Let me introduce myself— my name is Heather and I am a newly minted doctor & diabetic. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during the most convenient time ever, aka “Interview Season” for residency. This is when fourth year medical students travel across the country to interview at hospitals for positions in their residency programs. During that time, I wasn’t sleeping, losing weight, constantly tired, thirsty and not feeling like myself— sounds like the aftermath from stress, am I right? However, the fatigue and lethargy continued, not to mention I made numerous friends waiting in line in airport restrooms. Being the typical hypochondriac medical student that I am (and yes there’s actually a name for that, it’s called “Medical Students Disease” on Wikipedia), I called my doctor. She ordered routine labs, and reassured me that my symptoms were likely due to stress. When the labs returned, my fasting blood sugar was off-the-chart high. It had to be a funny lab mistake— I exercise regularly, eat mindfully and wear my KALE statement t-shirts religiously. So we repeated the labs. Assuming everything would be normal, I flew out to a residency interview in LA that week. While enjoying scrumptious sushi at Sugarfish (oh, the irony), my doctor called. I had Type 1 Diabetes. Salmon hand-roll dropped. Wait. Hold up, Type ONE? I soon learned that over 3 million people are afflicted with Type 1 Diabetes, many who are diagnosed as adults like me.
I was instructed to fly home immediately. Needless to say, I had to cancel that interview— and many subsequent interviews to follow. Residency was put on hold so I could better take care of my own health. I realized that I could either cry (and sure, I did shed some tears) or embrace my diagnosis.
I chose the latter and had a realization— I want to share my story, trials & tribulations to help others of all ages living with Diabetes. With that purpose in mind, I am now delving myself into the field of research as a fellow at Joslin Diabetes and pursuing Family Medicine with a focus on diabetes, integrative health & nutrition.
So, that is where my story ends, and also where it all begins…
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