I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes during one of the most chaotic periods of my life: full-time nursing student, mom to a 4-year-old, living in a tiny apartment with a big dog while waiting for our new house to be finished. (Whew! I’m exhausted just reading that!) If I made it through the chaos, you can, too!
I help women with diabetes learn to live their healthiest life while juggling family, career, and all the exciting (and sometimes mundane) things life throws at them!
First, there’s the obvious: I’ve been living with this disease for more than 15 years. I continue to learn what it is to live a full life with a chronic disease. I’ve learned that I have control over how I treat my body but I don’t necessarily have control over how my body responds to the treatment.
Just like everyone else, I’ve had to learn about counting carbs and wading through the never-ending information about what’s “the best diabetes diet.” I’ve tried just about every class of diabetes medication available. I’ve been sick enough to land in the hospital and well enough that my lab values showed my diabetes to be in remission. I’ve had to learn most of what I know through personal research and trial and error.
In addition to my personal experience, my professional experience as a nurse and nurse practitioner has been about helping women and families live full, healthy lives.
I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. I spent a few years working as an OB/Gyn Clinic Nurse, where I nurtured women through their pregnancies and the postpartum period. As a school nurse, I came alongside families supporting children with chronic disease and helped ensure that the students in my schools received the medical care they need to stay healthy.
I wanted to know more and make a bigger impact so I went back to school and obtained a Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University. In support of my passion to treat diabetes and related metabolic illness, following graduation I specialized in Obesity Medicine. (Contrary to popular knowledge, Obesity Medicine isn’t about weight loss; it’s about the complex physiological processes happening in the body that often—but not always—contribute to weight gain. These processes are frequently related to diabetes and pre-diabetes.) Since becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I have competed more than 250 hours of continuing education, mostly focused on diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic illness. In 2019, I was named a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association.
I like noticing things. We are surrounded by beauty and intrigue. When I can, I take a photo to remember what I see. I usually print the picture and stick it in my planner.
I hate exercise. Yep. I just said that. Spending time in the gym is my idea of a nightmare. That doesn’t mean I’m not active. I have 2 Miniature Australian Shepherds that love to play and go for long walks. And I go kayaking at every opportunity I can get. I think activity shouldn’t feel like a chore, which is why I NEVER recommend exercise but I definitely recommend regular ACTIVITY, doing something that you love. If you happen to love going to the gym, more power to you. You’ll just never see me on the next bike over!
I’ve had a bit of a crush on Donny Osmond for more than 40 years; It was a dream come true to meet him at the stage door after seeing him perform as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway in 2006.
I keep a list of goals/dreams. Some outrageous, some exceedingly practical. Writing them down and reviewing them helps me keep them in mind. I’m working toward things that would remain elusive dreams if they weren’t written down.
A few things I’ve already checked off:
A few remaining items:
I LOVE shoes. Specifically, John Fluevog shoes. I belong to Facebook groups that celebrate the quirkiness and I’ve been known to meet up with my shoe friends for shopping and happy hour. When I’m in a new town with a Fluevog store, I make a point to visit. I’ve been to 8 of the 26 stores in the US and Canada. (Visiting all the stores is on my goal/dream list.)