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is to raise diabetes awareness in the community by educating, supporting, and advocating.
to educate the community on the importance of diabetes management, medication, self-care, wellness and nutrition.
to improve our community support system by advocating.
T1DJ September Featured Spotlight
Denethia shares her journey of being a type 1 diabetic. Denethia was 23 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, now 34.
Date and age diagnosed w/Type 1 Diabetes-
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in June of 2010 at the age of 23
What happened (signs/symptoms) when diagnosed-
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 11 years ago by my primary care physician. After 11 years, I still remember every detail of that weekend. I went to the doctor on a Friday morning with symptoms that I thought were related to a recent surgery. The appointment started off as any doctor’s appointment would, she asked why I was seeing her that day. I proceeded to explain my symptoms over the past week which included: extreme thirst, extreme urination, fatigue, and loss of 10 pounds within 3 days. The odd thing about my explanation is that I tried to give an excuse for each symptom. I remember telling the doctor that I was drinking a lot because of thirst caused by the removal of my tonsils 3 weeks prior, the fatigue I explained was caused my frequent urination every 30 minutes throughout the night and the weight lost; I thought was caused by my inability to eat solid foods while recovering from the tonsillectomy. Looking back, I believe I was trying to convince myself and my doctor that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with me.
After hearing my symptoms, the doctor checked my blood sugar and found that the reading on the blood glucose meter did not produce a number but simply read HI; meaning my blood sugar was too high to register a number on the meter. I left the doctor’s office with instructions to fast from food for 4 hours and return for another blood sugar reading which was also found to be high. At this point my doctor consulted with physicians at the hospital and I was informed that she believed I had diabetes. I was instructed to leave the doctor’s office and to immediately go to the hospital, where I was immediately checked in as an admitted patient. I was re-evaluated at the hospital and officially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remained in the hospital for treatment throughout the weekend.
How well is your diabetes managed-
My diabetes is managed well. Over the years I have learned what works for me and how to adjust when I experience high or low blood sugar. I am also able to manage my diabetes with the help of an insulin pump and glucose monitor.
Share best practices and helpful tips if any to help other T1Ds-
One tip that helps me manage my diabetes is to meal prep. I prep my meals for the week each weekend and package the meals in meal prep containers. This helps me with carb counting and insulin dosage throughout the week.
Have you ever been in DKA? If so, explain what happened-
Fortunately, I have never been in DKA.
Do you feel a lack of education in the community-
I do believe there is a lack of education and resources in the type 1 diabetes community. There are many areas in which the resources available to type 1 diabetics needs improvement.
How does being a type 1 diabetic impact your mental health-
Type 1 diabetes is a mentally taxing disease. It is a disease in which you never get a break from thinking about it, not even for a few hours. During the first few years of my diagnosis, I had a hard time coping with the daily maintenance of diabetes. However, I have developed different strategies to cope with the mental impact that diabetes can bring. Whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I take a mental health day or I talk through my struggles with my support system. It is important to take care of your mental as well as physical health when maintaining a healthy lifestyle while living with diabetes. So, I take a mental health day, a day to catch up on rest, relax, or do anything that will lighten my mood. I also find that it is important to develop a support system. Your support system can consist of anyone such as: family, friends, or fellow diabetics. It is important to have individuals in your life that you can be completely open to about diabetes. I developed my support system simply by sharing my story with others and eventually found other diabetics that I could confide in as well as family and friends who were willing to be a listening ear.
Additional information that you would like to share such as your fight for insulin, any news articles, links, etc-
I started sharing my journey with diabetes on social media so that other diabetics do not experience the loneliness I once felt in my management of diabetes. During the first few years of my diagnosis, I was very hard on myself. I tried to be perfect in the management of my diabetes and was easily discouraged whenever my blood sugar fluctuated extremely high or low. So, I offer the advice that I wish someone had given me when I was diagnosed; give yourself the time and grace needed to learn about diabetes and adapt to the new lifestyle. Know that you can live a healthy and happy life with diabetes, it may be apart of your life but it does not determine your life story.
Los Angeles, CA
T1Diabetes Journey was featured in Buckeye'Health 'sNewsletter
I was diagnosed at the age of 12 years old, now 18.
My passion is a driving force in my life and I will never allow a challenge to get in the way of achieving my dreams. When I was diagnosed I knew this challenge would be a part of my life.
I have had type 1 since age 7; diagnosed and treated at CCHMC. Today, I have an insulin pump to better control and 2 awesome kids. It can definitely be helpful for people to see that with a little work, life can be fairly normal for type 1's.
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