EP 17 - A New Diagnosis & Opening On On TikTok w/ Liv Violette

EP 17 - A New Diagnosis & Opening On On TikTok w/ Liv Violette

January 24, 2022

After my diagnosis with T1D, it took me a while to be open about it. Not only to friends, family and old high school peers - but to social media. Even 2-3 years after my diagnosis, you couldn't pay me a million dollars to post about being type one diabetic. That's what makes Liv different. Being diagnosed a little over six months ago, she quickly brought her journey to Tiktok. Not expecting it to be found, she accidentally gained 45,000 followers on her account.

Inside this episode, we talk all about the realities of being diagnosed at 27 years old, how her diagnosis away from home shifted her relationships, and most of all how she takes comfort in sharing her journey with others on TikTok. 

 

Here's what's inside todays episode:

  • Liv's diagnosis at 27 years old
  • Being diagnosed during the pandemic
  • The highs and lows of a T1D diagnosis
  • Her social media experience and how her TikTok grew almost overnight
  • The good, the bad and the ugly of sharing online
  • Her plans for her account

 


Thank you to Skin Grip for sponsoring this episode! Check out my absolute favorite patches and save 10% at check out by using the code "LISSIE"!

 

Hit the play button and let's get started!

 

RESOURCES:

- Apply for the Skin Grip Diabetes Scholarship

- Hangout with Liv on TikTok!

 

SHOW NOTES:

  • (0:00): INTRO
  • (0:25): Skin Grip Scholarship - Apply or contribute at https://bold.org/scholarships/skin-grip-diabetes-scholarship/
  • (2:57): On today’s episode…
  • (3:39): Do you mind introducing yourself Liv?
  • (5:50): So you said that you were you're recently diagnosed. So you just had your six month diaversary, as we call it. How was that experience being diagnosed a little bit later in life?
  • (7:58): What made you initially get that like, say, Okay, I need tests run? And I need to see what's going on?
  • (8:36): You didn't feel any of the symptoms? Or did you just kind of pass them off?
  • (9:16): How's the transition been?
  • (10:35): It's almost like, you come home as a different, there's a different part of you. And not everybody is adjusted to understanding that part of you, or knowing how you live with it, and how you cope with it.
  • (12:58): What has been the biggest learning curve for you so far with the diagnosis? 
  • (14:28): how was that first initial like injection or pod change or Dexcom change. 
  • (16:39): What made you say like no to MDI and go on to like a pump and CGM?
  • (17:42): Do you like count the the ticks on the Omnipod?
  • (18:09): This may be another challenging question because you’re so earl in your diagnosis, but what has been the best part of the diagnosis and what has been the worst part? 
  • (21:01): But we can make the best of it out of it in certain ways too. Which, let's kind of get into that. So like your TikTok journey…
  • (24:25): What made you say like, I'm going to use this to show up and help others rather than maybe like hide it or not make it seen?
  • (26:12): You were diagnosed in the cover era. How was that with getting support?
  • (28:05): I know that you're met with a lot of support, but have you ever gotten those people who maybe don't understand diabetes too well, or like made assumptions or you know, like those, the troll accounts?
  • (30:44): What has been like the best response or like, comment or, like, support that you've gotten?
  • (32:16): Do you have a bigger vision for this account?
  • (35:12): What would you tell somebody else who was just diagnosed? And what would you tell somebody who isn't sure how to support their loved one who was just diagnosed?
  • (39:13): Have you given yourself the space to grieve? Like, do you feel like it was hard to give yourself that space?
  • (42:16): Where can people find you on TikTok, Instagram?
    TikTok - liv_violette
    IG - @olivia_violette (https://www.instagram.com/olivia_violette/)
  • (44:03): Thank you so much for coming on

 

TRANSCRIPTION:

Elisabeth Poyner  0:00  

Welcome to Keeping it 100 Radio. I'm your host Lissie Poyner. Type one diabetic, certified health coach, personal trainer and founder of Needles and Spoons Health and Wellness. Inside this podcast, you'll find the real and raw conversations around diabetes management, including the lessons that we don't learn in our endo's office, my best tips and trainings and conversations from the experts that I trust inside the community so that you can create more predictability in your diabetes management, and feel empowered while doing so. Let's dive in. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  0:25  

