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Managing Diabetes

Diabetes Demands Amy’s Attention Around the Clock

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Taking time to share her story is Amy’s way of addressing the stigma.

Amy Moore knew something wasn’t right. Her weight kept fluctuating and she was tired all the time. After numerous tests, the only thing her doctor found was that Amy’s blood sugar level was a little high — which was attributed to her stressful job.

But despite Amy’s efforts to reduce her stress and make lifestyle changes, her blood sugar level continued to climb. In June of 2015, at the age of 25, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

“I was very upset at first. I just went to my car and cried,” she says. Amy knew that diabetes is a chronic condition that she’d be facing for the rest of her life. After the initial shock, Amy felt relieved to finally have an explanation for her symptoms, but little did she know her struggle to find answers was just beginning.

“People with type 2 diabetes often fall through the cracks. I had to learn to self-advocate.”

Trying to manage her blood sugar levels was a rollercoaster for Amy. “I wasn’t told about carb counting or finger pricking,” she says. “It’s no wonder I couldn’t get my levels under control.”

Eventually, a pharmacist suggested Amy try a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which was a game-changer. But it wasn’t until 2020 — when Amy was trying to get pregnant — that she was finally referred to an endocrinologist. Things improved from there, but Amy questions why it took five years to have access to the specialized resources she needed.

“Monitoring and managing diabetes is a 24/7 job.”

When you live with type 2 diabetes, you’re never off the clock. As soon as Amy wakes up each morning, she tests her blood sugar and also checks her overnight levels. About 20 minutes before she eats breakfast, she gives herself a dose of insulin. An hour after eating, she checks her sugars again. She repeats the process for lunch and for dinner. Amy also does finger pricks a few times each day to double check her levels — like many people who have diabetes, she’s fearful of going too low.

“I feel there is a lack of understanding about the realities of living with type 2 diabetes.”

Amy is passionate about raising awareness about type 2 diabetes and combatting the stigma around it. “Diabetes is caused by a combination of factors, many of which are beyond our control,” she says. “What I want people to know most of all is, we didn’t do this to ourselves.”

With one in three people in Canada living with diabetes or prediabetes, it’s hard to fathom why it’s still so misunderstood. This Diabetes Month let’s all make time to educate ourselves about the complexities of living with this chronic condition and advocate to improve access to resources for everyone impacted by diabetes.

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