Talking Type 2: Elizabeth Jones

The number of teens and young adults living with type 2 diabetes has increased in recent years. Managing diabetes at this age can come with different challenges than an adult may face. This week on the blog, we are featuring stories of people who have been there—and how they’re determined to live long, healthy lives while managing their diabetes.

Does type 2 diabetes affect a young person in your life? Check out the American Diabetes Association’s new “Be Healthy Today; Be Healthy for Life,” a resource developed especially for youth living with type 2 and their families.

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elizabeth jonesName: Elizabeth Jones
From: Virginia Beach, Va.

I am 24 and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes on Jan. 9, 2013, when I was still 23. At diagnosis I had a fasting blood glucose of 352 mg/dl and an A1C of 11.3 percent—I was pretty sick.

I was immediately put on insulin, but luckily I have been able to get off of it. Since then I have been off and on different medicines, trying to find a good fit. My last A1C was done on April 25 and I am now down to 6.4 with a fasting blood glucose of 137!

Though I am proud of how far I have come, I am mad that I have this disease. I am upset with the stigma that is also associated with it. When people find out I have type 2 diabetes, they believe I did it to myself. They do not know I have two parents, grandmothers, a great-grandmother, and a great-great-grandfather—all with type 2. My endocrinologist would be the first to tell you that my genes played a major factor in me getting diabetes. It was never “if”; it was always “when.”

Being diagnosed at such a young age is extremely difficult to deal with. Not only do I go to school full time, but I also work full time as a caregiver to a little boy with special needs. I struggle with knowing that I have a lifelong chronic illness. I know that every decision in my life has to be made with this disease in mind. It’s not easy to say I want to have kids anymore when I know the risks associated with being pregnant and the genetics I could potentially pass on. Nothing about this disease is easy and life with it is a struggle.

However, there are positives to having diabetes. I am actually much healthier of a person now. In fact, I am running my first 8K later this month! I have not only brought my blood glucose down but my cholesterol as well.

The American Diabetes Association’s online community has been a great place for me to vent, seek solace and celebrate with other type 2’s (though I wish I knew more my own age). And the Association’s main website has been phenomenal in providing trusted information.

I think it’s also important to have a solid support system in “real life” and a doctor you really like, because that doctor becomes a big part of your life when you have diabetes. I have been blessed with an endocrinologist, Dr. Torres, who is always so positive and always finds something to praise me on. She is an outstanding doctor who supports me as a person and not just her patient.

Yes, having diabetes will forever change my life, but it won’t change who I am. It’s helping me discover more of myself and I like who I am. I am Elizabeth: a nanny, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a granddaughter, a student . . . and a person living with type 2 diabetes.

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11 Responses to Talking Type 2: Elizabeth Jones

  1. Charlene Jenkins says:

    Nice job Elizabeth! I am proud of you. I have always worried that i would get diabetes, but i’ve been extremely lucky. Take good care of yourself and you will be fine. I love you, Aunt Charlene

    • Bruce says:

      Please dont tell diabetics that you were worried getting diabetes but luckily you didnt get it. it is definitely a great news. But be more constructive. I am a diabetic.

  2. Cathy Jones says:

    Great article Elizabeth. You did wwonderful job. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. I feel responsible for you getting this. Had I have known the risks back then I would have thought more about this. But, I would never would have ended your life as you are so special to me. I love you so much. Mom.

  3. Deepak Dhanuka says:

    Dear Eligabeth,
    Very thanks for giving your experience, courage to people. I am 34 year old and suffering with type – ii for last 10 years. Everyday I think we should live life as a warrior not to become dependent but to support others and have a complete life. I am sure on your thoughts that you won’t happen to your child to suffer. Have a good day.

  4. dan ricca says:

    my sugar is always 250 or more in the morning take lantis before I go to bed. tried everything nothing seems to work best I can do is maybe 170 if I don’t eat. then I can’t sleep any suggestions??? please tell me how you did it??

  5. Robin King says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I am 28 yrs old with Type 2 diabetes after having gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy in 2008. I am now pregnant with my 3rd child, and taking insulin during my pregnancy. If you would like to chat sometime, my email is robin_nephew@yahoo.com

  6. Lindsay says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I would love to speak with you regarding a story I’m writing about people living with Type 2 diabetes. If you’d be willing to speak with me, my email is lindsayb@healthmonitor.com.

    Thanks!
    Lindsay

  7. Musa Idrees says:

    I dont know my diabetes type but my blood sugar level is high is about 7.1

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