Diabetes Health Type 1: It’s Crucial to Pay Attention to Your Mental Health
By Claire M. Lynch
As a 10-year-old, Jetonne Mumma’s mother took her to the doctor because she was experiencing symptoms such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, confusion and bursts of anger.
Jetonne adds, “My fasting glucose was 350. At that moment it was clear that I was diabetic although my doctor didn’t know which type. For the next few months, my doctor advised trying to control my blood sugar levels with diet only but it didn’t help.
“An endocrinologist was referred. They tested me for antibodies and confirmed that I was Type 1. Insulin injections began the same day. My thought is that I had been pre-diabetic for a year prior to my diagnosis because the symptoms had begun then. As time progressed they became more frequent. There was no family history of diabetes, however.”
Now 22 and a lifelong Texas resident, Jetonne has used Humalog and Lantus insulin pens. Two years ago she started using the Medtronic 670G insulin pump with Humalog. “The pump is great because it’s much more precise,” she says. “I’m getting some better blood sugar level readings because of it. Changing to a pump really changed my life for the better.
“Exercising and watching what I eat helps. Breakfast typically is a protein shake or cooked eggs. Lunch is a sandwich or salad and dinner usually is a protein with a veggie and some type of carbohydrate such as bread or potatoes.”
Working full-time as a property manager for a family-owned rental property company, Jetonne also goes to college full-time. She got her associate’s degree in psychology and is continuing on for her Bachelor of Science degree. Her goal is to become a clinical psychologist.
She enjoys skiing and doing animal rescues is a big part of her life.
For Type 1 diabetics, Jetonne recommends that people check their blood sugars often, trust their bodies, get a sensor and work closely with an endocrinologist.
For newly diagnosed diabetics, a psychologist can be supportive and help them come to terms with their condition. She says, “I wish therapy had been an option for me as a youngster. I’ve recently started talking to someone about the psychological effects of diabetes. Stress management and mental health are just as important as the physical aspect.”