Diabetic & Me

Jessyka Pairman

Jessyka Pairman

Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.

Hey everyone! My name is Jessyka Pairman. I’m 26 years old and currently living in Southern California. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 4 years.

I am currently living with Type 1 diabetes. I am about to get married to the love of my life and we have the best dog ever, his name is Axle! I am a really laid back easy going person but love to enjoy life, we go camping, fishing, hiking and riding all the time. I love to be outside!

I did not grow up with diabetes. I found out when I was 23 years old.
Emotionally was the hardest part. I felt like I let my parents down and I was ashamed in myself. I have always been healthy and athletic. So finding out I had Type 1 diabetes was a huge shock.

Jessyka Pairman

“I felt like I let my parents down and I was ashamed in myself.”

Your treatment

How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?

I have support in my family, finance and in laws.

I treat my diabetes with a CGM and insulin. Insulin is the only medication I take. I use Humalog and Lantus insulin.

My life changed because I was always eating what I wanted and never had to think about it. Now that’s all my life revolves around, is what am I going to eat next or how is it going to affect my blood sugar.

I handle my diabetes the best I can. Somedays are good and some days are bad.

Jessyka Pairman
Jessyka Pairman

Can you recognize the symptoms of a low/high blood sugar? Do you test often and can you tell a bit more about your experiences with low blood sugar?

Yes, I can recognize them. I get extremely sweaty, nervous, have anxiety, shakey and extremely irritable. I can’t think straight. I can’t even talk or make words come out of my mouth. I feel extremely tired. My whole body is exhausted.

I’m supposed to check about 4 to 5 times a day. I normally check about 10 times a day. Having the CGM is always a huge help!

I treat my low blood sugar with orange juice, apple juice or candy. I have never fainted.

Food and diet

How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?

I try and eat every 4 to 5 hours. Breakfast is usually a skinny bagel with low fat cream cheese, lunch is a half a sandwich with some low fat chips, fruit and a diet coke of course. Dinner is usually chicken, fish or steak with veggies and some rice. My favorite food is anything with seafood and I love to go eating out in steak houses and sushi restaurants.

Sometimes I skips meals and sometimes I eat snacks. It’s vary rare because my sugar tends to spike. If I do eat a snack it’s like popcorn.

I vary my insulin intake if I know my sugar will spike and I will dose accordingly.

I drink about half a gallon of water a day.

I get annoyed all the time when people ask me about certain food I can and can’t eat. I work at a bar so people always tell me there opinions on diabetes when they know nothing about it.

Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?

I personally do not.

Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?

I normally try and eat at home because I know what’s in the food. If I do go out it’s stopping for something quick. I tend to not care what people think so I just dose like I’m supposed to and eat my food!

“The better part is knowing how strong and independent it made me.”

Jessyka Pairman

Exercise and work

Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?

I workout about 4 to 5 times a week and my diabetes does not restrict me from it.

I’m a bartender. Sometimes my sugars will get low while working but my coworkers are very good about giving me a break when I need it.

Jessyka Pairman

Final

Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?

To manage my diabetes better I sleep a lot, drink lots of water and take healthy vitamines.

How frustrating is it when you think you had a good meal and your blood sugar spikes and then you have to take more insulin to bring it back down. If you take too much insulin you drop too low and then have to spike it back up and you’re in the same boat all over again.

The better part is knowing how strong and independent it made me.

My diabetes causes me to be extremely tired and very angry at times. I feel like sometimes no one understands what I am going through.

What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?

To not try and give us advice. We have to fight every day to stay alive, so I think we know how to handle it and what’s the best way to do so. They also need to know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2!

Stay Strong and it will get easier. The beginning is always the hardest.

Reach out to other diabetics and stay in touch with them. There are so many people out there that can help you get through the darkest stages of diabetes. We are all in this together even if we are total strangers!

What would you ask the other diabetics?

How are you doing mentally? Type 1 is all about managing your blood sugars but sometimes you over think everything and your mental health gets put on the back burner.

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

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Hey! I'm Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.

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