Alright, guys, before we get into this episode, I have to let you know about an incredible opportunity for the diabetes community. So if you've been here a while then you know that our sponsor behind the podcast is Skin Grip. And that's simply because I love their product. I love their mission and everything that they do for the community. Now, if you've also been listening for a while, then you also know that I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 19. So I was a freshman in college. And that whole time was very, very difficult. There was a lot of costs associated with diabetes, there was a lot of mental stress, emotional stress of that diagnosis. And this is something that Skin Grip recognizes in our community. So what they're doing is awarding 20 students living with diabetes $1,000 scholarships to go towards their education. So I know that you might have some questions. So what makes me eligible? To be eligible for a scholarship, you must either be a high school senior or any undergraduate in a two or four year degree program who has diabetes. Now, I know you might also be wondering, do I have to have type one diabetes? And no, you can be any person living with diabetes who simply can answer the question, how do you live fearlessly with diabetes? All you have to do is go to the link in the show notes, fill out the application and answer that one question in a one or two minute video. The applications are due on March 1st, and the winners will be announced at the end of March. Now I know you also might be wondering, okay, I'm not a college student anymore. I'm an alumni, or I've just been living with diabetes for so many years, how can I also give back? And I have an opportunity for you too. So not only is Skin Grip, donating $20,000 towards this scholarship, but they are allowing contributions on top of that amount. So that means those $1,000 scholarships can easily turn into $2,000, $3,000. All with donations, this money is going directly to the students. So if you're somebody who wants to give back to the diabetes community, but you're not sure which organization to give to or which organization to trust with your hard earned money. This is a perfect opportunity, because again, this is going directly to the students. If you are interested in being a contributor. Again, all you have to do is go to the link in my show notes and hit the contribute button. I'm so excited for this opportunity. This is something that no other brands are doing and it's just an incredible way to give back to a community that I know that they love so much. So go ahead hit the Apply button, hit the contribute button. If you haven't tried Skin Grip before, go to SkinGrip.com and use my code LISSIE L-I-S-S-I-E at checkout to save some money. Alright, let's get into the episode. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  2:57  

What is up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of Keeping it 100 Radio! Super excited for this episode. Today, we have Liv Rodriguez on the show aka liv_violette. And you may know her from TikTok actually. So at the time of recording she had about 17,000 followers on TikTok. And now actually when we are posting this episode, she is up to 45,000 followers. So she is a huge representation for the diabetes community on the TikTok platform. And not only do we talk about her journey there, but we're talking a lot about her recent diagnosis of type one diabetes and being diagnosed as an adult at age 27. So we have an awesome conversation for you guys today. So without further ado, let's dive in. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  3:39  

What's up guys? Welcome back to Keeping it 100 radio. I'm super excited for our guest today, we have Liv Rodriguez, you might be following her on TikTok. So if you don't already go ahead and do that now, but yeah, do you mind introducing yourself Liv?

 

Liv  3:52  

Yeah um, hey, everyone, my name is Liv. My I'm I'm a newly diagnosed type one diabetic, actually, six months yesterday, and um yeah, that's what else should I say for my intro?

 

Elisabeth Poyner  4:09  

So yeah, what do you I so what do you do for a living? What do you do for fun? All the good stuff.

 

Liv  4:15  

Sorry, I needed like a prompt. So yeah, so I live in North Carolina. I'm from Chicago. For a living. I work a corporate job. I'm an implementation manager. And it's kind of boring stuff. But um I work remotely from my house and for fun um, I love to sing karaoke. I like to go to the beach, and I've taken up surfing in the last year.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  4:41  

Oh, that's so cool. That's one of those things I wish I can be good at but I just know I won't be.

 

Liv  4:48  

Yeah, sorry. I'm the same. I know I'm not going to be good at it. But it's fun.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  4:53  

That's awesome. What made you say like, I want to pick up surfing?

 

Liv  4:56  

Oh, it was the move to the coast. So I made a friend On Bumble BFF, and she surfed and then she just kind of got me into it. And I was like, This is so different than my lifestyle prior to living here. So it's been fun. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  5:10  

That's so cool thing. 

 

Liv  5:11  

But yeah

 

Elisabeth Poyner  5:12  

I feel like we all need that like fun thing. Like I, I just bought a pair of rollerskates which like I don't rollerskate. I have no coordination. I can't like balance on them. But I'm like, this is something that I'm gonna make fun and any time I can that I can like use for that, that valued fun time. I don't know. [...]

