Hey everyone! My name is Alex Voigt. I’m 45 years old and currently living in Stuttgart, Germany. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 32 years.I’m living with my girlfriend, her two kids and our 2 dogs in a house near Stuttgart. I’m working as a social worker since 25 years. In my job, I try to help kids and families to get along with their problems and difficult situations. In my free time I make german rap music since 1991. I work with kids and some young refugees from Syria and Afghanistan to create their own hiphop music. Furthermore I am a beekeeper and produce my own honey, for my family and my friends. Sometimes when I am bored I go skydiving, climbing or skiing. At the moment I am planing a German podcast-channel called “typ_e1ns-podcast” to discuss the topic of diabetes and to share my experience and the handling of my diabetes.

I became a type one diabetic on the age of 13. I think that the diagnosis was harder for my parents and my older sister than it was for me. Especially my mom struggled a lot in the first few years. For me it was not so hard because I thought it would be gone one day (like a cold). I never had problems with injections because I thought it made me special. At the age of 27 I got a “diabetes-tattoo” on my arm because it belongs to me and my life.

I never hid my diabetes. I always spoke to other people about it and I always took my injections in public when it was necessary.

“Don’t let diabetes rule your life.”

I get my support from my family and a few friends with diabetes too. Either I have a diabetologist and a nutritionist which I visit a few times a year for interaction. I think the best and most important support is my knowledge about my diabetes and the facts about diabetes. Knowledge is power 😉

I use the Dexcom G6 CGM combined with my smartphone and my smartwatch. I only do blood tests to calibrate my CGM and when I have a very high or low blood sugar.

I use Novorapid (fast insulin) and Toujeo (long-term insulin). I normally inject 30 united of Toujeo once a day in the evening at 8PM and Novorapid each time before I eat carbs or to reduce a high blood sugar. Before I used Actrapid, Protaphane, Actraphane, Humalog, Levimir, Tresiba and Fiasp.

In the last 30 years a lot has changed 😉 Back in the days it took me about 3 to 5 minutes to control my sugar level. It was a very big “machine” called Reflolux and the test result was not very exactly. The insulin called Actrapid and Protaphane was not injected with a pen. I sued disposable syringes and glass ampoules. Even the carbohydrate calculation was totally different from today. The development is absolutely positive. It’s much easier to have a a stable blood sugar today. The diabetes research today is of course much more advanced.

Since the last 10 years I think I can manage my diabetes very good. When I was younger I didn’t do my best and I made a lot of mistakes. Nowadays I have bad days too and there are times I don’t have the power to do my best. I am only human and that means that we all make mistakes but I have no bad conscience because of that. This are MY mistakes and in 95% of the time I have a real good management with my health.Yes, I can recognize them. When I’m near to get a low blood sugar I feel tired and dizziness. When I’m in a high blood range it feels like I had worked 5 days without sleep. I get a headache and feel very sick. When I was younger I named it “blutschmerz” (blood pain). That means it feels like my blood is hurting because my body is overacidified.

I have maybe 2 to 3 low sugar levels under 55mg/dl a week and maybe 1 to 3 times a level higher than 180 mg/dl. Normally this situation lasts for a few minutes till an hour. I realize it very fast with my Dexcom G6 CGM. Sometimes I reach a blood sugar level is over 250.

My doctor told me to test my glucose level 5 to 6 times a day. Since I got my CGM I take a look at my smartwatch about twice to three times an hour. When I have a high or low level I take a look it a few times more. If I can’t correctly assess a meal, I will of course look at my results more often.

I normally take 1 to 2 spoons of honey to fight a low blood sugar. A small spoon of honey is around 10g to 12g of carbs and it increases my blood sugar by about 30 mg/dl. That is very fast. Honey is more healthy as pure sugar. I don’t have honey with me all the time, so I also eat fruits, drink juice or a glas of coke.

I fainted a few times (maybe 5 or 6 times) in my diabetic “career”. Most of the times it happened in the night and I did not realize it. I always needed help from other people. The last time was 3 years ago. Thank god my girlfriend has a very light sleep. She woke up and helped me out.When I wake up at 7:30AM or 8:00AM I normally eat cornflakes and drink a lot of coffee. Sometimes I skip meals and I eat snacks between meals. That can be fruits, yoghurt or something else like that.

I love fruit salad, mashed potatoes and cheese noodles. What I really love is a specialty from the Frankfurt area, where my parents come from. The “Frankfurter grie Soß”, a sour cream sauce with various herbs, egg and boiled potatoes. I looooveeee iiiittttt!!! There is so much more I like to eat.

I always calculate my insulin dose for each meal. Sometimes I am more hungry and sometimes I don’t want to eat so much. I count the carbs and react with the correct dose of insulin.

I nearly never drink water. I drink a lot of coffee, sugar free softdrinks or tea.

In the first years it was very difficult for me to be on diet. Nowadays I get along with it, and in Germany there is nothing that I would have to live without. If you cook your own food you can eat what you want.

When people ask me about eating or not eating certain food I don’t get annoyed. They do that because they don’t know better. I explain it to them. Most of them understand my situation and want to know more about it. And believe me, if I tell them to stop bothering me, they stop ;)YES! I only eat very very few meat. I think it’s once or twice a month.No, that was never a problem for me. I love cooking at home with my girlfriend, go to my mom when she cooked or go out for some Chinese or Spanish food.

“Knowledge is power!”

Every day I go for a walk with my dogs. I go skydiving, climbing or skiing.

I am a social worker. It affects my diabetes because I have to deal with poverty, illness and difficult life situations of children and other people. I can feel it in my diabetes.To manage my diabetes better I read news and facts … because knowledge about my diabetes is power.

The hardest part about being a diabetic is not to know if I will get any complications one day.

The best part is that I’m one of the sweetest people living on planet earth… if I want 😉 I know things about me and my body that other people will never know.

I am diabetic for over 30 years. It would not be normal if I would not have a few little problems. But there is nothing to worry about.

Germany has a very good health system and in Germany we are free and can live the life we want. I would like it to be the same for everyone in the world.I wouldn’t share anything with a non-diabetic. Why should a healthy person feel like a diabetic … this is our sweet world 😉

Do not lose your courage and have no bad conscience if you make mistakes. You make the rules. Don’t let diabetes rule your life. Learn a lot about yourself, your body and your reactions.

Knowledge is power!Are you happy?Feel free to answer in the comments below.Hey! I’m Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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