What’s your type?

Hello, my name is Kimberlee Kemble, and I’m a diabetic.

(Why does this sound like I’m starting a 12-step program)?

I’ve been a diabetic for 30 years. As you can imagine, there’s quite a history there, but I’ll keep it brief.

It all began when I was 23.  I had been having recurring UTIs (one that even resulted in an allergic reaction to an antibiotic), so my OB/GYN at the time suggested that I have a Glucose Tolerance Test. Lo and behold, I found out I was a diabetic, diagnosed (at that time) Type 2. Suffice it to say, I was pretty shocked, even though my dad was diagnosed at 38. It just didn’t fit my profile in so many ways.

Diet, exercise and oral medication (and perhaps even youth) kept me in check for several years.  Early on, though, I must admit that denial and sometimes avoidance came into play. I’m guessing that most of my friends and co-workers did not even know that I was diabetic at this time in my life.

I got very familiar with testing my blood glucose (although probably not as familiar as I should have been) and the infamous Hemoglobin A1C.  Time went on, and, as my diabetes got a little trickier and harder to manage, my doctor and I tried different medications and dosages.

When I was pregnant with my two children, I had to go completely on insulin (for 6 months prior to even trying to get pregnant) until after I gave birth.  It wasn’t long after my second child that the characterization of my diabetes was changed to Type 1. Essentially, for the past 20 years, I’ve been on insulin and insulin alone, first with shots and for the last 10 years, an insulin pump and, more recently, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

So that’s my story, and I’m (finger) sticking to it. What’s yours? I’d love to hear from you!

[Side note: After meeting with doctors at the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, as well as discussions with my current endocrinologist, most “experts” would say I am a Type 1.5, which is Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of adults (LADA), which is a slow-onset type 1 autoimmune diabetes in adults. From what I’ve read, it makes sense to me, although the end game is the same. I am now – and will always will be – a T1D].