Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8, MiniMed Ambassador, Jaquita, struggled with diabetes throughout her teen years, but she never let it her stop her from becoming a mother of a vibrant little boy (and another on the way!), wife, colleague, and professional. She was introduced to insulin pump therapy in her early twenties, and believes it’s changed her life by helping her to better manage the normalcies of life and day to day challenges of the diabetes. She’s achieved so many accomplishments in her lifetime, and we know with her inspirational and positive outlook, she’ll achieve many more!
Q. What diabetes items do you typically carry in your bag?
A. What I carry inside my bag is probably similar to most people who have diabetes. I typically carry glucose tablets, granola bars, skittles, extra infusion sets, reservoirs, insulin syringes, and batteries in my bag. I also keep extra supplies and snacks in my car at all times, just in case. This may be overkill, but I’m sure great moms and others with diabetes can relate.
Q. What is your favorite awkward diabetes moment?
A. Those of you who know what having a low blood sugar is like can likely relate to what it feels like trying to mask low blood sugar symptoms from people who don’t know you have diabetes. I was having a serious low, and walked into a classroom with people I didn’t know to ask for help. It required me to open up to a stranger about what was going on with my blood sugar. I learned valuable lessons here – never second guess myself about my blood sugars (this was before the days of CGM and the MiniMed 530G system), always stop and take note when I feel a low coming on, and not be afraid to ask for help. After I recovered from the low and during break time, I had the opportunity to formally introduce myself to a new friend, talk with them about my diabetes, and explain what was going on with my blood sugars. Definitely an awkward moment, but a valuable lesson and so worth it!
Q. Tell us about the most memorable time explaining your diabetes to a new friend, significant other, or colleague?
A. The most memorable time I had was starting my professional career and explaining to a new colleague that I have diabetes. It took some time for me to feel comfortable opening up to her. We worked closely in an environment where it was critical to perform, and at times, in emergent situations. After a few months of working together, I shared the information with her, as well as my signs and symptoms of low and high blood sugars. She became really good at recognizing when I was low or high, even before I would, and became a really great friend and colleague I could trust. She never judged me by having this disease.
Q. How do you reward yourself for practicing good diabetes management?
A. I reward myself just by knowing that good diabetes management enables me to spend more quality time with my children, family, and friends. Hence, allowing me to feel great and keeping me around for a long time so I can continue to enjoy life. This is enough of a reward for me!
Q. Who is your diabetes superhero and why?
A. I really don’t have a diabetes superhero, but if I had to choose one, it would be Wonder Woman. She’s gifted with a wide range of superhuman powers, has superior combat and battle skills, stamina, agility, endurance, and healing factors. I am the mother of a healthy, vibrant five year old, and have another one on the way!!!! I have been blessed and feel like these qualities, along with much faith, are what I possess and what keeps me going. These are necessities to overcoming the challenges of diabetes!
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