Staying One Step Ahead of Diabetes Management

Amy Manning doesn’t let diabetes stop her from reaching her goals: How she juggles a busy family life, challenging career and diabetes.

By
Amy Capetta

Amy Manning, 44, is a devoted wife, the mother of three and a partner in the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Department of Chicago’s McGuireWoods law firm. And that’s just the Cliffs Notes version of her résumé! How does she juggle a busy family life, a challenging career and diabetes? She credits these strategies with keeping her one step ahead!

Consider your daily schedule
Amy says being open with her doctors and sharing the demands of her schedule has been key to her success. “When I was first diagnosed, I told my doctors, ‘I promise you, I will control my condition, but I need flexibility. Because of my work, I can’t always eat on a set schedule.’ ”

The plan she and her doctors came up with? “I keep nutrition bars in my purse at all times and I count carbs—but the main thing that’s helped me is my insulin pump, which allows for incredible flexibility.”

Find a friend who “gets it”

Amy was first diagnosed with diabetes when she was trying to get pregnant and visited her ob/gyn for a checkup. The news hit Amy hard, but it didn’t derail her from her goals and she soon got the green light to start a family: “When I got pregnant, I met Stacey, a fellow diabetes patient who became a great friend.” It’s a connection that Amy says is invaluable.

“To have someone in your life that gets it is critically important. My husband and family are great—but they don’t know what it’s really like. Stacey also has a demanding job, so when I’m having a bad day, I can call her and say, ‘I’ve just checked my levels eight times in three hours; I’m so tired,’ and she understands exactly what I’m talking about. It’s really comforting.”

Experiment!

The first thing Amy did when she was told of her condition? “I went to a little bookstore and got two books on diabetes,” she recalls. She also started testing out different foods to learn how they affected her blood sugar—with her doctor’s approval, of course.

“I kept a log, like a food journal, and learned so much about what I could and couldn’t eat,” she says. “For example, I found out I just couldn’t eat bagels—they wreaked havoc on my blood sugar.”

But there is a happy ending: “I also learned that I could eat chocolate in moderation,” she smiles. “Knowing how different foods affect you gives you control so that eventually you don’t have to think as much about what you’re eating, it becomes automatic to do what’s right.” That’s the sort of technique that can help anyone with diabetes stay in the game!

Published
April 2013