 

Liv  5:32  

That's awesome. I could see you being one of those like cool rollers, roller skating girls like with on TikTok. I don't know if you've seen them. They're like, yeah, background and everyone's like crowded around them watching.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  5:43  

I need a little bit more practice, maybe in like a few years. But Oh. So you said that you were you're recently diagnosed. So you just had your six month diaversary, as we call it. Oh, that's, so how coz you said that you're 27, right? 

 

Liv  6:00  

Yeah, I'm 27.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  6:01  

How was that experience being diagnosed a little bit later in life?

 

Liv  6:06  

It was crazy. I mean, like, it was so crazy. I, I didn't believe it was true at first. Like when I was told that I had to start insulin that day by an endocrinologist. Um I was going on a flight from Chicago back to North Carolina the next day, and my endo was like, you might need like medical attention on your flight. And like, I'm thinking to myself, like, What are you talking about? Like, I'm fine. Like, I'm 27 years old, I've never needed medical attention. I feel fine. And I started insulin therapy that night. And you know, that it was just crazy. You know, like, it was just unbelievable. I couldn't imagine. And then after that, like, it was definitely challenging to um, get used to and like, realize that this is reality. And definitely, I had depressing moments and days, and probably weeks. And I think I'm coming out of it now. But I think that there's also like still going to be times where I dip back into those feelings.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  7:14  

It's it's such a huge shift. Like, I mean, I'm 27 now. So we're about the same age. But I was diagnosed when I was 19. So I definitely, although I was a little younger, I still understand how much of a shift that is when you've lived your whole life being quote, unquote, like healthy, normal, like, if there is really a normal. Um. You said you were back in Chicago? Where, is that when? So you were visiting them? 

 

Liv  7:38  

Mm hmm. Yeah, I had like a whole issue with my health insurance here in North Carolina. Um. So I was like, I'm just going to go back home, get some of these tests done again, to make sure I was like, I'm just make sure that the tests done here in North Carolina were wrong. And then you know, whatever, my insurance will cover it. And I'll come home and I'll be fine.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  7:58  

What made you initially get that, like, say, Okay, I need tests run? And I need to see what's going on?

 

Liv  8:05  

Well, I went to just a regular checkup. And that was when the first like alarm was sounded on my um blood glucose. And so that was like, the first time in my life that anyone told me I had high blood sugar. So I was like, let's just double check. And they told me about how A1C is a three month test. So I would have to wait a little bit. So I just waited. And I was like, I'll just get it done again. Um. But yeah, it was just a regular doctor's checkup that like started this whole thing.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  8:36  

You didn't feel any of the symptoms? Or did you just kind of pass them off?

 

Liv  8:40  

I was thirsty a lot, but I figured it was like, for the most of the time I was really thirsty, I was in Chicago and it was winter and I thought I had like a sore throat or something. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  8:50  

Right. 

 

Liv  8:51  

But that was it.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  8:53  

Yeah, some of them can be so easy just to kind of say yeah, like, that can be something else. Like I was recovering from the flu right before like, as I was getting the symptoms, I'm like, oh, like I'm just recovering my body's just, you know, catching up. And you know, we kind of come up with those excuses of what might not feel good, but that's wow that's wild that you didn't really even feel all those symptoms yet. So how did that change, like your, just kind of like your everyday like the relationships with your like friends and family and like just how did that, how's the transition been?

 

Liv  9:26  

It's been weird. Um, I feel like with my family, they are having trouble understanding and I think that's different than a lot of diabetic people. Because a lot of times your parents are the ones training you once you like kind of grow older. And for me my parents are like kind of in the know, but kind of not and um I'll have to like train them on stuff or you know, just tell them how it works. And that's a little bit frustrating at times because here at my house with my boyfriend Matt, like we both know everything, we live it all day, and we're kind of in sync. So when I see my family, it's kind of like, reminding them that I beep. And that like, sometimes I need to, like, take a minute to slow down. But yeah, with my friends, like they've been so supportive, but it's also weird because again, I'm out of college, I'm out of school completely, and everyone who knows me on like Instagram, or, you know, any of my friends haven't known me very long as diabetic and I don't live at home anymore. So it's kind of like weird when I visit.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  10:35  

