A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a guy who runs a diabetes website based in Iran. Which is totally cool. He asked me if I would be willing to do an interview with them. And I couldn’t say no, so I answered a few questions. How many chances like that do people usually get? So of course I went for it. I now have the link, and also the interview, which I will post below.
Check out the link! It looks so cool to see my answers translated into Arabic!
1-Dear Claire, first of all, please introduce yourself (i.e. the date of your birth, the year that you found out you have diabetes, where you live, and what you are doing etc).
My name is Claire Montgomery and I am fifteen years old. I was born on December 17, 1996. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was ten years old on March 6, 2007. I live in Denver, Colorado in the United States of America.
2-How do you find out that you have diabetes?
I was taking ski lessons and I threw up in the parking lot. My parents thought I had a stomache bug so my dad stayed with me while I slept at the place where we were staying. That night we went ice skating and I remember feeling really miserable because I had no energy to skate but I really wanted to. The next day I started to breathe really hard so I didn’t help with clean up at all but rather felt really bad. On the way home in the car I started to have mini hallucinations so we stopped along the way at a town and everyone got candy sticks. That was when my parents called the doctor. My dad dropped my brother and sister off with my mom at home and then we immediately left for the doctor. When I finally got into an examining room the doctor took one look at me and sent me to pee in a cup. Apparently she had guessed what I had at first glance. It was confirmed that I had diabetes and the doctor told me that I had to go to the emergency room immediately. I was a textbook case soo all of the other doctors in the office came in to look at me so they could see what diabetes looked like. The doctor called ahead to Children’s Hospital in Denver and my dad drove me there. Once I got there they took me in immediately and hooked me up to an IV. I spent the night in the Intensive Care Unit and was released from the hospital the next day. I spent the next two days in training with my parents.
3-What was your image about diabetes when you knew the first time about your diabetes and what was your feeling in that time?
At first I was really a little bit stunned and hadn’t really gotten what had happened. It had been a really busy couple of days and there wasn’t any time to think about what had happened. However once I actually had time to understand what had happened I cried.
4-How did you accept this fact and become a friend with your diabetes?
In all honesty, I am not really sure of how to answer this question. I don’t think that I have ever become friends with my diabetes. But have learned to live with it. It is a part of me, and no matter how much I complain, it will not just magically disappear.
5-What is your highest and lowest blood sugar experience till now, and what you did in these situations?
My lowest blood sugar yet has been was 39 mg/dL. I can’t really remember what happened because it happened so long ago, but I assume that I drank A LOT of juice, and waited and tested again. Actually, I have never been unconscious because of a low. The only experience I’ve had where I wasn’t able to concentrate or function was when I was at the beach with my family when we were on vacation. Everyone except my mom was in the ocean. I was probably 80 mg/dL, but I must’ve been going down really fast because I had no idea what was going on. Mom kept on giving me juice, but I kept on wandering down to the water (even though I couldn’t walk straight). Finally Mom made me sit down and drink. It turned out fine. My highest blood sugar was around 500 mg/dL. This was also a long time ago, so again I can’t really remember but I know that it was right before bed, and it was also back when I was still taking injections. My mom gave me a shot, and then I went to bed. I do remember feeling miserable though.
6-How much your diabetes affect your personal life, your family life, your education and your happiness, at the beginning and now.
My parents and I have actually had huge arguments about this. I would prefer not to tell my friends about diabetes and make it not a big deal, though my parents wanted to tell everyone on the face of the earth (or so it seemed). We still haven’t figured out a balance. I have gotten bad grades on tests and such because of high blood sugars, but other then that diabetes hasn’t really been a big deal concerning my education. Naturally the school nurse and I are best friends. My happiness? Well. There are times where I hate diabetes, and I can’t say that I necessary love it. But it just is, and I exist with it. It has become a part of my life, so I can’t really say that it affects my happiness. It’s only when I’m high that it affects my happiness, because I feel really bad.
7-If you are a member of association for diabetic patients, what is your activity in that association and what kind of activity that association do for his members?
I am not really involved in an association for diabetic patients. I mostly do outreach stuff, like my blog (www.clairemontgomery.com) and go to events that are hosted by associations. For example I have gone to diabetes camps that the American Diabetes Association puts on, and I also have gone to fundraisers and other things for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
8-You are living in U.S. and you are enjoy living in a developed country. I would like to know how such a country like U.S. helps people with type 1 diabetes.
Well. In the USA we have programs like support groups and things like that. There is also the American Diabetes Association, and they try to spread the word about diabetes and to help people with diabetes by giving information. There aren’t that many doctors offices that are purely dedicated to just diabetes, however. Many people go to their regular physician. I am lucky because I live in Colorado, home of one of the two best diabetes facilities in the country. It is called the Barbara Davis Center. When you are first diagnosed, many people reach out to you. I think almost every diabetic in America that is about my age has a bear named Rufus. Rufus is a bear that the JDRF donates to new diabetics. It has patches on its body for places where you can give yourself injections or get your fingers poked. There are also many outreach groups like blogs and websites that are focused on diabetes.
9-You said in your personal website that you are using insulin pump. How much of its expense is covered by the insurance.
I am honestly not sure how much, but about two thirds of the expense for the insulin pump was covered by insurance.
10- How many percentage of diabetics that you know are using insulin pump?
Well, I am not really sure, but according to Google there is more then 30 percent of diabetics using an insulin pump.
11-Diabetic people that do not use insulin pump, what kind of insulin do they use?
In the United States, there are two kinds of fast acting insulin: Novolog and Humalog. People on either pumps or injections can use either of these insulins. There are two other types of insulin that only people on injections use. The first is called NPH. This is an intermediate acting insulin which is given at breakfast so a shot doesn’t need to be taken at lunch. It starts working about five hours after it’s been injected. NPH is also optional because you can just as easily take a lunch injection. The last kind of insulin that people who take injections use is called Lantus. Lantus lasts about twenty four hours and compensates for the tiny trickle of insulin that your pancreas releases even with diabetes.
I only use one type of insulin and that is Novolog.
12-How many time you use to measure your blood sugar on daily basis?
I check my blood sugar anywhere from six to ten times a day. I check before meals, when I wake up, and before I go to bed.
13- In the school or in a party or in a hiking with friends, do you measure your blood sugar?
Of course I do. I would rather not, but I think stoping to test my bloodsugar is better then feeling miserable if I hadn’t tested.
14- Do you think if you do not have diabetes then Claire without diabetes is more successful and happier than Claire with diabetes?
What an interesting question! Diabetes is such a part of my life that if I suddenly woke up one day and didn’t have it I would probably be a little lost. I can imagine myself reaching down to give myself insulin, and then realizing that I wouldn’t have to do that.
15- Did you visit our website “dayere-abi.org”?
I just did. And it looks cool, but I can’t read it.
16- What was your feeling when you have received an email from dayere-abi.org, your Iranian friends?
I was thinking that it was an amazing offer and that I would be stupid not to take it.
17- We would like to hear your suggestion in order to improve our website?
Like I said before, it looks cool, but I can’t read it. Sorry that I can’t give you more suggestions.
18- Please tell your message to your Iranian friends who have diabetes.
Keep going! You aren’t alone. And know that you now have a diabetic friend living in the United States. I wish everyone the best of luck in controlling their diabetes.
So I now have new friends in Iran! It is so cool! Thanks to Masood Hasannejad for giving me this wonderful opportunity!
Fan Mail: Aimee