Video courtesy of SizeSlimTV
1. Tell me your T1D story when you were diagnosed in 1997.
I was diagnosed during my freshman year in high school in 1997. I was the JV football quarterback, and during a game, my mom noticed how thin I looked. She mentioned to a friend of hers (who happened to be a physician) all of my symptoms. I was exhibiting the classic symptoms: weight loss, blurry vision, sweet-smelling breath, etc. The physician/mom’s friend told my mom in a very stern voice: “after the game go directly to the drug store. Buy Keto-Diastix and use them. If they turn color head straight to the ER. I’ll call them and let them know you’re coming.” Sure enough, they turned dark brown. Next thing I knew I was the first name at the top of the ER chart with a blood sugar reading of 680mg/dl! The doctors at the hospital said I was so lucky someone was there to recognize the symptoms…otherwise, I may not have made it through the night.
2. What was your first reaction when you found out?
I was bummed out for sure. I had a lot of things going for me, and I remember thinking “but I was so close to having everything lined up perfectly…why me?” Luckily I have an amazingly supportive group of friends and family who helped me take on a somewhat competitive spirit with diabetes and always helped me move in the right direction.
3. What complications have you experienced?
None so far. I’ve been extremely diligent with my routines…for 20 years. I’ve never had to deal with any complications thus far, thank God.
4. What resources have been of help to you?
For me, the number #1 resource is technology. The more information I can get about my blood sugars throughout the day, the easier it is for me to maintain quality sugar levels for extended periods of time. This and the online diabetic community has been extremely helpful.
5. Any advice you have for new diabetics?
My advice is to never be ashamed of your condition. It is what it is, and unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do (at the moment) to cure it. But, it’s really important that you know this “hard lesson” as well. This condition is NOT your fault. But it IS your responsibility. Take it day by day. Learn something new every day. And, have an open mind about new technologies, techniques, or tricks to help you along the way. Success does not happen overnight. It happens by learning from your failures and utilizing all of your resources.
6. What’s your go-to meal?
Breakfast: 2 eggs with avocado toast 🙂 Lunch: Chicken and salad. Dinner: Sashimi…I could eat raw fish every day of the week.
7. How do you manage diabetes with your active lifestyle?
I manage my situation by staying 1 step ahead of every low and every high. That means being prepared at all times with insulin, CGM’s, food, and meters. No matter what, we always have to stay 1 step ahead of whatever activity comes throughout the day. For Example, big meeting at 1:00pm? Check, correct, and fix BG’s no later than 12:30pm.
8. What devices do you have?
I use the Dexcom G5 CGM (love it) connected to my iPhone which connects to my Apple Watch…this is a home run combination. Makes my life sooooo easy 🙂 I also use insulin pens – Dexcom and Apidra.
9. You find yourself “low” when…
If I over bolus for a meal. I will get immediately frustrated for no apparent reason. I’ll look down at my watch and sure enough, I’ll be dropping and on my way to being low.
10. You find yourself “high” when…
If I don’t workout throughout the week and am super stressed, I’ll for sure run a bit high. I find myself aggravated very easily. Basically, I’ll go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Jackass. LOL.
11. What does “living diabetter” mean to you?
It means giving myself every fighting chance to live a “normal” life. I would LOVE to know what it’s like to have perfect sugars for an entire year. We’re not quite there, but living diabetter is me finding my way to living the best life possible given my t1d situation.
12. Does it ever get easier? Are you used to it?
Oh, yeah! 100%. With all of the new technology and resources we have, t1d is 10,000 times easier than when I was in high school or college. Did I get used to it? I suppose so. It’s a way of life now. Still a pain sometimes. But I’m not ashamed, nor do I care what other people think about me. For others it’s probably harder to get used to. For us, it has to be 2nd nature.
13. Are you apart of any diabetes organizations?
Yes, indeed! I’m involved with JDRF. These guys are GREAT! I’ve actually been invited to be a guest speaker at the largest JDRF event which is on May 12 in Oakland County, Michigan. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there! Also, I’m proud to say that my company (SizeSlim Supplements) donates 1% of our sales to JDRF each year. More information can be found on our website at www.sizeslim.com.
14. Anything else you would like to add.
Please feel free to reach out with any particular questions you have about T1D. I can best be found on Instagram at @matt_t1d. I want to give a big thanks to Amshi at Living Diabetter for all of the work she does. I think this resource should be used by all T1Ds as a means to learn more from each other.
Remember: together we are MUCH stronger than dealing with this alone.