a part of the team: curant health with diabetes patient, joe
I was ten years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In fifth grade, I noticed gradual changes with my body. All I wanted to do was rest. I was always raising my hand to go to the bathroom, and I was constantly thirsty. My teacher first noticed that something was wrong and called my mother. After confirming that I had been acting that way at home as well as in school, my mother was informed that I needed to be taken to the doctor. Next week I went to the doctor and had my blood sugar checked.
After being diagnosed with diabetes, I had to make numerous lifestyle changes. My family was there to motivate me. They told me if I manage my diabetes, I could achieve my goals. Unfortunately, as I grew older, I didn’t take care of myself as I should have. By the time I entered college, I stopped being proactive about testing my blood sugar.
In my sophomore year of college, I started riding bikes and began attending races. In one race, I saw the winner check his blood sugar. It was eye opening because I hadn’t seen anyone in the same sport as me with diabetes before. We talked and he found out that I wasn’t actively managing my diabetes. He challenged me to start again. I took that challenge; I became proactive with my care again. That, in turn, improved my cycling.
Joe meets Team Type 1
I spent seven years on a professional cycling team – the only team in the world with riders living with diabetes. With diabetes, there are particular things you have to do; for people who don’t have diabetes, their bodies are wired a different way than mine. Their bodies automatically make adjustments for them, like their temperature, stress levels, body heat, etc. However, all of these things affect my medication regimen, especially when riding. For instance, when I’m participating in a race, I have to decide what food to eat and take into consideration what it will or won’t do for my body. I also have to eat based on the type of race I’m in.
For example, in 2015 I was in a race lasting seven days, totaling 900 kilometers and 19,800 meters of elevation change. It was grueling! Every day we climbed vertically about 10,000 feet. Even though I was taking care of myself, I still lost a handful of pounds. Again, I had to think about how everything would affect my body and act accordingly.
Joe meets Curant Health
Before I was introduced to Curant Health, I dreaded going to the pharmacy, because I had to repetitively remember to check on my supply. Now, I get an email or phone call from my patient care coordinator instead. It makes having a lifestyle like mine, where I’m always on the go, easier.
The convenience factor is amazing!
Curant Health provided me with a patient care coordinator named Cecile. It’s funny – I always remember the fact that she’s friendly and extremely courteous. When Cecile calls, I think to myself, “She’s the friendliest and happiest person I’ve talked to all day.”
People always ask if I had the choice to have diabetes or not what would I choose. I would choose to not have diabetes, but we can’t change things like that. Diabetes is a condition I can manage, and I do what I have to do to live the life I want to live. To the person just diagnosed, I’d say ‘Welcome to the team.’ There are lots of role models living their dreams with diabetes. Diabetes is 24/7, 365. You don’t need to manage it on your own. To the person newly diagnosed, you need to get a great team of people around you to help you through it.
Curant Health is definitely a part of my team.