Testimonial: I got married with Type 1 diabetes!

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Hello everyone,

My name is Marie-Noëlle, Mannose to my friends (@mannose_mn) which comes from mannose sugar which is found in apples, as well as other things, and is abbreviated to “MN”, the initials of my first name. I like photography, hiking and literature. I have had T1D since I was 7 years old. In a few weeks, I will be 30. 

On June 12, 2021, I said “yes”. A wonderful yes. I can assure you, I said “yes” to the love of my life, not to my T1D. The wedding started on Friday at the town hall, surrounded by our closest friends, then continued with all our guests on Saturday at the church, and ended on Sunday with a brunch before everyone went back home. It took 8 months to prepare for this memorable weekend. How did my diabetes affect me in all of this? It went with the flow! 

The preparation

We got engaged in Florence in September 2020, and began planning our wedding at the end of October 2020, at a small wedding fair in our city. We had our hearts set on a manor house and we chose the date of: June 12 2021. That’s when the real planning began!

The nutritionist check-up before the big day

In November 2020, I went to see a nutritionist. It was important for me to lose a few kilos for one of the biggest days of my life. For the first few weeks I had to adjust my insulin doses accordingly, both the fast-acting and slower-acting ones. I lost around 5 kilos. I needed to adopt a more balanced diet. I found it really helpful and I still follow it today as I believe it is essential for a T1D to have a balanced intake of carbohydrates, fats, proteins as well as starches, fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products. My blood sugar levels are really good. 

The dress

My mother-in-law used to be a dress designer. So it was only natural that she would make my dress and my future husband’s suit for the big day. We designed my dress together. As someone with a simple everyday style, I wanted my dress to reflect this. I was dreaming of an empire style dress that would enhance my bust and draw attention away from my hips. 

Even though it doesn’t dictate the entire event, you can’t completely forget that you are T1D when choosing your wedding dress. You have to think about where the insulin pump will go or how you will inject the insulin. Personally, I use insulin pens and the style of dress I chose was perfect. I injected the insulin into my thighs. However, I did need to sit on a bed where I could lay all the dress fabric (which was a bit heavy); which is something I don’t usually have to do with smaller dresses!

The meal

My diabetes is reasonably stable and I don’t have to avoid any particular types of food. When I overeat, I take extra units of fast-acting insulin and intermediate-acting insulin two hours after the meal. 

For my husband and I, it was important to offer our guests food that we love. 

If you are a foodie, this will really make your mouth water!  Here is the menu: 

  • Appetizer: Cured ham, sesame-crusted red tuna tataki, basket of crispy vegetables
  • Starter: cream of lentils, crunchy lentils, Mangalitza bacon emulsion
  • Fish: pollack, citrus viennoise, emulsified light butter sauce with tarragon, white asparagus
  • Meat: duck breast, rich blueberry jus, buttered potatoes, lightly sautéed zucchini
  • Trou Auvergnat
  • Selection of cheese
  • Wedding cake (5 cakes): 3 chocolates, peach-apricot, raspberry-vanilla, exotic-fruit, blueberry-chestnut

The big day

Logistics

As I use insulin pens and a capillary meter to measure my blood sugar levels, I need to carry a pouch at all times. Bridal handbags still don’t exist, but luckily I had great wedding witnesses who agreed to trade their makeup bag for the diabetes pouch! When I asked them to be my witnesses, they knew they would have to help me with that, and they were well prepared on the big day, that’s for sure😉!

Managing my blood sugar levels

Alright, I won’t deny it, my blood sugar level on June 12 was not the best in my T1D life. 

Would you like a sneak peek? 

  • 7:15am – 3.39 g/L
  • 1:59pm – 3.00 g/L
  • 7:09pm – 3.13 g/L

And you know what? Who cares!? On that day, my T1D was the least of my worries by far! Between the excitement, the lack of sleep, the apprehension, and the emotional roller coaster, it was quite frankly impossible to do anything about it.  My type 1 diabetes is stable (my last glycated hemoglobin test (HbA1c) was 6.4) and I do not use functional insulin therapy. If I didn’t indulge on my wedding day, when would I? 

Being at 3 grams all day did absolutely nothing to stop me from enjoying my wedding. I think the euphoria helped me forget about the “woozy” hyperglycemic feeling. 

As far as alcohol goes, I drank very fine wines during the meal, and in the evening I had 1 measure of spirits. I wanted to stay sober to make the most of the day. 

The honeymoon

Just to clarify, I’m talking about my honeymoon, not that of my diabetes. 😂

We have chosen Guadeloupe as our destination in February 2022, if all goes according to plan. 

As usual, my diabetes will have to adjust. This will be my first long haul journey. I will have to deal with the jet lag and heat. I think it will take a few days to adapt but after that everything will be fine. I’ll slip my little sugar box into my camera bag when I go hiking and into my beach bag so that i can enjoy the “lazy” days safely. 

Did you say “diabetes honeymoon”? 

Yes, it really does exist! A “honeymoon” period occurs when insulin requirements decrease and blood glucose levels are significantly easier to control shortly after a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. This period is often temporary.  

I am a young, happy bride and having a princess wedding with T1D is definitely possible! Just don’t forget to include it in your guest list. 

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