Gisèle’s Facebook page is a sharing space for French T1Ds

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When Gisèle, aka La Belle et le Diabète (Beauty and the Diabetes), first started her blog and Facebook page, there were few like hers online. Today, there are more patient advocates online, but her page remains a space to share and have a laugh for French T1Ds.

In a few sentences, can you present yourself and your activity/ies within the diabetes online community ?

My name is Gisèle, I am 27 years old, I’ve been living with diabetes for 21 years, and I run the blog La Belle & le Diabète. I am a passionate person who often uses humor, and I apply my graphic design skills to illustrating our daily life with T1D and educating French people about it. I also like to motivate others to do any types of sports they like and to learn from their diabetes, so it doesn’t limit them. I still have a lot to learn myself, and I think it’s great that we can all motivate one another. 

What made you start your advocacy/educational work in the first place? And what makes you keeping on everyday?

I started my blog to educate French people about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. That’s my biggest fight. Then I quickly came to understand that there was a real need for a space where we could share, support one another and sometimes put things into perspective. My Facebook page then became that space. That was several years ago… Today, there are many blogs and social network pages like mine. But when I started, I felt that there was a void on the web. Today I continue because it feels good, and those who continue to follow me must have a reason to stay… so why stop 😉 

One thing you wish someone had told you when you were newly diagnosed? Or that you would tell your younger self?

Nothing, but I would have liked my mother to have been better taken care of, because she had little support and suffered a lot. She had to reassure me, give me the tools and weapons I needed to live happily and properly, when no one was really there for her… (yeah she’s a badass)

One thing about Type 1 diabetes you DON’T want to hear anymore?

That it’s caused by sugar. But for that we would have to change the name, because I don’t see how it can change when the media and sometimes the FFD1 cultivate the ambiguity between Type 1 and 2… Without this change of wording, T1Ds only make up 10% of all people with diabetes, so the fight is already lost I think. Especially since people who are not affected by Type 1 diabetes in one way or another are indifferent to this.

If your diabetes was a real person and you could talk to them once in your life, what would you say?

“Dude… I don’t know what they did to you before me, but you could be a little less hostile, we live together after all!”

Your favorite hypo treat(s)? 

The most effective: bottle of syrup. I don’t have the luxury of asking myself what I prefer.

Your favorite low carb food/snack? 

Ah. Ah. Ah. What a funny question… You don’t expect me to tell you that when I crack and get a snack I make steamed leeks? Let’s be serious. There is nothing like that in my life.

Fav high carb food? 

I really like Japanese food and Poke Bowls. But with the sweet rice, I know I won’t be able to regulate my sugar levels before 6 hours… Because I am insulin resistant. If I have it for lunch for example, it takes 3 hours for my insulin to take effect. (I’m on multiple injections). It reduces my chances of having a nice afternoon, even if sushi doesn’t seem to be the most high carb meal on the menu at first glance. 

Diabetes burnout: what do you think about it? Personal experience? Any advice on how to cope with it?

The problem is the mental burden that comes with diabetes. Sometimes, when you feel like you’re fighting for your balance, making extra sacrifices, and nothing gets better, there’s a lot to be mad about. I don’t have a solution. But we always end up getting back on our feet because it’s about our LIFE, our health, we’re not talking about a job that we can quit while we’re mentally recovering. Every hour during which we decide to stop counting carbs will have an impact on our future life… So of course, we recharge our batteries as best as we can (through love, yoga, therapist, etc.) and we get up again. I have a lot of respect for other people with Type 1 diabetes, because we all live through this, and most of them don’t let anything show.

If your diabetes was a song?

If we replace Life by Hyper, you have a nice glimpse of my life ah ah

Country : France

Website : La belle et le Diabète

Social media profiles :

@labelleetlediabete

@laBelleetleDiabete

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