Knowing another T1D is always an amazing feeling; we no longer feel alone or isolated. So naturally I was super excited when I met Barbara on Instagram, another T1D. Next came shock though, Barbara and I are complete inverses of each other.
Here’s what I mean: I have T1D, am originally from Minnesota, USA, but now live in Germany with my German husband. Barbara also has T1D, is originally from Germany, and now lives in Minnesota, USA, with her Minnesotan husband. How cool is that? We are SO similar, it is actually quite freaky. Because of this, we decided to do a blog-swap. Barbara and I came up with the following T1D related questions for a mini-interview. Feel free to ask us more! But for now, here are her answers.
(You can read about my answers to these questions on Barbara’s blog)
- Which chocolate do you like better, Reese’s or Kinder?
Kinderschokolade through and through!! At German Christmas markets they have crepes with Kinderschokolade and every time I’m visiting a market, I just have to eat one! It’s so delicious!!
- Was it in any way difficult to manage your diabetes while moving to the other side of the world?
Yes and no. Before moving here I had a very rough couple of months in which I finished my ‘Referendariat’ and planned an ‘across-the-ocean’ wedding, so my blood sugar was literally all over the place. After having lived here for a couple of weeks, my blood sugar stabilized and things went back to normal. My husband (the cook of this household) makes sure we eat lots and lots of vegetables with whole-grain pasta, quinoa, couscous, etc. Many Europeans think that eating healthy in the US is impossible, but if you stear away from products containing preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, etc., and choose healthier options instead, it is very well possible. We also take our puppy Perdita on daily walks along the river or go running around the lakes of Minneapolis, so my lifestyle here is a lot more active than it was in Germany. Even though I now live in the middle of a major city, there is just so much nature everywhere and I love it!
- How is the healthcare system, and your experiences with it, different from what you’re used to in your home country?
Puh… that’s a tough question that can be summed up with ☺ = Germany and ☹ = US. I never really paid anything for diabetes-related prescriptions in Germany (insulin, pump supplies, test strips, etc.), so getting adjusted to the reality here has been a challenge. My American health insurance covers a good portion of prescription costs, but there is still a certain (not small) percentage left that I need to pay out-of-pocket and it (forgive my wording) sucks! My husband and I are talking a lot about where we see ourselves living in ten, twenty years and the health care system here raises the question whether the US can be our forever-home or not.
- In what ways does your partner support you the most with your T1D?
My husband cooks healthy and delicious meals, he brings me juice in the middle of the night if I’m low, he runs to a candy machine if I forget to bring glucose tablets, he goes to the endocrinologist with me, he figures out the nightmare that is health insurance. He supports me in every way possible and I can never say thank you enough.
- Before moving to the US, what advice do you wish you would have had?
“Getting adjusted to life in a new country will take more time than you now think. Take one day at a time and don’t let little setbacks discourage you.”
- What is your go-to restaurant in your new city? And what does your blood sugar have to say about that?
We like to go to the Chinese restaurant across the street; we always order the same: vegetable eggrolls and ‘vegetables fun in black bean sauce’. It’s so yummy and the best part is that my diabetes behaves better than one would think with Chinese food involved. I usually spread the insulin out over the course of a few hours and it really helps keeping those numbers within a normal range.
- How did you spend Valentine’s Day?
My husband cooked a special dinner, we took our puppy for a long evening walk, had champagne and watched Netflix. It was the perfect first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.
Do you have any questions for Barbara or me?
Don’t forget to check out Barbara’s blog for my answers!