The Bionic Type 1 Woman

I’ve been gone a few months. On September 9, 2013, my life took a tragic turn. I found out my brother died. He was my hero and my best friend. He lost a lifelong battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Although my family and I hurt and will never understand his pain, we smile knowing he no longer has to struggle.

On September 10th I flew home to Michigan from New York City to be with my family. I spent almost a week sitting on my mom’s couch. Not only did my joints hate me, my body had a high resistance to the insulin I normally take. I ate next to nothing all week and my blood sugars suffered.

The last thing on my mind was my own health. There were multiple occasions when I forgot if I had given myself my long-acting insulin shot when I woke up each morning. I couldn’t recall one day from the next. It all seemed like a blur. There were also times I would test my sugar and it was too high and I would think, “How long has it been since I last corrected? Have I waited long enough or is there still insulin active in my system?!” I had no clue.

Luckily, this only lasted a week. After I flew back home to NYC, I immediately made an appointment with my doctor to discuss my pump options. I knew if I had a pump it would constantly be administering insulin and I wouldn’t have to remember to take my morning or evening long-acting shots. I also knew it would keep track of the last time I gave myself a correction bolus and I would be able to better judge if I should give myself more insulin if my following glucose reading was too high.

It was time for me to grow up. Despite my embarrassment of having to wear a bunch of gadgets stuck to my body at all times of the day and night, my quality of life was going to be much better. After a consultation with my doctors and the OmniPod rep, I decided to start it right away. My brother would be proud. He was proud of me regardless, but he would be extra proud that I had the strength to get the help I needed. He gives me the strength I need and is watching over me.

One month as a pump user and I am feeling great. I’m still learning about many of the settings and how they best suit my needs. My sugars are already tremendously better. My life is slowly getting back to normal. I’m back to work busier than ever and working out regularly too. I guess there is a silver lining to my story after all.

Please contact me through if you have any thoughts or comments. I’d love to inspire others to take better control of their diabetes challenges.

I’ll be back next month to report in with some fun holiday workout tips. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I am thankful.



(Fitness instructor Kiley Schoenfelder was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8. She operates her own independent fitness company, K FIT NYC. Kiley holds two certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine: Corrective Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer. Her website is located at


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