Q: How long have you had Diabetes?
A: I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2018. After attempting to manage via exercise and oral medications I continued to get sicker and sicker (in the form of losing weight, vision blurring, frequent urination – all the classic symptoms).
By 2021 I had lost about 40 pounds of (healthy) weight, and came in to a checkup with my endocrinologist with an A1C of 12. It was at that point that they finally tested me for antibodies and c-peptide, and I was officially diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in late January 2021.
Q: What brought you to IDS?
A: When I first got diagnosed with Type 1 I was pretty upset about the whole thing. I met with my endocrinologist and their education team, but I didn’t feel it was even close to adequate. I then searched online for Type 1 resources and found the Juicebox podcast, on which I heard about Jenny Smith at IDS. I then looked into IDS for myself, and I spoke with Kathryn.
Q: Who have you worked with at IDS?
A: I worked with Kathryn Gentile. The amount of information I received from her versus my endocrinology team is just incomparable. When I first met with
her I was very afraid of insulin, didn’t understand pre-bolusing, and had frequent lows. After speaking with her, I came away with a much better plan, I had almost no lows, and most importantly I was less overwhelmed than I had been previously.
Q: What were pinch points you had with your diabetes that you were able to work through?
A: Initially, my issues were with lows. I worked with Kathryn almost immediately after my diagnosis, so I was still honeymooning and still very sensitive to insulin. She helped me understand how to adjust my dosing so that I could continue to be as active as I normally had been without fear of lows.
Q: What do you do in life that is easier or better since you’ve worked with IDS?
A: Well, I am no longer honeymooning, so my concerns around Type 1 have changed significantly since working with Kathryn, but the knowledge I received during that time prepared me to manage the changes in my condition, so while Type 1 continues to be quite annoying, I generally know exactly what to do in order to manage it.
Q: What new skills /strengths have you been able to build in your diabetes management?
A: I’m entirely self-sufficient in my Type 1 management thanks to Kathryn.
Q: What would you say to someone who’s struggling with their diabetes management right
A: Speak to someone at IDS. Here are some things I liked about IDS versus my endocrinology team (obviously everyone’s medical team is different – but I was unhappy with mine).
- First – Kathryn has Type 1, like I do, so I’m speaking to someone who can empathize and understand the amount of decisions that go into each day of management.
- Second – the approach is casual, as opposed to scaring me into submission like the medical team tried to. That was exactly what I needed when I was first learning how to deal with my new reality.
- Third – they’re proactive. IDS will consistently suggest new methods of managing – whether that be moving from pens to a pump, or from a standard pump to a closed loop system, or even to loop itself.
Q: What are your hopes for diabetes management in the future?
A: I hope that all people get the sort of information I received at IDS. Managing Type 1 requires a LOT of knowledge. It’s overwhelming at first, but it’s entirely understandable if you are given the appropriate information at the appropriate time.
Q: Why IDS vs DR:
A: Described this one above.