Katharina Schudmann

Germany

My name is Katharina Schudmann, my friends call me Kathi. When I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes, I early was in the age of three. My diagnoses became worse because of having Christmas. My parents were shocked, but they had to cope with the new situation –what they really did!

The situation before has been as in many cases: Several weeks before I had been sick, had a viral infection and after all I loosed weight, looked ill and felt very unwell. Following I hide myself under the table in the kitchen, why my parents called the ambulance, that brought me to the hospital.

Being taught by me parents I injected myself in the age of five for the first time. Checking the blood glucose on my own was worse, because I was afraid of lancing in my fingers while my parents were checking it with blood from my ears (that is less painful). But also I challenged this close in the age of seven. The problem of my diabetes was really my fluctuations and particular heavy hypos (today I am still fighting against), which often dropped in. For example on my little brother’s first school day I got a very bad hypo in the church. Blessedly my parent’s home was not very far, so my Dad brought me home and gave me the glucagon injection, diacepan (against convulsing in due to hypos) and hypogluc (it is liquid glucose. But my little brother was very angry with me, because I was the reason why his Dad missed the whole procedure of his first school day. By the way the reasons for the hype were that I thought I had to eat my breakfast at 9.30, although my mother told me to have it at 8.30.

I have a long history of therapies, which means that I tried and got experiences with almost every kind of therapy like the IC, ICT and now am fortunately on a pump (CSII). So in the first years of my diabetes I treated by IC with getting the Insulin by syringes. The problem was that I react (and even I am doing) very sensitively on the insulin thus I (still) need(ed) syringes/ pens with half units. When there was a pen with half units (Novo Nordisk) available, I used the ICT schemata. During adolescence it was very difficult to have an acceptable H1c. A long time a pump was no choice for me. But when I was 18 I finally decided to get one –and that was my best decision I could do. First I got the Accu Chek Spirit (Roche), but by now I am using the Medtronic Paradigm Veo by applying even the CGMS sometimes. Since then my sugar levels and H1c was getting better and better, but still having a lot of hypos. Even Having a lactose and fructose intolerance complicate the treatment of my diabetes sometimes.

My whole life I did not let me stop because of having diabetes. I did a lot of things and most of the time everything I wanted to do (e.g. doing sports, skiing, going on holiday). By now I am very sporty. Usually I do exercise (running, Tae Bow, swimming, toning exercises) three or four times a week plus doing things like mountain biking, skating, skiing, … . I was very proud to run my first half marathon (21 km) in September 2011.

But there are other things which I am proud of. E.g. together with ten other diabetics we wrote an own issue of our German diabetes magazine (called Diabetes Journal). Our “Open Journal’s” appeared as part of the jubilee edition of the Diabetes Journal of the Kirchheim-Verlag in March 2011. There I was involved in articles about diabetes & sexuality, diabetes & party, diabetes in the German history, diabetes in developing countries and also in photo series. Still I am writing for them, sometimes articles for their magazine or the internet blog. Another example is that I got my bachelor of the nutrition science and home economies by writing my bachelor thesis about “Diabetes in migrants in Germany”.

Since Dubai I am getting more and more integrated in the German diabetes association DiabetesDE. During the semester break in summer 2012 Maria Hillinger (young leader from Austria) and I were doing voluntary work in a hospital in India as a developing country by supporting type I diabetics. To give an example of our work there: We selected and trained leaders for support groups for the department’s type 1 patients.

By the way I am student of the Masters Public Health Nutrition.

Never forget: Just because of diabetes it is very important to have and to keep on optimistic mind!

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