Auto-immune disease diagnostic story
I’ve always had a deep love for food. The creativity that goes into making a delicious entree is fascinating to me because I’ve always enjoyed being artistic. I decided to become a Chef during my high School years, at the age of seventeen. I remember a conversation I had with my best friend at the time, about my excitement to start culinary school right away.
One of the hardest things I ever had to do was change my career path (years later) but I had strong reasons. I missed working in a kitchen every single day. Later, when Nelson and I decided to create a YouTube channel, I was thrilled. I love sharing all my recipes with our viewers. The love and support we have received from you has been amazing. I could not be more excited and hopeful for what’s to come. This is why, I want to share with you my recent diagnosis. Back in November 2021, I shared I was having health issues and later on announced I had a life long condition. Here is my story….
Life condition: How I found out
It all started around August 2021, I was experiencing tiredness, body aches, frequent migraines, and had NO energy. I was determined to keep pushing through life despite all the symptoms. Therefore, decided to seek medical help in the near future since I was recovering from a procedure.
Two months later I woke up with a number of sysmtoms that triggered me to seek medical help:
I decided to call the nurse line on a Tuesday night because I was feeling palpitations and could not walk from my room to the kitchen. The medical facility asked me to do a COVID test which came back negative. The following day, I got several blood test done, and received the results soon after.
My biggest fear had come true, I had diabetes. Diabetes does run in my family and I had previously had many conversations with doctors about the possibility of me developing it due to genetics. This was my driving force in maintaining healthy eating habits, eating in moderation and having an exercise active life.
The nurse delivered the news at around 8 pm Thursday night, my heart sank as I sat on the edge of my bed. At that moment I was sent to the hospital because the nurse was concerned about my current situation, the test results were not looking good at all.
I arrived to the emergency room with a glucose level of 398, off the roof! By now I had entered into a state called ketoacidosis, which is very dangerous. I don’t know all the terminology but as written by the CDC it “is a serious complication of diabetes that can be life threatening.” You can read more on the CDC.gov page.
I was treated by the hospital staff with so much dedication and stayed overnight plus half of the next day. They basically needed to bring my glucose down slowly because doing it fast could also be life threatening. I was feeling lost, sad and confused. As far as I knew, food was a concern now. While laying in bed, hooked to so many devises I quickly began to understand all the amazing people who have to live with this unforgiving condition.
Released from the hospital
After being released, lowering my glucose levels was turning into a nightmare despite my efforts. Nelson, my husband, has really held my hand through all of this, he is my gift from heaven. Also, my mother stayed with me for days until I started to show improvement. My father and sister helped which ever way they could, don’t know what nelson and I would have done without them. After many visits to the doctor, countless blood exams, I was diagnoses with Type 1 diabetes.
This was another shock but, it was the diagnosis I needed to start treating diabetes with the right medication. Soon after, I was placed on insulin which I inject daily now. It takes time to notice improvement but I was determined to show my body love and appreciation by caring for it. After all, living a life that reflects the best version of yourself is what life is about.
Learning about Type 1 Diabetes
When diagnosed I immediately started looking into educating myself about this auto-immune disease because I didn’t know much about it. Only a small percentage of people with diabetes have type 1 and I knew no one with the same condition. People started looking at me as if they had given me a death sentence. I never took this to heart, instead I turned to doctors for information and guidance.
“Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, called beta cells. This process can go on for months or years before any symptoms appear.” According to the CDC.gov
Type one diabetes is harder to control because it’s not cause by an unhealthy life style. The doctor explained to me that Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease, where the body attacks the pancreas. It’s a hard pill to swallow, specially if this could have happened because of genetics but there is no real explanation.
Change is part of life
So many things have changed in my life. Diet, medication and learning more about this condition takes a lot of my time, but I’m determined to be the best version of myself. I want to share my journey with you, this way the person you see on camera is a reflection of honesty and perseverance. I’m a normal person with struggles, ups, downs, but determined to excel despite my situation. I have the ONLY thing I need in life; my faith in a heavenly Father who loves me, God.