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. Like, it's, it's almost like, you come home as a different, there's a different part of you. And not everybody is adjusted to understanding that part of you, or knowing how you, how you live with it, and how you cope with it. And, you know, just your, your new needs. I remember like, a few months after I was diagnosed, I had a friend come visit me at college and like I had, you know, there's just different things that you have to consider. I had to bring snacks with me, I had to slow down. I had to, I tried not to like drink as much coz I didn't want to, you know, go too low. And they're like, you're not, they literally said to me, like you're not fun anymore. Like you think, you overthink everything now. I'm like, I have to! Like I have this different part of me that I have to take care of.

 

Liv  11:20  

Wow, that's like a difficult thing to hear.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  11:23  

Yeah, it's, have you heard anything like that, or just kind of?

 

Liv  11:28  

No, I haven't, I have. I don't know, my friends had been really great. But I have, I've heard other things that like, have been kind of disappointing. But that one really hit me. I'm sorry you had to hear that.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  11:44  

I mean, I think it's kind of a you learn who your real people are in a way. And some people will try and it's just not the support that you need at the time. And that's okay too. Like some people just won't know how to support you and other people will step up and support you in ways that you didn't even know that you need. So it goes both ways. You know?

 

Liv  12:01  

Totally agree with that.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  12:04  

I definitely understand the the parents part too, it's like you're, it's almost nice. Well, I can't say for sure. Like, but being diagnosed as a kid, you have that hands on, like you're walking through it together. Whereas when you're an adult, you're teaching them okay, this is what my body needs, like you're doing it on your own, which is weird in itself, because you're like, it kind of like makes you realize yeah, I'm an adult now.

 

Liv  12:29  

Yeah, it's so weird. Luckily, my dad like kind of had an understanding he's had, he has an autoimmune disease as well. He has psoriasis, sorry psoriatic arthritis. And so he like, he's, like really been, you know, going to the doctor a lot and having tests done. And he when he looked at my glucose levels, when I got 'em back the second time, he was like, What is going on with you? And I was like, What do you mean? Like, I don't know what this means!

 

Elisabeth Poyner  12:58  

What has been the biggest learning curve for you so far with the diagnosis? 

 

Liv  13:04  

Hmm, that's a tough question. Biggest learning curve.... Um, I think it's getting my period. Um. And like, the, my, like glucose levels changing because of that, maybe not just getting my period, but like, any sort of hormonal imbalances that I have, because my, like, um dosage will change so much. And like, one day, I feel like, I'll eat something like pizza and I will have literally no, like, I won't need insulin. And then like another day, I will need like so much more than I've ever needed before.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  13:43  

Right. It's so interesting that you you pick that up so early, coz I feel like that's something that we're not really taught initially and it's really kind of hard to pick up on and we can kind of leave it to like, Oh, I'm just having a bad Diabetes Day and like there are definitely those scenarios but like to pick up on like your cycle and hormones. It's that's like, really awesome that you already on like your you know those trends. 

 

Liv  14:05  

Thank you. I mean, it was pretty apparent, like two days before my period, it would be like, Oh my god, like you are in need of a lot of insulin. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  14:15  

Yeah. Are you on, um injections? Or, are, no, you're on Dexcom and Omnipod?

 

Liv  14:21  

Yeah I have um Omnipod.So I have a pump.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  14:23  

Okay. Right. 

 

Liv  14:24  

Yeah. And that helps. I'm also afraid of needles. Maybe that was the biggest learning curve actually.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  14:28  

Yeah, so how was that first initial like injection or pod change or Dexcom change? 

 

Liv  14:34  

Okay that, this was my learning curve actually. Um. The the hormonal one is my most recent. But um it was terrifying. Like, I was like one of those kids who like would kick and scream when the doctor would try to like give me like a finger prick. And now, or so then when I had to take my first insulin shot, my dad did it. And then a family member came the next day and then um my boyfriend pretty much did it for me for like, probably two months until I finally did one myself. And that's because we work from home together.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  15:09  

Yeah, it's scary. I remember um yeah, the first time so you have the Dexcom G6, which is really nice. I started with the G5. And I don't know if you've ever seen it. But it's like, you know how the G6, you just press a button and it clicks in? The G5, you had to like take the needle, push it and pull it out. So like you had to do it yourself. And that was the like, I got so much anxiety every time I had to change it. The first time I got it. I was living on my own in Miami. I had to FaceTime one of my Diabetic friends. And she's like, alright, we're doing this. 1, 2, 3, go! Like, Yeah, I think, I totally hear that.

