Drew

 
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Age: 29 Year Diagnosed: 2012 Location: Sydney, AUS

“‘Exercise is Dangerous for People With Type 1 Diabetes’ This has to be the most gear-grinding myth of all. People with type 1 diabetes are often afraid of exercise because they aren’t on an appropriate insulin therapy protocol. If you are on the correct amount of insulin for your activity levels, not only is exercise perfectly safe - it is vital for optimal health! As someone thriving with type 1 diabetes, exercise is my fundamental management strategy to control my insulin and blood sugar levels. I like to say: “Exercise is a form of medicine that we can freely and happily administer to ourselves” My philosophy is: “In order to thrive with diabetes, I need to take 2 types of medicine daily: Insulin and exercise - with exercise being at the core”. 
In other words, my daily dose of insulin is dependent upon my daily dose of exercise - NOT the other way around. So on days when I don’t exercise - I require more insulin. It is quite simply a balancing act between two medications for optimal insulin and blood sugar control. 
 As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, a big problem that I see in clinical practice is that people with type 1 diabetes are afraid to exercise (and even afraid to partake in activities of daily living) in case their blood sugar level drops too low. 
The result: a sedentary individual surviving on large amounts of insulin, rather than an active individual thriving on optimal amounts of insulin. 


They say “love the one you’re with”; an expression that I didn’t appreciate until I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I’ve not only accepted living with diabetes, I’ve learned to love it and manage it so that it doesn’t manage me. Sure, my world shifted when I was first diagnosed, but after making positive changes to the way I live, eat, move and approach life, I can honestly say I am happier and healthier today than I was before my diagnosis. So in a way you could say that diabetes gave me the gift of health. My aim is to share what I know with others so that we can learn to love our condition as a partner that walks with us, not one that rules us.”

Mike

 
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Age: 33    Year Diagnosed: 1993    Location: Huntington Beach, Ca

"Get your mental health plan structured as early as possible. Chronic stressors cause Impairment to memory, attention, cognitive function and more. Just in case you were wondering why you seem so frazzled. T1d is about resilience and I believe positivity is a muscle. A muscle that needs to be worked out everyday. Meditation, therapy, community, if you need a place to start.

I’m excited to watch our community grow. It’s amazing seeing so many people living with t1d live meaningful, happy lives. This isn’t your grandmas diabetes!

Hannah

 
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Age: 22   Year Diagnosed: 2007  Location: Moorpark, Ca

"Once in high school, my blood sugar was really high, like in the 400s and I have already corrected but I had run out of water. I asked the teacher who has always been so supportive and generous about my diabetes that I needed to go to the bathroom and get a new water. He sternly told me no and to sit down. I was so confused because he never questioned me before, but I told him louder than I expected that I was HIGH and needed water. He looked stunned. He was so confused and was like “why would you tell me that?” I said “because I’m diabetic and need water....” he laughed for about a minute gave me $2 and sent me to get a cold water. He thought I had smoked before class and was high on drugs.

I’ve struggled with accepting myself and my disease since I was diagnosed. Well in October of 2017 I was in the hospital dying because of being afraid of showing the world who I really am. For months I hadn’t tested my sugar or even given insulin. I was so sick and it got to the point where no water was ever enough, and I was throwing up blood. When my parents took me to the hospital, they told me that if I hadn’t come in that morning, I would be dead by that night. It’s something that still haunts me and terrified me to this day. But it’s been my motivation to become more involved in the diabetic community and surround myself with people who want to learn and understand my disease. I don’t want anyone to feel as alone as I did. I’ve met some incredible people in my journey to recovery and I feel so blessed at where I am in my life and it’s all thanks to Type 1 Diabetes.

Get involved. You can’t do this alone and this community is the strongest most supportive community I have ever seen. I jumped all in and I had so many hands to guide me through it. I’ve grown closer to those I already know. Have I lost some people along the way? Sure. But it’s showing me who is really here for me and who is going to be there for me in the long run. You must stay true to yourself to survive this disease. You have to embrace it otherwise it’ll take over.

