Today, I’m interviewing Jenn Morris, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for some time now. Considering Type 1 is a chronic lifelong condition that many people could let them slow down in life, Jenn hasn’t done that at all. In fact, she’s taken life head on to lead a life of success.
First off, what type of diabetes do you have? We have readers with all types, so it’s important to talk about this first.
I am a T1D (Type 1 Diabetic).
How were you made aware that you had diabetes? Please share your diagnosis story with our readers.
I had a friend take me to the ER after about a month of not feeling myself. I had no energy, and other than going to work, I was constantly tired & sleeping. I thought I was just getting too old to be burning the candle at both ends.
We’re all curious, even if we live the life, everyone is different, what is a typical day like for you?
I am on disability from the onset of neuropathy due to the diabetes. Everyday and night is a struggle as the neuropathy affects my legs and feet.
If it’s a good day, where my legs and feet don’t bother me, I try to get out as much as possible. If it’s a bad day for my legs, television, sleep, and medication is what my day is.
Describe the one scariest moment since your diagnosis.
A day or so after being in ICU, the doctor told me that if I hadn’t called my friend, I wouldn’t be alive (I was 32 when diagnosed).
Living with a chronic illness can be overwhelming, how do you cope with the constant battle of trying to maintain a proper balance with your blood sugars?
I try to eat as much protein throughout the day to keep from snacking. Nuts have become my go to snack rather than crackers or chips.
If you could give one tip to someone newly diagnosed what would it be?
Listen to your body. Rest when you need to, learn how you feel with highs and lows to catch them quickly. Remember that you are not alone (especially if you’re the only diabetic, 1 or 2 in your family).
What is the most challenging aspect to you, in living with diabetes?
Explaining diabetes to someone who has no experience with the disease.
What was your reaction when you found out you had diabetes?
While I was surprised when I was told I was a diabetic, I have a lot of friends who have type 1 and 2, so I wasn’t completely shocked with what life would become with testing, shots, eating, etc. I was always asking my friends before I “joined the club”, so I was sort of prepared.
What was hardest for you and your family — emotionally? Or financially?
Without insurance, the constant worry of cost was the hardest to figure out. A few family members were able to chip in each month when I wasn’t able to afford my meds.
How often do you have to test your glucose levels?
Typically 2-3 times a day. I can feel my highs and lows, so I usually can guess where I am, but do an extra test to double check my numbers.
What insulins have you used or do you currently use?
Lantus or Level or (depending on script) and Novolog.
What would you like people who have diabetes to know?
We’re all fighting different battles as we are all affected differently by diabetes, but we’re all on the same team!
Who do you get support from? Who treats you?
Medically, my primary and my endocrinologist. Emotionally, friends and family.
Let’s conclude on a positive note. I know it can be difficult to find the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you thought really hard, what is one positive thing that diabetes has brought to your life?
Compassion for those who live private struggles and may not have a support team or person to talk to…. It’s hard – each one of us has a story. Smile through the pain and worry – that may just make someone else’s day!! Smiles are free 🙂