Q&A: A reverse-interview about my diabetes diagnosis

I was going to title this post “FAQ’s about diabetes” but only one person was asking me the questions. 😂

I was talking to a friend I knew from college about how I went from aspiring to be an oncology doctor, to a Digital Content Writer for the oldest insurance company in the USA. I call this conversation a “reverse-interview” because usually I’m the one interviewing people for the sake of journalism. Honestly, this was such a refreshing experience getting to converse with him! This friend is no other than Brian Pickowicz, Health Coach and Founder of The Fitness Project.

BP: The first question that comes to mind is, with grad school and this new diagnosis, it seems like it’s been a stressful season. How do you normally take care of yourself/handle the stress?

AF: The truth is, I’ve been out of school for about a month. I take care of myself by communicating my concerns to professors, and it helps to be open about my situation! I’m a story teller, so I put that title into every day life. I’ve also kept a journal of every day since I got home from the hospital. I created Gals Gotta Eat a month prior to the diagnosis, and I’ve contributed to support groups on FB. Therapy helps too.

BP: That’s fantastic! It’s really admirable how open you are, and how much you pour into others as well. Now I’m curious too, with the diagnosis being so recent, what have the adjustments around nutrition and physical well-being been like?

AF: Thanks! I appreciate your curiosity. The main adjustments that come to mind are taking time out to take insulin before meals and at nighttime before going to sleep. Also, blood sugar measurements are important because you want to make sure you don’t go past 350 or below 70. Ideally, you’d want your blood sugar to be in the double digits to the one-hundreds. It took at least two weeks for my body to find that equilibrium. Nutrition wise, it’s imperative to not eat too many carbs, sugars, or cholesterol-contented foods. Physically, in terms of exercise, walking helps absorb blood glucose and I’m waiting for my arms to heal before I can do anything else (laughs).

BP: I love that! It sounds like you’ve been able to gain a lot of knowledge about this whole process and how it’s going to look for you moving forward. And speaking of moving forward, I’d be curious to hear – what are the outcomes you want to create through managing diet and adding walking/other exercises?

AF: My goal is to keep making recipes and eating more of the “rainbow,” so to speak. This whole experience has led me to trying new things and bringing myself more out of my comfort zone.

BP: That’s fantastic! I love that you’re branching outside of your comfort zone. I’m curious, what goal does eating more of the rainbow lead to for you, personally?

AF: I’ve learned there are diabetes “superfoods,” that are obviously beneficial for not only diabetics but for everyone. I would add some blueberries to my oatmeal and some melon with eggs and toast. The truth is that a “diabetic diet” isn’t just for diabetics — it’s good for everyone.

What I’ve learned through this conversation is that my personal way of dealing with my diagnosis is to be open about it. I appreciate Brian’s curiosity, and I’d be open to questions to hopefully and actually create an FAQ about my diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes!

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