Age: 36    Year Diagnosed: 2017   Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"Right after I was diagnosed, I didn't know what I was doing in regards to insulin for meals. I wasn't truthful with my carb intake and would miscalculate the amount of insulin I should inject to cover. One night, a few months after my diagnosis, I made a cauliflower pizza and bolused like I was eating half a Pizza Hut. About 20 minutes later, I started feeling like I was having a panic attack, but worse. I had never had a low before. I started yelling "I'm dying" and my partner at the time started shoving any sweets he could find my way. The problem was I just had low carb wraps and peanut butter and wasn't aware they process slower. So basically I sat in a limbo of false death until I ate enough, drank water and found some old gummy worms. It scared the hell out of me while also making me realize how much consistent control you must have, or else...

A big misconception is the idea that all people who have diabetes bring it on themselves. They must have had a poor diet and were addicted to sugar. Education should be key in this space. Many people can prevent type 2, but there is this misnomer that if you get late onset type 1, it's your fault. Hate to break it to everyone, but I am extremely healthy, a lover of fitness and my pancreas is just not a fan of me. He just decided this 35 years later. I will be honest and say I had similar misconceptions prior to diagnosis. Again, we need to raise awareness to break the ignorance. Also, I hate when waiters in LA think I am being a finicky actress who is using vanity as a reason for modifying my  food. PLEASE JUST MODIFY! 

As a performer, I thought this was going to make me look weak. I was very secretive about my T1 until I had a few personal awakenings that made me realize a lot about myself, like how strong I truly was. Diabetes is not all of me. It is a part of me, like someone else's battle is a part of them. We all have our hurdles. I realize now I have a platform I am creating to use for good. I can use my art and voice to make people feel less isolated with this diagnosis and to educate others who are unaware. When I get sad or bummed, I think about the enhanced lifestyle and discipline I have to have as a win. I also think maybe this is part of my purpose.

Do what is best for you. It is a lot of trial and error and there is no set guidebook to this nasty pal. For me, consistent exercise helps with insulin sensitivity and releases stress. I also believe low carb, high protein, mostly vegan works well. It is going to be ok, and be thankful it was caught when it was."