Louis

 
 

Age: 25    Year Diagnosed: 2005   Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"I use syringes to take insulin.. I always there. One time, in the ninth grade, I took my insulin, and I put my needle away. At the start of my second class, someone asked me, "what is that supposed to be, like a statement?" I was so confused! Turns out, I had put the syringe between my ear like one would with a pencil and just had it there all morning! I was shocked and embarrassed!

 

Alyssa

 
 

Age: 27   Year Diagnosed: 2007  Location: Santa Monica, Ca

"I went on a medical mission trip to India in 2016 where I set up medical clinics with doctors and nurses in remote villages. I met many people that had diabetes that had no access to medical resources like we do in America. They didn't even have a place to keep their insulin cold. It was in these moments, I felt so lucky to that I have access to life saving supplies and a loving community to support me with my T1D. I am so incredibly lucky to have an amazing boyfriend, friends & family, and my wonderful co-workers at Myabetic where I work to change perceptions about what it is to live with diabetes. I have been blessed with positive influences and knew I had to pay it forward. After my trip to India my heart was set on becoming a nurse. A few weeks ago I hired a interview coach that went to medical school to help with my nursing school interviews. This coach told me not to tell the admission council that I had type one diabetes because it was a disability, and it could prevent me from getting in. I could not believe that somebody was telling me to hide my T1D! To hide the very thing that inspired me to become a nurse and help others. I politely told him that I could not do that because this is my true authentic self, and that I would never hide my diabetes. My entire personal statement was about being diagnosed with T1D and the journey I have been through overcoming my diagnosis. I am happy to say that I have received a interview to every single nursing school that I applied to. I wanted to share this story because nobody should hide their true authentic self while reaching for their dreams. Our imperfections are beautiful! You should always be yourself. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Mark

 
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Age: 42   Year Diagnosed: 1985   Location: Detroit, MI

"I’ve had T1d since 1985, I was Dx 6 months after my oldest sibling. The best part is, I’ve been able to use my knowledge and experience to work in the insulin delivery and have made a career of my misfortune.  The most challenging part is the daily burden diabetes takes, this can be very overwhelming at times.   Having grown up with a sibling to lean on, and directing one of the largest diabetes camps in the US, I’ve learned no one should take this journey alone.  When I look at a dining hall with 250 T1d campers or a pump support group with 10, I see people willing to help and share their experiences with one and other, this is how we get up each day and fight the good fight that we do."

Racquel

 
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Age: 24  Year Diagnosed: 2007  Location: Toronto, On

"My one piece of advice is build a community. I spent the past 10 years pushing away the fact that I have diabetes - never participated in walks, events or camps, didn't even want to talk to another diabetic. I ended up isolating myself, feeling constantly angry towards it, and poorly managing my diabetes. This year I have met so many incredible T1D's that have inspired me and helped me completely change my attitude towards it all. A simple convo with someone that literally knows exactly what you are going through, makes you feel less alone at the end of the day."

Jillian

 
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Age: 30   Year Diagnosed: 1997  Location: Detroit MI

"One morning, back a few years ago, I found my mom sitting on my bed crying. I woke up and asked if everything was alright, why was she she on my bed? She looked at me bewildered. She said 'you don't remember anything?' I said, "Remember what, mom?' She had tears down her face, she said I woke up screaming and yelling around my house and I couldn't be controlled. She said I then laid back down in my bed and went to sleep. I started crying because I had NO MEMORY of anything that took place. I was scared, why couldn't I remember? I had no control of my body, my memory, nothing. This was before my Dexcom. I slipped into a weird state due to my blood sugar. I hated diabetes even more that day.

People often think you are "limited" with Diabetes. Maybe it's because we look like robots with all these different machines attached to our body parts, or maybe because we have to "shoot up", so that makes us "unable", I don't know, but I'm here to show the world that diabetics are NOT limited to anything, we are limitless! Traveling the world, scuba diving, hiking, dancing, singing, body building, I mean we are called diabadasses for a reason, no?

Chris

 
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Age: 27  Year Diagnosed: 2009  Location: Coconut Creek, FL

“One time a holistic massage therapist attempted to massage the diabetes out of me to heal me...it didn’t work.

