Name: Sysy Morales
Number of years you have been living with diabetes: 17
Can you tell us your diagnosis story?
My sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3. I was 10 at the time and I prayed that God would take her diabetes away and give it to me. A few months later, at age 11, I started feeling sick and just thought things were going as planned. Months after my diagnosis, I realized we were both stuck with type 1 diabetes, but at least we had each other. Because I was expecting type 1 and my parents already knew all about it, we caught it very early and luckily I never got really sick (initially speaking).
What life changes were made to get to the point you are at now?
I have adopted a diet that focuses on clean, unprocessed foods. I exercise daily. I try hard to be positive and think positive thoughts. I also test my blood sugars a lot.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced living with diabetes?
I've played sports, traveled to other countries, and gone to college with diabetes. The twin pregnancy was very difficult, particularly the months right after the children were born. It was an extremely intense time, which I got through alive only by being disciplined with my diabetes management. That has probably been my greatest challenge thus far. My kids are two years old now, so it's still very challenging.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog right after my twins were born in June of 2009. Basically, I wanted to send a message of hope to other women with diabetes. I wanted to tell other women out there “You can do this!”, because after having healthy twins in a double high-risk pregnancy, I realized that so much is possible living with type 1 diabetes. I am much healthier now than I was ten years ago and I use my blog to share the things that have helped me along the way and the things that haven't.
What are some essentials in your diabetes management and care?
Obviously my meter and insulin. I take shots which works well for me. I also try to avoid processed foods, which helps so much. And I exercise because that keeps my insulin needs low. I would say my husband and family are essential as well because of all the support I get from them. Additionally, the Diabetes Online Community has been a great source of information, inspiration, and support.
What are your top three health and fitness tips for other people living with type 1 diabetes?
- Test frequently, if you can.
- Yes, you can eat anything, BUT you will have a much easier time, and be around longer, if you try to avoid or limit processed foods and eat whole foods as much as possible.
- Exercise each day, even if you dance around your living room for 15 minutes. Just move.
As a diabetes advocate, what is your message to all the people out there living with diabetes?
You can do this. You are not a victim of diabetes, instead, you have diabetes, and your life, and your health, in your hands. If you adopt the notion that your responsibility is to take care of yourself (even though you have this totally unfair disease) then you will be empowered enough to do what you need to do to stay well. You will have hard days, months, years, but know that you're not alone, it's okay to seek help, and tomorrow is a new day.
Facebook: The Girl's Guide to Diabetes