Hi, my name is Scott K. Johnson.
I have lived with type 1 diabetes since April of 1980.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disorder. For reasons nobody knows, my immune system attacked a part of my pancreas.
My pancreas is the organ responsible for micro-managing my blood sugar level. More often than once a second, it measures and adjusts multiple hormones, constantly keeping my blood sugar perfect; a job I now try to mimic.
I have rudimentary tools, imperfect measurements, and lots of unknowns to contend with.
If the level of sugar (or glucose) in my blood is higher than normal, I am damaging my body. Over time, high blood sugars can cause all the scary complications associated with diabetes (amputations, kidney failure, blindness, etc.).
If the level of sugar in my blood is too low, I could die within minutes. Both extremes bring serious threats to my health.
Those threats add a lot of psychological baggage to each minute of my day.
I am often the only person around who needs to do complicated mathematical equations before eating anything, before going anywhere, before mowing my lawn, shoveling snow, taking a walk, or before going to sleep at night. Diabetes is always on my mind, whether I like it or not. In my everyday life, I am alone. Even with my closest family and friends by my side.
Living like that can be hard and isolating.
I started writing about my life with type 1 diabetes in February of 2000. First as a way to journal, and keep records, maybe so one day my family could look back on my struggles and successes and better understand me. I started blogging late in 2004 when tools started making it easier to self-publish.
Life with a chronic disease like diabetes is full of many vague thoughts and feelings, and I found the exercise of putting words to those thoughts and feelings helpful. I wasn’t the only one. There were four or five others who also started blogging about their lives with diabetes.
The diabetes online community took off and hasn’t slowed down since. A handful of us has turned into a countless number of us. The support and encouragement I find out there is immeasurable, and plays a crucial role in my self-care.
I bring an honest and open account of my life with diabetes. I work hard to stay involved and give as much as I can back to the community that empowers and inspires me.
I grew up in Minneapolis, MN, but now live in the San Diego, CA area. I am always up for a cold Diet Coke and some quality time with good people.
I work professionally in the diabetes industry doing corporate communications with Roche Diabetes Care. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.
I’d love to hear from you, whether near or far. Send me a message anytime, or reach out on your favorite social media channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc).
Thanks again! I appreciate you stopping by!