Age: 33 Year Diagnosed: 2003 Location: Milwaukee, WI

“I think I’m usually expecting more of a rise out of folks when I shovel handfuls of gummy candies into my mouth at a concert. I listen to a lot of music where fan’s gummies are usually, ahem... ‘medical’ in another sense. Getting a “high” alert on my Dexcom is a whole different thing for me!

I find myself trying to correct people online all the time when they make super weak ‘this’ll give me diabetes’ jokes. Even DM’ing well known comedians telling them ‘c’mon, you’re funnier than that.’ It feels like we should be past those at this point — a little education can go a long way. I can eat whatever I want to eat, do whatever I want to do (well, within reason, I’m a rule follower generally.) I wasn’t always open to talking about diabetes with colleagues but quickly realized that answering questions and making sure people I was spending a lot of time with knew the most they could would only be helpful in the long run.

It’s been interesting trying to connect to the T1 online community in the last few years — figuring out the balance of who’s advice feels right and when it feels too much like a Dexcom competition. I was diagnosed at 18 and went to college a few months later, and was basically on my own to learn what I needed and was sort of rogue for many years. Now at 33, I’m learning how to reach out for help and advice, realizing I don’t have to do this alone. But, as with everything with this disease - it’s a balance! It’s not a competition and everyone’s experiences are different and valuable.

To quote Phish, my favorite band: ‘Just relax you’re doing fine.’ Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. If you eat the same thing every day, you may get totally different results. So, just take it one step at a time, you probably won’t nail it every time, and it’s ok. You’ll get it!”