A1C Champion: A Pharmacist Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
One thing I continually hear from the diabetes community is that life with diabetes varies by individual, which is why our A1C Champions are very diverse. Among them we have caregivers and people living with different types of diabetes who vary in age, ethnicity, live in various parts of the country and have a variety of occupations and interests. One A1C Champion who caught my attention primarily because of his occupation is Scott Simmons, a pharmacist who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 30.
Seventeen years ago, while going about his weekend routine of mowing the lawn, Scott noticed he was much thirstier than usual and couldn’t see clearly. When he returned to work the following Monday he did some research and suspected he might have diabetes.
“My symptoms fit, but I couldn’t figure out the type of diabetes,” Scott said. “I thought I was too old for type 1 diabetes and I was physically fit so from what I was reading I didn’t think it could be type 2 diabetes.”
Scott then went to the doctor where his suspicion was confirmed and Scott was diagnosed with type 1. “My blood sugar was way over 400. At first, I was relieved to know exactly what was going on. All these things were breaking down so it was nice that it started to make sense, and that it was treatable,” Scott said.
Fortunately, he didn’t have to go through his diabetes diagnosis alone. His wife, Christina, is a nurse and was very helpful during the process. She helped with the medical information and was also there for emotional support.
One initial challenge for Scott was the rigidness of treatments and the impact on his lifestyle. “All I could think about was all the things I couldn’t do,” Scott said. “I thought if I exercised too much, I was going to crash. But I realized over time this wasn’t going to be much of a hindrance if I was prepared.”
Today, Scott jogs, bikes and takes walks around the neighborhood with his wife without as much worry. He now uses an insulin pump that he says gives him more freedom while still managing his blood sugar.
When Scott talks to people about living with diabetes through the A1C Champions program, he has plenty of practical and inspirational advice. “I tell everyone that diabetes is manageable. It’s not super easy, but it is something we can all do.”
The main point he likes to make in his A1C Champion presentation is, “There are no limitations to what we can do. For people living with diabetes, the world is still open to us. We can run marathons, climb mountains, snow ski, whatever we want as long as we plan ahead.”
What a great message. Thanks to Scott for taking the time to share his story here and for traveling around the country to spread his message with people living with diabetes through the A1C Champions program.
All the best,
Disclosure: Scott Simmons is a trained volunteer through the Sanofi US A1C Champions Diabetes Education Programs. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewee, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.
Note: A1C Champions is a registered trademark of Sanofi US.