I decided to showcase Andrea’s Ribbon Campaign as my first DFYI, it promotes awareness for diabetes. People “know” about Diabetes but aren’t “Aware” of physical and mental issues people with diabetes face from day to day. Andrea is Pro-Active when it comes to her diabetes care. She is a firm believer in Diabetes education. She is spreading the word about Diabetes through her Diabetic Ribbon Campaign, blog, and other projects. I caught up with Andrea planning the 1st Annual Diabetes Sister’s Day of Action in Mission, KS, she was able to answer a few questions about her Diabetic Ribbon Campaign and about Diabetes.
Cherise: When were you Diagnosed with Diabetes?
Andrea: I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on May 1, 1996. Funny you ask because I was misdiagnosed and almost sent home. The diagnosis you ask? Anorexia or bullemia I couldn’t believe. I had never heard of either one before my mom and the dr’s explained it and “it’s pretty common for kids my age”. Yeah right! I was 16 and the idiots didn’t even ask my family history until a student doc came in and when we said diabetes “TaDa!” There was the light bulb. My BG was over 600 and according to the geniuses I would’ve went home and fell into a diabetic coma. Just glad my mom was protesting and she later told me that once we left the docs office she would have taken me somewhere else for a second opnion becasue she knew I wasn’t bullemic or aneroxic. She was right, I wasn’t, I was diabetic, LOL! I am blessed. I am controlling my diabetes with diet, exercise and I give myself 4-5 insulin injections a day.
Cherise: Anorexia, they were way off, not surprising! A lot of people have been misdiagnosed. What was the deciding factor on creating your own Diabetic Ribbon Campaign?
Andrea: I knew I wanted to be active and contribute to the Diabetic community, I just wanted to start somewhere and do something. Not real inspiring I know but that was my original thought. What can I do? A ribbon campaign sounded simple enough and as usual I jumped in head first. LOL!
Cherise: We have something in common! I always start head first and pray for guidance as I go along. When did you start the Ribbon Campaign and how may ribbons have you distributed?
Andrea: I started the Diabetic Ribbon Campaign in July 2007. How many have I ribbons have I distributed? If I had to guess (which is what I’m doing, LOL!) I would say about 500 from July 2007 to present day.
Cherise: Where can I purchase the Diabetes awareness ribbons and what is the max number if ribbons that can be purchased?
Andrea: The Ribbons are FREE! You can request them from my website firstname.lastname@example.org or by e-mailing email@example.com. I haven’t set a limit on the qty. I make the ribbons by hand and ask if you could give me 2 weeks notice on orders of 25 or more.
Cherise: You are a mother and very active in the diabetic community, how do you balance it all?
Andrea: Hmmm, good question. My friends and family don’t think I sleep. LOL! But seriously I have a google calendar (that has 5 calendars in it) and my palm that I keep everything in. They help tell me where I should be and when. Overall I pray everyday (usually twice once in the morning and once at night) and try to remember to breathe when I start to feel overwhelmed (which is just about everyday, LOL!).
Cherise: I promise, last question. Do you have any advice for people living with diabetes?
Andrea: First, Learn what works for you as a diabetic. What I mean is learn how your body reacts to insulin or pills, diet and exercise, stress, etc. Second, Find an endocrinologist that you love not like because you have to trust this person, and usually you trust those that you love. Third, Don’t beat yourself up for testing and not getting the reading you wanted. Only beat your self up if you don’t test at all. What I mean is you should use the readings as information that you can use to make better choices.
Cherise: Great advice! Thank you for contributing to our Community and for your time.