Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.Hey everyone! My name is Stephanie Colmenares. I’m 36 years old and currently living in Outside of Philadelphia, PA. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 24 years.
I’m an Instagram content creator and the author of books for children with Type 1. If you haven’t already checked them out, please do so. My “Thriving Diabetic” book is available in English and Spanish, Paperback and Kindle versions too!
I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 12 years old. Back then, I definitely didn’t share diabetes growing up because of the stigmas and misinformation circulating at that time.
Diabetes is both emotionally and financially hard! When first diagnosed, my family struggled in many ways, but my parents were very supportive, and I learned how to do it all on my own very young.
“I use apps like MyFitnessPal to make estimations less like guesses!”
How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?
I currently get support from my amazing husband! Support is everything when it comes to living with a chronic illness!
To treat my diabetes, I use a Dexcom CGM and a Tandem Tslim x2 Insulin Pump. This pair has been a game-changer for me.
I am feeling more positive about diabetes and most people in my life know that I have T1 now. Acceptance was a struggle for me, and some days I still struggle, but MOST days I search for the positives and try to help others. Helping others and sharing information feels good and helps make diabetes less lonely and isolating.
I believe I manage it quite well. I am hopefully learning to get better every day! I’ve never considered myself a good diabetic, but I’ve changed my mindset around that and focus on growth over time to avoid feeling burnt out.
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 both low and high blood sugar levels. I can feel both when they occur. When I have a low blood sugar level, I get shaky and just feel off. On the other hand, when I have a higher level, I get tired and thirsty
I don’t test my sugar levels not very often being on the CGM.
To treat a hypo, I usually eat fruit, fruit snacks, candy… any sugar I have on hand!
Food and diet
How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?
I eat whatever pretty consistently! My meals are all over the place, but I post about them on my IG account! I never skip any meals. They are too important.
I LOVE sushi! It’s my favorite food. I prefer any place, or type of restaurant when eating out.
For snacks, I mostly eat fruit and sometimes hard-boiled eggs or a protein bar (RX).
Depending on what I eat, I vary my insulin doses and use the algorithm on my pump!
I probably drink a gallon of water a day!
I don’t find a diabetic diet very restrictive – I’m not on a diet as I eat lots of carbs.
When people ask me about my diet, I do get annoyed. My family still doesn’t think I can eat sweets. 😀
Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?
YES! I love not eating meat, and there are so many options out there!
Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?
Nope! I use apps like MyFitnessPal to make estimations less like guesses!
“The best part of having diabetes is that there is an amazing worldwide diabetes community.”
Exercise and work
Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?
Yes, I do exercise. I try to do walking and weight training at home throughout the week! To improve my diabetes even more, I try to stay active and track my steps! I try to stay above 7,500 steps a day!
I am an ESL teacher! Teaching with diabetes can have its challenges, so I am thankful for my CGM and pump combo (closed loop).
I am also working as a content creator on my Instagram @thriving.diabetic.
Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?
The hardest part of having diabetes is feeling alone, the expenses, the need to have insurance, the stress of it all, the fact that it’s forever…
The best part is that there is an amazing worldwide diabetes community.
Since my diagnosis, diabetes didn’t cause any other issues for me.
What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?
You can learn more about diabetes every day! I post about my daily diabetes life on my IG @thriving.diabetic, I make videos and posts about this!
The best advice I can give is you will learn, you will grow resilient, and you will inspire others never to give up! This is not easy but take learning one step at a time. Look for support and community help- this is an illness where you will need a community, and we are here for you.
Involve yourself in the community and meet people with T1 in your area!
What would you ask the other diabetics?
What has been your biggest success with diabetes?
Feel free to answer in the comments below.
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