Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.Hey everyone! My name is Lucy Ana Krasno. I’m 60 years old and currently living in Illinois, USA. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 57 years.I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 1964 after being in a Diabetic coma for three days. I am a writer and have worked in the Medical Field and for different Business Corporations over the years.
I don’t know what it’s like NOT to have Diabetes, since I’ve had it so long. All the credit for my care started with my mother and grandmother who were instrumental in my caregiving when I was growing up. I was taught that I could accomplish anything I wanted with Diabetes, and I am still here doing so.
I grew up with Diabetes since the age of three. It was very difficult for my mother who at the time never heard of Diabetes and I was the first one in the family to get Diabetes. Giving myself injections was a horrible part of my growing up, as well as the severe hypoglycemic episodes when I was a child. I was a very active child. I hid my Diabetic condition all the time throughout my life.
My parents separated when I was a very young child and my mother brought me up by herself along with the help of my grandmother. My mother had a very stressful time with Diabetes, and I did as well while I was growing up trying to fit in with my peers and moving to a new neighborhood when I was 12. My mother had to work two jobs to be able to afford my medications and doctor visits. All the adjustments were stressful.
“Don’t be afraid of living with Diabetes, it can be done.”
How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?The most support I receive is from working together with an Endocrinologist to adjust insulin.
To treat my Diabetes I use a Medtronic MiniMed 630G insulin pump with Humalog U-100 Vials and Glucose test strips for checking blood sugar levels. I also take Armour Thyroid for my thyroid condition
I started with Pork Insulin back in the 1960’s (NPH and Regular) then on to Humulin and currently on Humalog since 2002.
The changes over the past years since my diagnosis have been all positive, going from only urine testing for sugar levels to blood glucose testing with a meter. The best part was getting off injections and using an insulin pump since 2002. It made diabetes care so much easier.
I manage my diabetes very well, although had my pitfalls over the years. My current A1C is 7.0, although I know that could be better controlled.
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?Sometimes, I can recognize my low and high blood sugars. I start to get a headache or feel like fainting, sweating. Sometimes at night, my heart beats harder
I test my blood sugar levels from 8 to 10 times a day/
To treat my low blood sugar levels I usually drink 1/2 cup of juice and see if that helps, if it is severe I have one cup of juice.
I never fainted due to a hypo, but have experienced blackouts in my vision.
Food and diet
How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?The breakfast I like is Oatmeal with some coconut oil and a few frozen fruits, or I have eggs with some wheat product. I try to stay away from bread due to the yeast content.
I can list many favorite foods, but I think chocolate would be number 1, followed by pizza. I generally don’t snack unless my blood sugar goes down due to some activity like exercise. If I do snack I like dark chocolate just to satisfy my sweet tooth. I drink about 4-5 cups of water per day.
I do vary insulin when I need to when eating something with higher fat content. I try to stay away from sugar as much as possible, but that wasn’t the case when I was much younger.
I always have found it difficult to be on a diet. It makes it difficult to spontaneously go somewhere and not think about when you need to eat, and what you will be eating and the carb count involved.
It annoys me quite a bit when people ask me about certain food I can or can’t eat. In the past when I went to a party, I was always asked if I could eat a piece of cake, but then when I do, they don’t ask about the consequences of it.
Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?I have tried a vegetarian diet although I found that it made my blood sugars a little worse, so I try and have a protein with meals.
Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?Restaurants are hard for me. I generally would stick to the restaurants I knew and what their carb/calories contents are. I would carry a book of restaurants and the listing of the counts per restaurant, or I would look at the website ahead of time and see which dish I would order before arriving at the restaurant.
I haven’t gone out lately. I developed food allergies due to candida overgrowth, so I have to be careful now.
“It’s NOT a death sentence.”
Exercise and work
Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?I don’t exercise but I basically do walking when I can.
Writing is what I do now. It doesn’t involve a lot of exercises, so I try to get some walking in to balance it out.
Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?To manage my diabetes better I constantly watch what food I eat right now, and make sure I stay out of the high or low ranges.
There are so many ways to answer what the hardest part about diabetes is, but I think diabetes is a package deal. It’s emotional, it’s tough, you can never take a vacation from it. It’s always there, and there are always reminders, from social interactions to infections. It always keeps you on your toes and vigilant.
The best part of having diabetes, if there is even an answer for this, is being compassionate to my fellow diabetic. That would be the best part – understanding what the other person is going through.
I have had cataract surgery due to diabetes, intestinal problems, skin problems, hypothyroidism, getting infections easily. I survived Covid -19, due to nutritional knowledge.
I think my religion helps me cope on a day-to-day basis. I know it gives me hope.
What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?It’s not easy, but it can be managed with the right help.
It’s NOT a death sentence. Just need to know how to manage it and live with it on a daily basis.
Don’t be afraid of living with Diabetes, it can be done. I’ve done it for 57 years and was able to accomplish quite a few things over the years. I’m looking forward to the cure. I wrote a book called A Diabetic’s Journey – author Lucy Ana Krasno. It goes into detail about my life with Diabetes. I hope you can read it.
What would you ask the other diabetics?How do you deal with Diabetes emotionally?Feel free to answer in the comments below.
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