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April 30, 2019

How I help others like me, with type 1.

Leah Kwait-Blank, 37, has had type 1 diabetes since she was two-years-old. She now helps others with the condition as an administrator for the online DRWF HealthUnlocked forum.

Working as an Administrator for the DRWF HealthUnlocked forum has taught me to become better at giving advice and I have got to know a lot of different people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I wanted to make a difference for people who have diabetes and be a role model for people with the condition.

When I started using insulin and taking daily injections, I used long needles and vials of insulin. Now, I get insulin pens of two types and screw on small needles. Once the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) I use gets approval for a pump to work with I plan to look into getting an insulin pump. My hope for the future is that scientists may figure out a way to create a robotic pancreas that acts like a human pancreas.

Having diabetes has made things very interesting in my life. I don’t drive because my doctors say they think it would be very dangerous for me if I got behind a car’s wheel, although, as I have diabetic retinopathy, I would be very nervous to even try.

Dietary education for people with diabetes is very important. Before I learned about carbohydrate counting, I probably ate too much and my blood sugar levels were too high. I can now control my blood sugar levels - unless there is a special occasion where food is served unexpectedly.

Doing exercise of any kind hasn’t really been affected due to having diabetes, although I no longer go swimming as it makes my blood sugars go low very fast - even if I have juice or a snack beforehand to try and stop this from being a problem.

The advice I have for parents and their children with diabetes is this: don’t give up! Just keep trying to get their diabetes under control as much as possible. Some days are harder than others, but you just have to keep going.

Visit the DRWF HealthUnlocked forum at: https://healthunlocked.com/Drwfdiabetes

*Personal stories do not necessarily reflect the views of DRWF

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