I’d like to introduce Angelica, an entrepreneur, designer and blogger at Lyfebulb, who has type 1 diabetes.
I’ve been drawing since I was 5 years old, intrigued with studying the human form. Art from paintings and architecture has also always captivated me, along with science and film. I’ve always had a curious mind for obtaining loads of knowledge on new topics, so I research like crazy when I design or work on a new project.
I was diagnosed with Diabetes on November 6th, 1998, a couple days after dealing with painful symptoms and a final night of trauma. The few days before being diagnosed, I lost weight to the bone, threw up everything I ate, needed to pee constantly, and had horrible throat and stomach pains. After two trips to the doctor, I had a glucose of 1000mg/dL (55.6mmol/l). The next twelve months were the hardest my family and I would ever endure, especially because of a hypoglycaemic attack I got one night after not eating.
“I’ve honestly never felt like diabetes affected me, but it did affect my family.”
My mother was really traumatized after the attack and became almost obsessed with watching over me to make sure I was always ok. Sadly, everything flew past her except for me, which in turn affected my sisters. My middle sister grew up fast having to take care of our youngest sister, and my youngest sister felt alone for a couple years of not having our parents’ attention. As time passed, though, we overcame this stress and separation.
Pump or needles?
I have a Medtronic pump and LOVE the freedom, but like all diabetics, I want to be needle-free! Or at least pain free haha! The pump needle still scares me every time. Thank goodness it’s not every day.
Diabetes, Beyond and the positive impacts on my life
Diabetes has kept me mindful of my health, and taught me strength and independence. All the Diabetics I’ve met through Instagram have also inspired me to feel proud and not to give up!
My current entrepreneurial projects are: Veltimera- an ecofashionable nonprofit for animal rights, in which I’m currently designing a Fall 2016 collection to fund animal rescues.
That is a hard lesson that not many people understand, because all they see is the success of a company or person and not its dedicated work. Another quote that I absolutely love is
I know I definitely have already failed tons of times, but I’ve learned what not to do and have researched new ways of doing things the right way.
One tip I recommend when starting your own business is having an intense passion for what you’re working towards keeps you focused and strong. Without passion, people give up after the first failure or don’t have the drive to educate themselves in what needs to be done.
My drive and passion are animals. Ever since I became vegan, I have not stopped thinking about them. They are the reason I became an entrepreneur in 2012 and haven’t given up.
Veganism in my life
Veganism has actually made it easier for me to manage my diabetes, because most of my foods are plant based. For example- Breakfast is tofu stir-fry,
Brunch is a peanut butter banana smoothie, Lunch is a Veggie burger with fries, and Dinner is bean and vegan cheese tacos with chocolate almond milk.
I always switch my meals around, because I LOVE flavours, but I’ve managed to keep my meals constant in carb count and reduced my basals (which are hourly insulin pump administrations). I do recommend, though, if you consider trying veganism, write everything down for the first 2-4 weeks to understand your body. Everyone reacts differently to new lifestyles.
P.S. To answer any questions, I’m 100% healthy with all my vitamins and minerals, and vegetables and nuts fulfil my bodies need for protein. No, I never feel deprived; in fact, I’ve become more open to new foods, because taste has improved like a thousand times. I also transitioned to veganism over the course of 3 years, and I don’t buy organic like people might assume.
Advice to the younger, newly diagnosed, me!
You will make it through and be a great artist with lots of good friends and successful creative projects. It might be hard right now, and I know you don’t want to take your shots because you hate the needles, but think of your family. You are a warrior, and they need you.
If you want to follow Angelica’s work or have any questions for her, then you can find her on instagram @ Inspired Vegan and Diabetic with Style. You can also connect with Angelica via Facebook and Twitter.