Anyone have a tissue? I’m bleeding mascara out my eyes.
Kensey and I traveled to Seattle, WA last weekend for an ADA Expo. It was one of this year’s many Expos provided free to the public by the American Diabetes Association.
These health fairs are amazing and they’re one of the reasons why I love my job. Not only are we able to share much needed diabetes education and resources, but we get to talk to YOU. Instead of sitting behind a desk, we are out with real people at these events! People who live with diabetes or other challenging health conditions every day of their lives, sharing their stories and experiences with us - - and it couldn’t be more inspiring.
We spoke to a man, passionate about life, a life-long Type 1 diabetic, whose wife has brought him back from diabetic comas and now he is living healthier; we met people who are running marathons and hitting goals they never imagined possible; learned from others their secrets to reaching personal health milestones – lowered A1C, off insulin, off pills, losing weight, feeling more in control every day, and many more wonderful things.
Of course there is the opposite.
We heard from overwhelmed parents, with newly diagnosed children, worried about how to fix low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and other nighttime troubles; from teenagers who want to play sports and lead a normally active life just like their friends but yet repel any advice from their parents; from adults who have lived with Type 1 diabetes for most of their lives but just can’t get their numbers in sync; to adults who just found out within the past month that Type 2 diabetes is now part of their lives and they’re in dietary denial.
Pass the tissue! I don’t think I can remember a day when someone at an Expo didn’t bring me to tears, either out of elation or sadness…often both in one day.
So it’s exciting when, while they’re standing at our exhibition booth sharing their story, they grab a sample and say, “mmm, I like this one…and it’s a snack good for diabetes?”.
We hear a lot of great questions at the booth, which is good news because it means people are seeking answers to improve their health. A common question we get is “how to fix low blood sugar” – which is a great question. Our snacks actually help to prevent low blood sugar before it strikes. But, if someone is already experiencing a severe low, the only way to fix low blood sugar is with rapid acting carbohydrates such as sugar and juice.
Another reason “how to fix low blood sugar” is such an important question is that having too many episodes of low blood sugar can create a condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. In a nutshell, it is harder for someone with frequent low blood sugar to recognize the onset of warning symptoms (shakiness, change in mood, lightheadedness, confusion, sweatiness, pale skin, etc.). The dangerous thing is that very low blood sugar can cause you to pass out or even go into a coma. That’s why it is so fundamentally important to eat right and prevent low blood sugar – which is exactly what our snacks do!
It’s rewarding that we, as a company, can provide some peace-of-mind through diabetes-friendly food. And it’s rewarding to know that, as human beings, we can connect with real people and have these intimate discussions that open our hearts and minds.