Marianne’s Story: Reflections from The Diabetes Coach…

I was an energetic, healthy, happy, academic, social kid. I was tall and generally well liked.  I was good at sports. I was a sister and a daughter.  Then, I was just sick. I didn’t feel sick. I was lucky. True, I was tired, and thirsty and losing weight.  I looked like an emaciated giraffe, as some of my friends pointed out. I was still lucky. I didn’t wake up in the hospital. Instead, my parents had a fight. My mother saw a commercial about diabetes on TV. I had no idea that anyone noticed I was drinking an entire 2 liter bottle drink when I came home from school. That all of a sudden I had to raise my hand every few minutes to be excused to go to the bathroom in class or that I once almost dozed off in class. I was lucky, I had been a good student and my teachers didn’t think I was being bad, they thought something was wrong. My parents noticed that I ate everything in the pantry and I was losing weight. I was tall and thin to begin with. I didn’t notice. They did. They fought about whether I was bulimic or anorexic. My mom saw the commercial and thought I was a diabetic.  My dad, said only old people got diabetes and it wasn’t in our family. I was lucky, I had a thorough mom.  I went to my pediatrician and then was sent straight to an endocrinologist.  I had a long, painful and nauseating day of testing and then I knew. Type I diabetes.

So now what am I? I am a woman. I happen to have Type I diabetes. I’ve been a student, an athlete,  a dancer (ok, not a good one), a student government member, a yearbook staff member, an honors society member, a girlfriend, a volunteer, a part-time  job holder, a lifeguard, a babysitter, a kid, a tween, a teenager, a college student,  an employee, a friend, a fiancé, a wife, a mother, a stay at home mom, a working mom, a teacher, a runner, a walker, a fund raiser, and a diabetic. I also have been stressed out, a person obsessed by blood sugars, weight, the condition of my skin, my A1Cs, lab work, what others thought of me, what my doctors thought of me, what my diabetes educators thought of me. I’ve worried to the point of frustration, tears and paralyzing fear of what lies down the road. I’m a diabetic. I’ve also been a role model, a counselor and a person some younger diabetics and their parents can look up to, perhaps.  I’m a T1, with relatively no complications, I‘m relatively happy, I had a healthy baby, I’m a volunteer, a mentor , I’m an advocate, active and  I am in control.

What does this mean for you? I’ve been there– plain and simple.  My doctors were not diabetics, my certified diabetes educators were not diabetics.  I was a teacher and I loved it. The most incredible moments were when I could actually help a student understand something, maybe they physically couldn’t do it yet, but they finally made that connection and saw that they could do it. Letting a parent know this was always a highlight. I can’t cure the diabetes, but I can help you reframe your thoughts about it. During certain parts of my life, I didn’t want to talk to my parents, or my doctors, or even my friends about what I was dealing with. It never left me and I just wanted to be like everyone else. I’ll never be like anyone else, but guess what? They won’t be either!  I can help you understand and deal with some of the concerns, frustrations and choices that a diabetic has to make. They aren’t always fun, but they can be handled and you can have the life you want!

9 thoughts on “Marianne’s Story: Reflections from The Diabetes Coach…

  1. Hey Marianne! Your mom shared your website with my husband, Buddy, so I thought I would drop you a note. I’m glad you are doing well and your picture is awesome! Your website it very informative and I know very helpful to those looking for answers. The president of the American Diabetes Association (I think that’s the name of the organization) is from Victoria, John Griffin. I thought I would share your site with him. Of course he is a huge advocate for diabetes education and awareness so I think he will be very interested in your site. Take care and so glad to see all is well in your life.

    • Thank you! I loved getting to see your husband’s page. His photographs are remarkable as well as his words! Yes, please pass my information on. How small the world is! I love my job and feel connected to so many people living with diabetes. It’s wonderful to help make an impact. Thanks again!

  2. What an AWESOME!! story. This is Suzi “Cookie” from Diabetic camp. What an awesome thing you are doing! I too agree friendships from camp are one in a million and it is an experience like no other! Diabetes is about more than just the complication itself – it is how you choose to live with it and because of camp you don’t feel alone, you learn new things, you gain so much. Thanks for providing words of encouragement for all of us who need it every day!! Congrats on all your success wife, mother and coach!

    • It is great to hear from you. It is so important to maintain those connections. Camp was such a supportive group of friends. I think everyone living with diabetes should get the great opportunity to experience what we did! Thank You!

  3. Wow! My husband has type one diabetes. I thought your website is perfect for him and I don’t know what else to help him at this point. I am deaf and he’s hard of hearing. He needs to change his lifestyle for better. He’s afraid to exercise due to his low reaction. Where do you live?

    Maureen Sydnor

    • I am in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have clients throughout The United States. I come to my clients, have a home office or we can meet at a desired location or over the phone and/or skype. I have access to a signing translator for the hearing impaired, if that is needed. Just let me know. I am happy to be of help!

  4. Thank you for your help at the support meeting in Surprise last evening. Now I actually can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Running the gamut from total despair when I walked in the door, to hopefulness at being able to manage my type 2 diabetes was very uplifting. Knowing I can (with your help) fit this “curse” into my very active lifestyle (even at my advanced age) was enlightening. Yes, I have long considered my diabetes a “curse”. I may never get over that, but your positive attitude affected me greatly. Thank you.

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