How is my situation recently?
Its been about 6 months (today’s date: April 2022) since my auto immune diagnostics and it does feel like a roller coaster at times but Im very happy with the progress made and so is my doctor. I discussed my situation as a blogger with my doctor, his response was encouraging. He basically encouraged me to take care of myself, that way, I could keep doing what I love to do. “Tasting should not affect you and your husband could join the tasting part of the video, if needed” said my doctor. So I decided to test the waters and see how my body would react. I do want to mention, I’m not a doctor, every body is different and consulting a professional doctor’s advice is a must when it comes to your own health.
Education and studying my results
Education is a huge part of understating diabetes. Therefore, I signed up for 4 classes that were 3 hours long. By the way, my dietician was amazing and made those 3 hours fly by. Learning is great but during this time I was also studying how my body reacted to certain foods. Part of my life style now is to check my glucose level at least 4 times a day and record those number on paper. I just have to say, doing this has really helped me understand my situation. Having said that, there are days where I just don’t know what happened. My body takes some hard turns even though I’m consistent with my routine and diet. But, the results are not pleasant at times and there is no way of controlling that. I just have to be patient and keep doing what Im doing, eventually things get better.
Through these hard times, I believe my creativity has blossomed; because, when creating a diet that works, it’s important the food remains tasty! Eating bland food can be so discouraging but it doesn’t have to be that way.
What’s to come for Villa Cocina
I have kept Villa Cocina in my prayers this whole time. Our community has grown and I’m so proud of what we have achieved. I’m a person who likes to live in all honesty, no cover ups, no lies. I was created the perfect version of who I’m suppose to be. Most importantly, when your heart is in the right place, there is no room for shame. I am as excited to share them with you and I really hope you stick around for all the great things the future holds for Villa Cocina.
A few things you may notice
I’m very excited to keep creating Mexican recipes that are packed in flavor. From now on you may see more of Nelson, which I think our audience enjoys. I will swap ingredients occasionally for ones that better suit my diet but still keep it authentic (Yes, I believe its very possible.) Another thing you may notice in my videos is, my glucose monitor. The plastic circle attached to the back of my arm is a sensor that measures my surface glucose. It allows me to check without pinching myself. All I do is scan it and it gives me an estimate reading.
My main trust is in God. I hold close communication with my doctor/dietician to ensure great Health standings. Health is definitely my priority. The doctor was amazed at my most recent labs because my glucose readings are at a normal range, not even at a diabetic range. I can honestly tell you, I cried when I saw my A1C was at 5.3% with minimal insulin. There are 4 things I do that have helped tremendously;
- Good diet
- Great water intake
Every body is different but I see food as a form of medication, It nourishes me. I recently started to exercise again and it has helped immensely. In my personal experience all three are important, food alone is not enough.
Our time is so valuable, so we cannot just give it away. My family has shown such immense form of love for me by being there when I needed them most. I love you all!!!! thank you for all you have done to help me get back up again to the energetic person I have always been.
Lastly, thank you all for leaving your kind comments on all social media platforms. Know that the amount of written comments we received with support have been encouraging. I truly hope my story inspires someone to rise above any situation. I also hope you enjoy all the recipes to come! Write your own story and inspire the world.
I’m deeply inspired by all the chefs out there dealing with diabetes as they pursue their culinary careers. I also can’t help but love the way my mom (has type 2 diabetes) cooks for our entire family and enjoys watching everyone love her food. Lastly, to that woman who I haven’t met but whose story encouraged me, thank you. While at the hospital, a nurse told me a story of a woman with type 1 diabetes who had reached normal glucose readings. Even though the nurse was surprised by this person, I was instantly inspired by her story. I learned that you don’t have to be known/famous to make a difference; your story can travel and encourage someone else. If you ask me, I think that’s a powerful way to reach other people.
I’m NOT a doctor by any means. I would simply like to share my story and process with you all. If you have questions concerning your health, diet and life style that best suits you, seek help from a medical professional.