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Kelley Champ Crumpler is a welcome addition to the DOC. With her laugh out loud perspective on life with diabetes and her CDE smarts, she is a Smart Woman with Diabetes!

How old were you when you were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed about 2 weeks after her 9th birthday…it was during Spring Break. I had been a sick little girl for several months before my mother finally pushed for a urine glucose test that ended up saving my life {Hi, Mom!}. This month I will celebrate my 20th year as a person with diabetes. I treated myself this past weekend to a medical alert tattoo: I had “diabetes” tattooed on my right wrist in a cute font {design provided to me by @LisaFromScratch, also a PWD}. I have felt naked these past two days without my medical alert bracelet!!! But it sort of feels like a badge of honor! {Cheese factor: HIGH}

You write a blog called, Sugar’s the Bitch, Not me. Tell me why you 
decided to write about life with diabetes, what you want to accomplish 
and where you came up with the great name!

In 2010, after giving birth to my 2nd son, I attended the national meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators {AADE}, and I found myself being bored to death by many of the talks. I wanted to hear more real life stories, more provocativity…something that has been lacking in the diabetes medical community. I started voicing my concerns to some colleagues at the meeting, and suddenly they all started to get excited. I tend to be very boisterous and outspoken, and love to incorporate humor into my diabetes teaching, so my friends said I should totally start sharing my diabetic life with the world. People tend to have qualms about listening to loud moths, such as myself…and I had heard this saying “Sugar’s the bitch…” before, so I decided to just put it all out there! My blog desginer said to me “If ANYONE can pull off a blog title like this, its you!’…so I trusted her, and here we are! I am currently writing a book based on the blog, and hope to travel and tell my story to even more persons with diabetes. I like to talk, why not do it for a living??

Humor is obviously important to you, can you tell me how you think 
humor can help women deal with diabetes?

I say what everyone else is thinking. And that is: Diabetes sucks!
Those of us that share this disease know that, so why can’t we laugh
about it? I tell my patients you need 3 things to treat type 1: 
Education, humor and a little insulin. Sometimes if you don’t laugh,
you will cry! And simply knowing you are not alone is so comforting. I
get emails from women, either type 1s themself or spouses of T1’s that
thank me for the things that I write. I hide nothing {to my husband’s
dismay!}. I have a unique perspective as a type 1…married to a type
1..who is my endocrinologist…AND I am his nurse educator. I can bitch
about how ignorant the general public is about diabetics…or I can
bitch about my husband going low…and everyone relates. Keeping it
real is key.

You are also a working mom…can you tell me how you balance work, 
motherhood and diabetes?

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. We struggled with infertility,
and my beautiful boys are a result of In-Vitro..talk about STRESS! A
diabetic pregnancy is rarely easy, and the constant monitoring by
doctors and yourself is endless. Many of us experience a diabetes
rebellion after we give birth because being so regimented for so long
really wears on a person. Then I realized I wanted to be around for my
kids, and my kid’s kids, and to do so, I had to get my act together.
Wearing an insulin pump + CGM allows me to do less work at being a
“good” diabetic. I recommend pumps to many of my patients because it 
truly is the gold standard for treatment in someone with insulin 
requiring diabetes. I engage the boys in our diabetes, checking their
sugars every so often, and even my 4 year old can help me refill my
pump with insulin. He knows Mom & Dad are different, he just hasn’t
quite figured out the extent of it all.
Owning our own medical practice allows for me to leave if someone gets
sick, or if I want to attend an activity for one of my guys. We keep
toys in the office, and our kids feel completely at home up here.
Whenever I slack off on something, I think about Jack & Ben, and I know
I have to walk the straight and narrow. I am so lucky to have the life
I do, and our nanny is really my right hand man when it comes to being
a good mother. She and I go back and forth with scheduling, and she
also helps me out when I need just “me” time. I know most women don’t
get this, but working with your spouse can be…ummm…how shall I put
this…interesting. So making sure I am zen, is the key to being a
great mommy, wife, diabetic and educator.

What is the biggest challenge to living with diabetes as a woman? 
What if anything, has been positive about living with diabetes?
Being a wife and mother is tough for a NON diabetic. Add a chronic
disease state {or in my case: T1 diabetes, Celiac, Hypothyroidism and
RA} and it can be a recipe for disaster. Having someone who gets it, is 
key. I have met some amazing people in my career that have diabetes, so
I always have the ability to unload if something is weighing on my
mind. Being an active member of the DOC {Diabetes Online Community} has
also been a wonderful piece of my pie. So many talented people are out
there with diabetes, and you suddenly realize even though this disease 
is so rare, you are only a keystroke away from a massive support group. 
Being able to remember that I am not perfect, that my family loves me
and that I have tackled this disease for so long with ZERO
complications is also HUGE. Such a believer in daily affirmations!
Living with diabetes has given me everything I cherish in my life: my
nursing career, meeting my super great, hard working husband, my
children {Jack, age 4, Ben age 1.5} and some of THE best friends a gal
can ask for. I am THANKFUL for my disease. And I am thankful that my 
mouth is big enough to share my story with new people every week.

What has been the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received 
about living with diabetes?

One of my great diabetes mentors is my pediatric endocrinologist.
Although he and I fought when I was a teenager, he is my touchstone in
the diabetes world. From pediatric endocrinology to the politics of
social media, I often run things by him first, because he is not afraid
to tell me the truth…or tell me I MIGHT be in the wrong {haha yeah
right}. Something he says often is: “The only person with diabetes that 
has flat line sugars resides in the morgue,” and that is something I
find myself reminding both my patients, and me, as a PWD. Diabetes is a
roller coaster, and what we choose to do with the data given to us by
meters, CGMs and labs {adjusting insulin, changing our diet…or
nothing at all} is key. No one is perfect…sometimes we are 40,
sometimes 400…understanding why and preventing it in the future is
the key to hanging on to this roller coaster.

Short Bio: 29 years old, 2 sons {Jack & Ben}, originally from Austin,
TX, now residing in College Station, TX, home of our medical practice:
Brazos Valley Endocrinology. I specialize in insulin pumps, diabetes in
pregnancy and pediatric diabetes cases. I have a German Shepherd named
Murphey and 5 cats {Maggie, Molley, Tilley, Addie & Hank} and we live
in the country with our brood. My husband and I met at my job
interview, and he interviewed me for 4 hours {hubba hubba}. We will
celebrate 6 years of marriage {and not killing each other} this summer.
I blog at SugarsTheBNotMe.Blogspot.com and Twitter as Mrs. Dr. Crumpler
@NurseCrumpler. I love cooking, reading, my iPhone, organic living and
spreading the good word.