Age: 27 Year Diagnosed: 1992 Location: Burbank, Ca
"I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes at the ripe age of 15 months old. I don't remember what life is like NOT having diabetes. When people ask me if I ever get used to taking injections, it frustrates me beyond belief. Sure, I get used to the action of it, but no I do not get used to the repeated jabbing, stabbing, ripping layers of flesh pain. It's still a needle.
As a child, I followed a strict schedule and diet on R and L insulins. At the age of ten I switched to Humolog and Lantus in which I was taking 8-12 injections a day. When I hit puberty, I became a test dummy for my endocrinologist team whom tested me for every different strands of diabetes (apparently there is eight), put me on every diet imaginable and instead of switching my insulin just kept up'ing my dosages. My body became immune to the ridiculous amount of Lantus I was taking daily (went from 30 to 60 to almost 80 units). I was exhausted, fatigued, extremely moody, emotional, not eating or sleeping properly. My weight fluctuated drastically. My focus on art had diminished and I was angry, sick and isolated all of the time. I lost a number of close relationships because of the drastic change in my being. And to those who stuck by my side, I dug my claws in so deeply they must have permanent scars. It was an ugly time in my life I try very hard to bury deeply inside of me. Brittle Diabetes was not a subject that ever came up, or a term that I discovered until very recently. Everyone around me assumed my hormones were acting up because of my age, but it turned out to be much deeper than that. Not only am I brittle, but I have over active adrenal glands and a higher level of estrogen that makes me extremely insulin resistant and I never know when it is going to happen.
However, I am still grateful to say that I am a diabetic of 26 years. I would not know maturity, graciousness or patience as I do now (even though its taken me years and I am still far from mastering those attributes).
I am a visual, Makeup and Special Effects Artist, Former Tattoo Apprentice, Esthetician and Talent/PR Agent. I received a scholarship from Montessori, High School of Art and Design for Visual and Performing Arts as well as a scholarship to Cooper Union for sculpting. I grew up riding horses and took 8 years of opera and broadway style vocal, instrument, dance and acting training. I had a brief stint on Broadway as a child and did child modeling for a number of small brands.
Though there have been set backs, I have not let my diabetes stop me from doing what I love."