Community Member Interview with Diana

We interviewed beloved community member Diana Marvel to answer some questions you might have about this community! 

"I feel a huge contributor to my diabetes was my corporate job and the stress that came with it. I was a self proclaimed double fisted, stress-eating carb-aholic. I could not help it. Fries, Chips and Bread was my kryptonite. I have no idea how long my blood sugars were running high because, in all honesty, I felt fine. It wasn’t until I quit my job and started working on my own business. I was losing weight because I was no longer stress eating and I was working, physically, outside and sweating and drinking... a LOT. I was drinking so much water. That little voice in my head says, hey that is a sign of diabetes. Nah, I told myself. You feel fine. I went to donate blood that they asked if I wanted a glucose test. It was 511. I don’t have health insurance and that scared me to death. I started researching and researching. I made an appointment with an Endocrinologist. My experience was horrible. She was mean and condescending and I sat in the parking lot and cried for 30 minutes. The cost of the prescriptions she gave me was $1,200.00 a month. A MONTH. There had to be a better solution. After researching and reading and joining the Winning Type 2 Diabetes group. I found a helpful community I am happy to be a part of." - Diana Marvel

What is your connection to diabetes?
I was diagnosed with T2 three years ago after agreeing to have my glucose tested while donating blood. My 2yo grandson was diagnosed with T1 at 13 months old just recently.
Neither he nor I have any family members with diabetes. My A1C was 13.5 and my highest reading was 563.

What was your original thought on peer-to-peer advice?
I wanted to see what other peoples experiences were and it helped me to know I was not alone and I was not crazy.

Why did you decide to join a support group in the first place?
I liked learning about other people's experiences and sharing their wisdom they have gained along their journey. Also...I think people know their own body’s better than their doctor (after all, we are the ones living in our own bodies) Learning mistakes to avoid is also a huge factor.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Absolutely! I made some friends too.  Information from us “common folk” and not doctors is invaluable.

What are three things that you currently feel that you're getting from the group? 

  1. Confirmation that I am doing the right thing.
  2. Learning that not all diabetics are the same and not all foods affect us the same.
  3. The astonishing array of diabetic medication and how many doctors are quick to throw meds at you.

What's the difference between the advice you might get from a medical physician and the advice you get from group members?
Honestly, the Endocrinologist I initially saw was of no help and of no value.  Most everything I have learned has been thru my own research and talking to other diabetics.

What are three pieces of advice that you love, that you got from the community?

  1. I got this.
  2. I am not gonna die.
  3. That everyone is newly diagnosed at one point and to remember how terrified and scared you were that day.

What would you say to people who are considering joining the group? 

That everyone, upon their initial diagnosis was terrified and probably cried like I did and was scared out of their mind too and that this group helps quell a lot of your self doubt.

What is your main usage of the group?
Read and respond. Everyone has a different diabetic path to walk. We are alike, but not all the same. There are medications I can not take, for example, and others swear by it.

Do you have an amazing story that you'd like to share about an experience you've had in the group?

Just last week a new member was in a desperate situation and her husband had run out of test strips and lancets and had no money until payday.  Other members were telling her to contact this or that. In the UK, most supplies are free. That is not the case here in the US.  We have a lot of out of pocket expenses. I contacted the girl via Facebook and offered to purchase them for her at the nearest Walmart and she could pick them up. I only asked that she pay it forward.

Would you say you've seen an improvement in your diabetes management?
Yes. I was only diagnosed 3 yrs ago. I felt I started off hitting the ground running and took control quickly. I did not have to deal with years of calculating and figuring and trying this medication and that medication. Initially my A1C was 13.5 and my highest glucose reading was 563. I took my A1C down to 5.5 and average BG to 119 in three months. I have continued to maintain good levels.

Overall how would you describe your experience with Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together?
Very positive. I have told a few people about it.  I also understand that there are more diabetics in the world than you know and that it’s nice to have so many cultural perspectives on the matter. You can also learn about different products you may have otherwise never heard of.