What made you start your blog/contribute to the diabetes community?
Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so writing about diabetes came naturally. I had been seeking out information on both forms of the condition following my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis in March 2005, which happened only a few months after my husband (T1 since 1986) experienced a seizure due to hypoglycemia. Along the way, I discovered a rather small diabetes blogging community. The first annual D-blog day was held November 9 of that year and I joined the ranks of diabetes bloggers on that day to tell our story.
What did it feel like to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?
Being a few weeks short of my 29th birthday, it was disheartening to be diagnosed at an earlier age compared to most people with Type 2 diabetes. As I joined online message boards, I realized how lucky I was to be diagnosed relatively early on in the disease process with only slightly elevated blood glucose and no complications – so many people are not diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes until a complication arises.
What has most surprised you about having Type 2 Diabetes?
I feel healthy most days. By cutting down on processed carbohydrates and exercising several times a week, not only have I improved my physical health, but also my mental health.
What areas of diabetes research have you most excited right now?
Whenever there is a study that shows the positive effects of using insulin for management of Type 2 Diabetes, that pleases me. There are too many negative connotations associated with insulin in the Type 2 community and any studies that prove otherwise could change minds therefore saving lives.
The growing evidence that Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGMS) are effective in maintaining steadier blood glucose in Type 1 Diabetes. This should make insurance coverage easier to obtain for these systems.
What motivates you to continue writing about diabetes?
Writing about diabetes is a coping mechanism. Even if I struggle to write a blog post about it, I might be Tweeting about the last workout I did or how frustrated I am with fasting blood glucose readings or offering support to others. While I appreciate page views and comments and personal e-mails regarding blog posts, I still write to cope with my own everyday Type 2 Diabetes experiences.
Who do you most admire in the diabetes community online?
Kerri at Six Until Me – Kerri offers insight into my husband’s world with Type 1 Diabetes as well as inspires me to stay physically active.
Becky at Tales of Princess Mikkimoto – Newly diagnosed in March of this year, watching Becky change her lifestyle enthusiastically due to Type 2 Diabetes has rekindled my own desire to stay healthy after some health concerns unrelated to diabetes.
What advice do you have for those newly diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?
You do not have to change your entire lifestyle overnight. Small steps are important – cutting processed carbohydrates gradually and starting an exercise program slowly are the ways to make the Type 2 Diabetes lifestyle change stick. Also, self-monitoring of blood glucose allows for trial and error in finding out what lifestyle changes best work for you. It is an important tool in any diabetes regimen, even when treating Type 2 Diabetes with only diet and exercise.
Be sure to check out Rachel’s WEGO Health profile, and welcome her to the community!
Interested in learning more about Type 2 Diabetes? Join the WEGO Health Group.