 

Liv  15:50  

Wow, I would not have done well with that.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  15:54  

When the G6 came out, I'm like yes, thank, Thank you.

 

Liv  15:57  

Thank goodness. Wow, I can't believe that but I have heard people talk about the G5 and how scary it was like a guillotine or like

 

Elisabeth Poyner  16:05  

Yeah, yep. And just like the the more slowly you did it, the more it hurt, but also like you don't, I, I was so scared to do it quickly. Cuz I was like so anxious that every time I went home, I was like, Mom, you have to do this for me. And then she would freak out. Like how do I do it? And it was always [..]

 

Liv  16:23  

Wow, you are brave.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  16:26  

We all are.

 

Liv  16:28  

Yeah, that's true. How long did you have the G5?

 

Elisabeth Poyner  16:31  

That was about, I want to say maybe a year. It took me a long time to get on the CGM. 

 

Liv  16:37  

Oh, wow okay. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  16:39  

What, what made you say like no to MDI and go on to like a pump and CGM?

 

Liv  16:46  

So I saw a lot of people on social media um using CGMs and pumps. And because of the needle thing, like honestly, still to this day, like I fear the needle. um But like the fact that like you said, it does it for you on the G6, you just press a button and the needle goes in and comes out. And then with the Omnipod, it's like the same thing, you know? And that, like not seeing it is a big part of it for me. Uh, and I love the convenience of the pump. Because um sometimes I like miss dose myself. And you know, I can give a little more if I need, it tells me when my last dosage was, it just gonna like take some of the stress out of it. And then with the CGM like it's life changing. Like you [...]. So important.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  17:34  

Yeah. Yeah, no, that's like huge that you went on it so quickly. I think it took me about like, six months to go on a pump. But, do you like count the the ticks on the Omnipod?

 

Liv  17:48  

I've learned to yes. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  17:51  

I'm always like, breathe in. Breathe out. Okay. 

 

Liv  17:54  

Yeah. Yeah, it's weird. I feel like I don't even have to count them anymore. It's just like a natural, like, you know, when it's coming now.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  18:01  

Its the intuition. 

 

Liv  18:02  

Yes. God, the things we have come to like, adapt to.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  18:09  

 Right? So with that being said, like what has been, and this might actually be another, like, challenging question because you're so early in your diagnosis, but like what has been the best part of the diagnosis and what has been the worst part? 

 

Liv  18:23  

Okay, the best part has definitely been um like making friends. So I've made a group of friends from social media, mostly TikTok, and they are amazing. Like, they're people who I, like if they lived near me, I'd be friends with them. Um. And it's kind of exciting to like have made this like group of people who I would have never known about before. And I feel like it's just kind of like a special like little relationship. Um, and I love that. And I love being on TikTok, and having people like, in the comments, like talk me through moments that are difficult, that's been like, very amazing. Um. So both of those things have been really cool. Um. The hardest or most difficult part. That is challenging. There's a lot of difficult parts. I think, like having a different relationship with food is kind of difficult. I felt like very good about like, the way I ate. It was like more intuitive and umkind of carefree. And now I feel like I'm a little more aware, which just kind of sucks I guess, but it's part of the game, you know? 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  19:40  

Yeah. It's good and bad. It's like I think diabetes made me healthier but at the same time, it's like yeah, okay, like now food is a number, food is like food is a carb count, food is associated with an arrow on our Dexcom, there's just so much more to it than like, my boyfriend will just eat a bowl of cereal. I'm like, I'm like did you, did you measure that? Do you know, like, how much is in there? [..]

 

Liv  20:06  

When they eat it like 11pm? I'm like, What are you going? Like. And then I'm like Oh, yeah, like he can do that.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  20:14  

But I would have to wake up in two hours and make sure I'm not ridiculously high. Little things. Yeah, it's so hard to remember life before. I don't know. I mean, I'm sure you do.

 

Liv  20:27  

Mmm. It's, now it's hard to remember honestly. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  20:30  

Yeah. Yeah, we get so accustomed to the little nuances.

