Stephanie: So Much Support and Love Makes Living with Diabetes Much Easier

Cute mom with type 1 diabetes

My name is Stephanie. I am 27 years old and I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes a month before my 5th birthday. I have had countless struggles with diabetes throughout my life but I am grateful for the support I had from my family. My mother's brother had diabetes and she is my rock . We went through a lot together, including other members of my family. Countless convulsions in the middle of the night that usually happened at least once a week, and being such a young new diabetic I had no control, so I experienced lows and acting irrational while I was low often. It was scary for me to experience these episodes, as well as for my family. It was like coming out of a dream slowly with people I love surrounding me and holding me in their arms with a juice box. I would slowly come to the conclusion, "Oh no. What did I do?" It took me years to gain better control and for the convulsions to stop. And it hasn't been until these past few years that the convulsions have stopped and my body will wake itself up when I go low and I am asleep, which I am grateful for!

I married my best friend and the man of my dreams when I was 18. Not only is he absolutely amazing but he helps me take care of my diabetes. Unfortunately he has had to experience my convulsions, and he is so patient and kind as he helps bring me out of it. Our 5 year old daughter has diabetes as well and he is better at taking care of her diabetes then I am! Having diabetes and being pregnant (twice) was extremely difficult. Like most pregnancies, they are all different, and both of mine were no exception. My first pregnancy with my daughter was relatively easy except a few convulsions while being four months along and my doctors introduced me to a Dexcom, which is a continues glucose monitor. My struggle with my first pregnancy was having constant lows, I would be 45 constantly! I would have a 32 oz of root beer and an hour later I would be back to 45! The Dexcom saved my life and by the end of my pregnancy my A1C was 6.3! The best I've had my whole life! The ending of my pregnancies was horrible however. We ran to the emergency room when I was 32 weeks along and ended up having gestational hypertension, which my doctor failed to notice coming along. I ended up in the hospital 2 days before the nurses convinced my doctor that my baby had to be taken out . After a failed attempt to put me in labor, my daughter's heart rate continued to plunge and so they took her out by an emergency c-section. Without a doubt, this was one of the scariest moments of our lives . She ended up in the NICU for 3 weeks due to lack of lung function but she is my sweet little girl and I love her immensely. My second pregnancy was the opposite! I was constantly high! I average 24 units a day normally and towards the end of my pregnancy I was using close to 100 units a day!! I ended up on bed rest because I kept having contractions way too early and the doctors were afraid of me having a preterm baby. I had my son at 36 weeks and I had a steroid shot so he was able to come home with me from the hospital which was a huge change!

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I have a fantastic endocrinologist team! I have been a part of a few diabetic research studies that have been informative and fun! I am currently doing a study and I am excited for this journey! I love my family incredibly! So much support and love from them makes living with diabetes so much easier! Although I have tried to wish away my illness countless times, and I know that I still have many years to deal with it, having an amazing family that helps me, a great doctors office to guide me, and friends who support me, makes it so much easier!

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