are so close, she even gave her insulin pump a name. Her Minimed 722 is called Pam. She named it after Pam from the television show the office. Her reasoning for naming her pump, “my pump is going to be around forever might as well give it a name and a personality”.

Sarah is apart of a Type 1 diabetes group. She has invited me to each once since I started working at The Well and I am finally going to face my shyness and go! Will most likely blog about it too! Here is a little snippet of what goes on in their group.

There is now a group of us Type 1's that meet about once a month to talk about how we are doing. It is so helpful! We laugh about stupid mistakes we have made lately (like forgetting to bolus or forgetting our pump at home) and successes. One of the guys in the group has a biology degree and is very good at explaining the mechanics of what is actually happening in our bodies with insulin, exercise, carbohydrates, etc. We all leave the group feeling very encouraged and empowered to do well! 

I am completely obsessed with food. I usually will ask other diabetics what food they are willing to risk the gross feeling of a high blood sugar for. Here is Sarah’s answer.

I would have to say Tepanyaki. I never guess the right amount of insulin and I'm always high afterward. I don't have it that often though! 

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