Diabetic & Me

Oguz

Oguz

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

Hey everyone! My name is Oguz. I’m 29 years old and currently living in Istanbul, Turkey. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 11 years.

I am part of the T1D runner team. Running, playing basketball and swimming is a big part of my life. Also traveling, doing multiple sports and my interest in business is half of my life.

I’m an electrical engineer with an MBA degree. Currently I’m working as a sales manager.

I didn’t grow up with diabetes. I was 19 years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I never hid my diabetes. I like to be diabetic!!!

I think the hardest thing about having type 1 diabetes is the psychological part. I’m concerned about getting older. Will there by any complications? How will my diabetes be when I am older?

Oguz

“I’m concerned about getting older. Will there by any complications?”

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 receive all the support from my doctor, Hasan İlkova in Istanbul.

To check my blood sugar I use the Free Style Libre CGM for monitoring. I use insulin pens with Novorapid and Lantus. I never used any other insulins.

The biggest change since my diagnosis is that it was challenging to be a new diabetic while being at university. I had a lot of of fun and new friends, and it was hard to combine this.

My diabetes is managed pretty wel. Currently my HbA1c is between 5,8% and 6,2%. I think I manage my diabetes well. But it can be always better. It would be better if I can reduce my low blood sugars.

Oguz

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 them. When my blood sugar is low I get hand tremors, I get hungry and start sweating.

I check my sugar levels almost every hours with my CGM.

To treat my low blood sugars I generally mix water with sugar. Sometimes I eat chocolate, cakes or some cookies.

I have never fainted before due to a low blood sugar.

Food and diet

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

For breakfast, usually at 7:30am, I eat brown bread, cheese, olives and eggs. For lunch, usually at 12:30 am, I eat whatever is available in the cafeteria at work. For dinner, usually at 18.30 am, I meat, fish or chicken with fries and salad. Overall I try to eat low carb. I never skip meals and my favorite food is Manti, a Turkish speciality.

For snacks I try to eat food with fibers, like apples, nuts and walnuts. Sometimes I eat cake or sweets if there is a special occasion.

I always count my carbs and change my insulin dose according to what I eat.

Several times during the day I drink water and I try to drink around 1 liter per day.

Being on a diet is not restrictive for me. I’m quite flexible when it comes down to eating.

If someone points out to me that I can’t eat certain food I might get annoyed. I’m not happy if somebody gives their opinion about my meals or my habits.

Oguz

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

No

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

Because I’m not a good cook I’m used to eat at restaurants. I try to eat meals that I know the carb amount of so I can dose my insulin correct.

I love eating at fish restaurant and Kebap restaurants and like to drink Raki.

“There are millions like us. Never ask; Why me …?”

Exercise and work

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

I’m a T1D runner. I run 3 to 4 times per week. I also play basketball with friends 2 to 3 times per month. I’m a good swimmer, but I can only swim during the summer times. Since there is no public pool near my home.

I’m an engineer in a factory. I always go to work and I have stable work/life balance.

However, I usually go on business trips. It’s difficult to regulate my blood sugar during these trips as I find it very difficult to arrange my meals when I’m traveling.

Oguz
Oguz

Final

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

To manage my diabetes better I use the Freestyle Libre CGM to track my blood sugar continuously. I try to avoid to eat extreme portions of food.

The hard part of living with diabetes is that you always need to keep diabetes in your mind. During your meals, trips and sports. It takes away part of your freedom.

The good thing, for me, is that it disciplines your life. I make some rules and you have a better life quality.

Diabetes cause me difficult nights due to hypos. Sometimes I have quite bad nights, which causes headaches the next day.

I’m not so religious. I have many diabetics around me and it has no negative effect on them being religious.

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

Empathy. They should feel what we have during hypos and high blood sugar.

You are not alone. There are millions like us. Never ask “Why me …?”.
The life with type one diabetes is not that bad if you look at diabetes as a friend.

Your life quality will be better and you will have privileges in your life. It has some hidden positive sides. During school life and business life. “I have diabetes…” This excuse can open many opportunities 🙂

What would you ask the other diabetics?

Which actions do you take before going a night out? Do you drink too much alcohol? Do you see any negative effect of being a type one diabetic?

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

Want to publish your own story?

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

We interview people with diabetes share the stories behind their lives.

By sharing these stories, we want to help others to understand life with diabetes.

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