My diabetes diagnosis was the catalyst for me to go from studying law to exercise science and know helping 1000’s of people worldwide through motivational speaking and nutritional consulting.

My piece of advice is that your A1C does not dictate your character. Aim to progress and improve but do not degrade yourself for a blood sugar. Blood sugars are not bad or good they just are. The emotion is applied by you.”

 

 

 

 

Cassie

 
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Age: 30   Year Diagnosed: 1994   Location:  Troy, MI

"The best part about having diabetes is the people. I've met some of the greatest people in my life because I have diabetes. I volunteer at diabetes camp each summer, that I also attended as a kid. It is the best week of the summer. The people I spend that week with are some of the kindest, smartest, most fun people I have ever met. Each year I am surprised how all of us come together, each with a different background and skill set, to put the camp together. I learn as much about diabetes management as an adult that I did as a kid when I was newly diagnosed. Diabetes is constantly changing, and it's awesome to be at the forefront of that.

The advice I would give is: 

1. Pay attention in math class in elementary school. 2. You can do ANYTHING you want. I've gone away to college, studied abroad, and traveled the world. Diabetes is mobile and adaptable, just like you. The world is your oyster, so seize your opportunity!

Emily

 
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Age: 29    Year Diagnosed: 1992   Location: Detroit, MI

"I work as a diabetes educator and specifically love working with teenagers. I often talk with them about diabetes burnout. We discuss how diabetes isn’t something you can do alone. We all need help sometimes: sometimes that help is with a site change and other times it might be a listening ear. This support can come from a friend, a family member or even right here on instagram. Find your tribe and allow that support to lift you up!

I LOVE to travel and experience new places. Travel with diabetes is always an adventure. Between trying new foods, lots of walking and being in a different time zone: diabetes can quickly get out of wack. I’ve had a bad site and had to do an injection and site change at 30,000 feet. I’ve gotten frisked because of all the needles in my carry on. I’ve done 4 site changes in one day because the combination of ocean water and sunscreen doesn’t work great for new sites and I refused to leave the beach. So I always say take backups of your backups when it comes to diabetes supplies and meds."

Nicole

 
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Age: 20   Year Diagnosed: 2007   Location: Macomb, Michigan

"When I was in 10th grade I went to go test my sugar. I get back to class and my teacher asks me if I'm okay and I said, 'yeah I'm just high'. The teacher and my friends started laughing and I said, 'not that high!. I mean my sugar is high!'

Out of my 10 years of being a type 1 diabetic, I have experienced DKA 4 times and it's so scary to be in. You have so many thoughts running through your mind.

Never give up, diabetes is really difficult to control and there are a lot of ups and downs but you will get through it."

Sahil

 
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Age: 25   Year Diagnosed: 1998   Location: Detroit, MI

"The thought that we had any control on being diagnosed because we 'ate too much sugar.' It is one of the most frustrating situations when people think you cannot have something or prevent you from eating it because they believe those decisions are what led to being diabetic in the first place.

I was able to submit paperwork through the special aid needed during testing department at my university, which gave me 45 minutes extra in a room for every exam I took. I never ended up needing the full time, but it was awesome getting it.

My biggest piece of advice is to keep glucose tablets everywhere.  Buy 5-6 of the big bottles and keep it in a car, by the bed, in a gym bag, in a backpack, and wherever else is commonly used when you cannot get food in your system right away. Will save you time, money, and fear whenever sugar does dip low."

 

 

Amber

 
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Age: 18   Year Diagnosed: 2016   Location: Detroit, MI

"Since my diagnosis, I have been grateful for the resources such as camp and social media because they have allowed me to meet other type 1s and keep in touch with them. I think this is important because it reminds me that I am not alone in this journey with type 1 diabetes.

My greatest piece of advice is to always be prepared because you never know what's going to happen in a day."

 

Michelle

 
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Age: 23    Year Diagnosed: 2009   Location: Pasadena, Ca

"In high school my pump unclipped from my pocket at the wrong time which led to me accidentally flushing my pump down the toilet. Luckily, I caught it by the cord and had to hold on tight until it stopped flushing and had to pull it out....talk about embarrassing.

