Kat Robeson, who has Type 1 Diabetes, talks about living with diabetes and gives her advice to other people with diabetes.
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Question: How has diabetes affected your daily life? Kat Robeson: It does affect obviously my life a lot. When my blood pressure drops, I have problems with that, and then I also lose the vision in my eye. This is another complication that I wouldn't have ever even thought of. I guess the nerve damage I have is inside my body. So the nerves that tell your blood vessels to constrict and push the blood back up to your head don't work. So the longer I stand, I just lose more and more vision. Like if I go to the grocery store, by the time I get to the check out counter, I can't read if I have $50 bill or a $10 bill or $5 bill. So if I want to pick, I always bring my roommate with me grocery shopping, because by the end of the trip, if I need to pick stuff, if I need to see what a can of beans is, I can't see it anymore. So, that's like, there is just, I guess day to day things that you just have to adjust for. Like always bringing your roommate shopping with you. Even Christmas shopping this year has been hard, because the longer I stand up, the less vision I have. So I just you walk in a store and buy that, if you don't hurry, you can find exactly what you want in the first minute, then you are blind. Its kind of walk it around like I can see shadows. That's not going to get me find anything. So it's more -- it's not like I have to take a certain medicine or something like that everyday. But it's just, adjusting to bringing people shopping with me or some days it's just so bad that I really can't see. I can't even see the world. The nerves just aren't pushing the blood back up to my head enough. So, that's like a day, I just have to sail. If I want to see the TV, I have to lie in bed, because I can't sit, I can't stand, and I can't. Question: What's your outlook like regarding your diabetes? Kat Robeson: I would say that there are days that I am down on myself. I don't see the light at the end and all that. Everything is just well it's me, what's next and what's next. Its never like, yeah everything is getting better. It's always seeing like there is always something; okay you think this problem, now there is. But I guess you can either, just then crawl under your cover and never come out or you can just make the most of it and go on. And so ever seen I am going prison at a time. I make the most of it and go on. And then that 1% I go crawl in bed and have a bad day. Question: What advice do you have for others recently diagnosed with diabetes? Kat Robeson: At the beginning of it, you don't, you are not, just to know you are not invincible, that what the doctors tell you. When the doctor says, you could have eye problems, or you could have stomach problems. You could have nerve damage. When they tell you all the complications, it doesn't mean you seem like that would be you at the time. But really take it hard and know that it will happen. They do not -- and just to take the best care, you can of yourself, now, because then that will prolong the negative effects happening and with the technology now, that may be not be a cure. By the time, yeah ten years now, but things keep like you know there is more and more treatments or things that can be done, you know with the sense of research and regenerating the optic nerve. Maybe ten years down the road, I will completely be able to see again in my right eye. But if you can prolong, even getting to that point, then you have more of a chance of them being unable to do something about it. So remembering that you are not invincible and really taking to heart we need to be doing now and here in now, because later down the road, once the damage has been done, you can keep it from getting worse, but you can't go back and take away what you worried on damage wise.
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