Libby Russell was diagnosed at 17 years old in 2005. While being a teenage girl is already pretty hard, adding type 1 diabetes made it that much more complicated and she didn’t feel like any organizations were messaging to teenage girls. After a lot of drafts, 7 years later she launched her blog I Have The Sugars to empower girls with type 1 that she thinks are getting lost. Her new movement #MeFirst takes that even further by reminding all of us to put our lives first and then figure out how to fit diabetes into that plan.
Find Libby at ihavethesugars.com and on social media @ihavethesugars.
Robin Arzon is a corporate lawyer turned “Ambassador of Sweat.” She is a running coach, cycling instructor, and ultra-marathoner. So it came as a shock when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 32 years old. Since then she has accomplished even more than she did before she was diagnosed.
Jim Natal was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 30 years old in 1978. 38 years later, he still struggles with maintaining the balance between controlling his diabetes and leading a fulfilling life without worrying about every high or low blood sugar. In his first book of poetry, In the Bee Trees, he shares the story of his diagnosis:
Learning To Live With It
Barbara taught me to give injections
to an orange, thick pop of penetration
through the skin, short smooth glide
into soft tissue under. Slowly, with control,
push down on the plunger, and quick
backward dart toss, remove the syringe.
I practiced in her office, still dazed from
diagnosis, seeing through pinpoint pupils,
eyes after a strobe flash. Stretched like surgical
tubing colorless with tension, I was renamed
after a disease, time now measured in gleaming
needle pricks, insulin units, blood sugar levels.
My wife sobbed in the car parked beneath
the medical building, rusty pipes wrapped and
painted white, strung along the oppressive ceiling.
She cried because we didn’t have much money.
For the money, not for me. In that time of change
there were changes yet to come.
Barbara said I would learn to manage it by myself.
She said I had no choice.
A bonus clip from episode #005 with Cindy Goldstein: our conversation about going through airport security with type 1 diabetes.
Like many people who develop type 1 diabetes later in life, Cindy Goldstein was initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She struggled keeping her blood sugars under control while on taking drugs designed for type 2 diabetes, eventually leaving three different endocrinologists until she found one who recognized she actually had type 1 diabetes. Cindy talks about not letting the mental toll of type 1 affect her day-to-day life as well as her fights with insurance companies and making the switch to Medicare at 65 years old.
Rachel Zinman was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) at 48 years old. Being a yoga instructor for two decades, her diagnosis initially made her feel guilty and ashamed but through her practice, Rachel has come to terms with her diabetes. She shares her story as well as a guide to yoga for people with diabetes in her new book, Yoga for Diabetes, that she’s currently crowdfunding. You can support her book at: www.pozible.com/project/203331
At 13 years old, Craig Stubing started experiencing the symptoms of extremely high blood sugar. Without any experience with type 1 diabetes, his family mistook his symptoms as just puberty. Eventually, a visit to the doctor sent him to the emergency room and his life changed forever. He struggled with disclosing his disease to friends and colleagues, which led him to starting the Beta Cell podcast.
Amanda Bar was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 2 years old. Like many young people with T1D, she struggled with wanting to fit in with her friends who didn’t have diabetes. A few years ago she passed out while driving and realized not feeling her low blood sugars was too dangerous to ignore and invested in a diabetic alert dog, who helped her train for the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon.