True Champions ~ Living with Diabetes

Jill Knapp Diabetes Advocate

In this Episode of True Champions Type 2 Diabetes, we meet Jill, a former dancer who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes later in life. After facing a series of struggles, Jill turned to food as a source of comfort. Frustrated and caught in a cycle of binge-eating, Jill began to notice symptoms of diabetes, and was soon diagnosed by her doctor as having Type 2 Diabetes. In learning how to manage and treat her diabetes, Jill has also learned how to fully become and embrace herself.

Click below to watch the entire episode.

Meet Jill Knapp

 

Diabetes Link Up Conferecne

linkup

I was blessed to attend a Diabetes Linkup conference Just outside of Washington DC in Maryland.  This event took place at the beginning of November.  Such a perfect way to start out Diabetes Awareness Month.    This event was put on by  AstraZeneca.  It brought together patient advocates from the Diabetes Community.  I was proud to be apart of this linkup and loved that our main conversation was about how to grow our Type 2 Diabetes Community and how to grow the voice of Type 2 through advocates and in our community.  We also got to tour the lab and see how medications are made.  That was cool!!

fun

I left feeling empowered and feeling like 2gether we can achieve anything.

With that said there are the wonderful people that attended and that I got to meet and get to know. These are all inspiring people with great web sites and are all doing great things in the name of Diabetes.

The wonderful Anna Norton, who runs  DiabetesSisters).

 Dr. P , Dr. Phyllisa Smith Deroze of Diagnosed Not Defeated;

Bill Gould of I Run Diabetes;

Mike Hoskins- Diabetes Mine 

Kathleen Weaver of Living with Diabetes and Lapband (plus her D-alert beagle named

Gene Kunde of Diabetes Hands Foundation;

Shelby Kinnaird of Diabetic Foodie;

Sarah Odeh of the diaTribe Foundation;

Michele Tuck-Ponder of Diabetes While Black

Meet Jill Knapp ~ Diabetes Documentary pre launch clip

Exercise Does Help Ease Depression!

When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I was in shock!!  I thought how did I get here.  Well the truth is I lost who I was.  Being Mom and wife always came first and I left myself for last.  Those words from the Dr.  You have Type 2 diabetes did something to my soul.  It put prospective into my life and made me realize that I am no good to others if I don’t first take care of myself.  Struggling from loss and miscarriage through the years made me realize what depression really was.  Many suffer from it.  I don’t know that when I had it that I actually knew I had it but looking back I had all the symptoms.  As I got that diagnosis and started to exercise life changed.  It wasn’t all about what was happening to my body on the outside it was what was happening to my soul and my brain.  Endorphin’s released from exercise can help with depression and that is why I was feeling so good.  It took years for the weight to all come off but what I felt along the way was why I kept exercising!!   I have posted this before but this graphic really helps you realize the benefits of exercise.

Exercise the natural AntidepressantSo if your not already exercising give it a try!! You will notice a difference!!

 

Jill Knapp

Living with Type 2 Diabetes

My life with Diabetes

I spoke at a night time round table last week and was asked a load of questions.  I was asked if I would write about what was talked about and thought sure!  I would love too. I will do it in the Q and A fashion just like the night I spoke.

Q~ What is it like living with Type 2 Diabetes?

A~  For me living with Diabetes is a daily routine.  It’s what I have been doing the past 10 years.  It’s daily taking good care of myself and focusing on that.  Some may think living with diabetes is suffering like a life sentence but I don’t look at it.  In the beginning it did feel like that in fact I felt it was somewhat of a punishment for how I treated my body.  Given my Dr. and Diabetes educator highly believed that my Diabetes was caused by lifestyle I started to believe that I deserved this.  WELL that is just not true NO ONE DESERVES DIABETES!!!  Years down the road after losing weight and after realizing that the anger was gone Diabetes just became apart of my daily life.  For so many years prior to diagnosis I did not take good care of myself.  I was Mom and wife and lost Jill along the way.. Now I find time to exercise and pay attention to what I eat.  I found myself again and it’s now apart of my daily routine to be good to me and take good care of me.  I am no good to anyone else if I am not good to myself first.

Q~ Can you still live a full life with Diabetes?

A~  YES!!!!! I find that I have learned to live life more since my diagnosis.  I have more energy and have more zest for life.  My health was so poor that I was barley living prior to diagnosis.  It’s your life and you have to take your own diagnoses by the hands and manage it as your own best advocate.  To take our own diabetes and fight our own fight is not a easy task but you are your best advocate.  Diabetes can get in my way sure but that is the fight!!  I will fight back with all my might to keep living and not let Diabetes get the best of me.

When I am eating right and exercising and my blood sugars won’t do what I want I get angry.  I work so hard looking at labels eating right and exercising and  it’s very very frustrating not getting the numbers I feel I deserve from my hard work.  That is DIABETES!!  It is what it is and me getting angry in the long run really does not help.  In fact long term anger can be down right destructive so you have to let it go!!  Eventually my numbers are going to be OK I just have to role with the punches and not let Diabetes get me!  It’s my life! It’s my choice!

Q~  How often do you have to do blood sugar testing.

 

A~ 3 x a day

My Dr. would prefer me to test 6 times a day but in real life I am proud if I get in 3 a day.  If my numbers are all over the board I will test more often but if I am on a even scale days in a row I get in 3 a day.  It’s habit so it’s apart of daily life.  This year on top of doing the diabetes advocacy work I love to do I went back to work.  I love being a substitute teacher.  It’s been a great job and fit’s in my life so I can still be home with my growing kids.  Life has gotten more busy going back to work but my health is important so I always make sure I have what I need when I go to work to have a successful diabetes day.

 

Q~  How long have you been living with diabetes?

 

A~ 10 years now!!

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since my diagnosis.  In that 10 years I have grown so much.  Now being a Advocate , Public Speaker and sharing my journey on so many different levels Diabetes in some ways has been a blessing.  Not always did I feel this way but since this diagnosis I got my life back. I got myself back!!  Now I want to share my life with others sharing my journey and bringing awareness to diabetes.  Living with diabetes is not easy for sure but it’s my life and I won’t let diabetes ever stop me from living!!

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