Scriven Bernard joins the Diabetics Doing Things podcast from Dallas, Texas. He has been a Type-1 Diabetic for 18 years, and works with companies on non-profit initiatives.
Q: You’re well traveled, any wild Diabetes related travel issues?
A: I was actually traveling to Oregon once and once I landed I realized that I had left my entire Diabetes in my bathroom at home. So my friend had to call around to her friends to find me insulin while I was there! It was crazy but a friend of a friend was able to help me out.
Q: What was it like being diagnosed with Diabetes at age 9?
A: I honestly can’t remember life before being diagnosed, but I remember the diagnosis clearer than anything else in my life.
Q: Were you scared?
A: Well it was a bit complex, but I had a friend named Craig who had Cerebral Palsy as well as Type-1 Diabetes, however I only knew it as Diabetes. I got very sick, and began wetting the bed and my Mom took me to the doctor. So when they told me I had Diabetes, the nurse was somewhat flippant about it, and I was devastated because I didn’t understand the difference between Craig’s Cerebral Palsy and Type-1 Diabetes.
Q: Anything you haven’t done since you’ve been diagnosed?
A: It’s funny, I was diagnosed right around Halloween, and I’ve never been trick or treating since. I don’t know if I was conscious of why I didn’t go out at first, but now I know it’s so I don’t binge on candy.
Q: We all know the questions that Diabetics get annoyed at, but what’s the right question to ask a Diabetic?
A: When you approach the situation admitting that you don’t know about Diabetes, or in a manner where I can tell you’re just trying to learn, I’m totally fine. It’s just when you approach me with the stigmas where you’re implying, even if you don’t mean to, that you don’t trust me with my health, that’s where I get touchy.
Q: Any opportunities that you’ve had because you’re a Diabetic?
A: I actually used to babysit for a younger Diabetic brother and sister, because I would be more sensitive to the Diabetic issues. We were walking to the park to feed the ducks, and their mom had forgotten to tell me that she’d given her son, who was three, some insulin. So I looked back at him while we were walking and he had all the signs, but because he was so young wasn’t quite as in tune with himself as someone who is older. But I knew for sure he was low so we ran back and got his kit and tested and were able to get him some juice.
Q: What’s one thing you would tell nine-year-old you, as you get ready to embark on this Diabetic journey?
A: You can be your own person and be in control of all of it without proving other people wrong or doing damage to yourself. Because when I was going through my teen years I did a lot of damage to my body that I didn’t really understand the gravity of. I would also tell myself that there are far worse things that could happen.