Get involved in the T1D community! It makes the biggest difference. It starts off as a support system then becomes a great friendship!"

Sara

 
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Age: 29   Year Diagnosed: 2003   Location: Sweden

"One thing I want to share is how my diabetes has given me so many nice friends around the world. It feels like we have formed an incredibly nice and genuine family with diabetes. No matter who you are, where you come from and how you take care of your diabetes- everyone is welcome. We should be lucky that social media has a great impact and can connect us from all over.

Life does not end. I would like to say that it's only you who can limit to what you can and can not do. You don't have to choose whether to accept diabetes or not, but only you can make the most of the tools you have and get. Don't stress over individual blood sugar values because it will not kill you. Make sure you have fun on this journey and are open to try new things, even changing routines and habits. It can be difficult, but having an open mind will make you feel better even when living with this chronic disease."

Robert

 
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Age: 25   Year Diagnosed: 1997  Location: Simi Valley, Ca

"Everybody who has spent an extended period of time with me has, at some point, uncovered one or more (often more) purple BD sterile needle covers that I use for my insulin injection pen. They find them in their car, under couches, in their purses, in the kitchen, etc. I had a roommate once start a "money jar" where every time he found one of those purple BD needle covers, I'd have to put $1 in the jar. By the end of a full year, there was enough money to go out to a nice brunch in Santa Monica. I've tried to get better about throwing them in the trash, but every once in a while, I'll still find one on the floor and laugh.

I feel really blessed that T1D is a manageable condition. Although it can often be difficult, annoying, and at times a pain in the side (see what I did there), T1D does not prevent me from going after my dreams and living a fulfilled life."

Carrie

 
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Age: 23    Year Diagnosed: 2002   Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"Take everything day by day. You can't tell someone that it's going to get easier because it doesn't and that sucks. All you can tell people is you will find a new normal and you will get through the bad days and weeks and months when you struggle and you will be the strongest person you know and your own hero for getting through it.

Dave

 
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Age: 47    Location: 2016    Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"I was just a guest on Hollywood Handbook, a really funny podcast, and just as we were getting into a rhythm and making each other laugh, the producer said, "Does anyone else hear a distant ringing?" And we did. We all looked around, wondering if a fire alarm had been pulled. I took my headphones off to see if I could locate the noise, and of course it was coming from my very own butt. My insulin pump was failing, on microphone. So that's how I told those guys I was Type 1.

Community is so important. Just being around other people who have what you have- and are ALIVE- eases the stress. Go make a T1 friend, go for a run, have the experience of fixing a low or a high with someone who gets it- it makes a difference.

Jazmine

 
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 Age: 24  Year Diagnosed: 2005  Location: Rialto, Ca

“As a type 1 diabetic I’ve come across many misconceptions about my disease. The first is  that our  lives and choices  are limited. That we diabetics, only have a certain amount of options in life. Especially when it comes to food. Being a T1D just means  I need to make sure my sugars are at a balance, which I’m able to do so thanks to my insulin. The second misconception I would change is the confusion between type 1 and 2 diabetes. Often, people tend to confuses 1 and 2. People like to assume that I’m diabetic because I’m unhealthy. Again, wrong! I was born with type one diabetes, diagnosed at the age of 12. I made no bad decisions that lead me to being diabetic. Honestly, I don’t expect the world to know about my disease, I just ask that they don’t make assumptions.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 years my world fell apart. I was all of a sudden categorized as different from the rest. I felt like the only people that ever spoke to me about diabetes were my doctors. Those conversations were really only about my test results or medications. No one ever really spoke to me about living with the illness or advise me on things the illness would affect. There wasn’t anyone I knew in the world that could understand me and what I was going through. Until my fiance, Martin, told me about  diabetic meet-up- groups. A place to meet other diabetics like myself? After  finally attending one, I met the most amazing people that later became my best friends. Not only did they understand what I was going through, but they were also able to help me get through it. They too have gone through conflicts because of being diabetic and were able to gain knowledge from it which I later benefitted from. Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is go out there and meet other diabetics! The feeling of finding others like yourself is similar too finding a family. Its an automatic bond and love for one another.“