 

Liv  20:34  

Yeah, I think the health part, I agree with you like, although food is difficult, because you have to think about it constantly. I definitely feel healthier, um and like, more active for the most part, and then also, like, eating better. So those are like, really positive things that came out of it too.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  20:52  

Yeah, definitely. I mean, there's always gonna be that balance. We all, I think we can all like, acknowledge that diabetes sucks. Like this is not a fun part. But we can make the best of it out of it in certain ways too. Which, let's kind of get into that. So like your TikTok journey, like you, I checked yesterday, I think you have about like, 12,000 followers on there? Am I wrong on that?

 

Liv  21:14  

I think it's, I think it's like 17. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  21:18  

Okay, I was off.

 

Liv  21:19  

But no, that's like, same thing, like, nah that's really close, but I always obviously am looking at it and whatever. But, um, yeah. It's been fun.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  21:30  

What, what made you start sharing on there? So that's such I mean, that's like a newer platform too, but it's also kind of scary to show up in front of all those people.

 

Liv  21:39  

Yeah, so I did it. Like, I started it because I went on FMLA leave with work. And I was like, this is the perfect time for me to just like document when I'm going through for my future self to look back on. And I was like hoping and praying, no one ever found it like of anyone who I knew. And I started like, gaining like, I probably had, like 100 followers, maybe 200. And I was like, this is enjoyable, like people are commenting. It's like chill, and no one knows about it. And I hadn't told like anyone from my life about my diabetes, besides my family, and like super close friends. And then I did have a video, like, perform pretty well. And my sister texted me it was like, I just saw your TikTok like what? And my following was like ramping at that moment, because it was kind of like, going viral. And um then like, I started getting texts from like, everyone in this like, two week span. And people knew about it. And I was like, This is so cringe because I made these videos for like, no one to ever see them. And then after that, I was like, just you gotta roll with it, or else like you gotta stop. And so I was like, Alright, I'm gonna roll with it. And that's how I made my friends. And it's like, so important to me. But yeah, it was supposed to be a secret the whole time.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  23:03  

And now it's definitely not. 

 

Liv  23:06  

Not at all. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  23:08  

I mean, I think platforms like that are so cool. Because I mean, when I was first diagnosed, I remember looking, like social media was, it was there. Like Instagram was a thing, obviously. But like, it wasn't like now where there's more influencers and like groups and communities, it was just kind of like sharing pictures. And like, I remember Googling, like, I remember going on Tumblr. Tumblr was like the thing. And I was like, trying to look for diabetes accounts. And I was like, that was like, kind of the way I felt connected was like, I was reading blogs. But I remember looking on YouTube, but the only person that I found with diabetes was Nick Jonas. And, he was like the most unrelatable type one diabetic ever. Like. I'm like I don't have millions of dollars to like, but yeah, so I think it's so important for people to be able to find accounts like yours and say, wow, like she's sharing the real parts of this disease. And like, I can connect to that.

 

Liv  24:05  

Yeah, I mean, I appreciate it when people have reached out to me and said something like that, those like, I've teared up because I'm like, I am not, like you never think of yourself as like that special when you like, live your life as you every day. But when people reach out and say that it's so meaningful, and I'm like, wow, this is why I have to keep doing it.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  24:25  

Yeah, well, what made you say like, I want to show up rather than kind of like, I mean, I know at first it was kind of more of a private thing and you didn't really intend for people to find it. But what made you say like, I'm going to use this to show up and help others rather than maybe like hide it or um you know, not make it seen?

 

Liv  24:45  

I mean, I think that I would have wanted to see someone like me and I did see people like me, like my some of my friends who are already doing this um, you know, on social media, showing everything. Um, because that helped me so much. And I think like, there's so much space for people to be doing this like for not only diabetes, but like other health issues on social media. So I was like, I want to one - do it for my own, like mental health and like, be positive about stuff and like, have someone with me while I put my Dexcom on and stuff. Um. So it was a lot for me. But then it was also like, I want to be part of something positive. And like, make something out of this very seemingly negative part of my life. It took a lot though.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  25:36  

Yeah. Right. It's huge, especially like you were saying, like, there are people who don't know you with diabetes yet. Like, yeah, in your own life. So then to show up in front of people who don't know you at all. I mean, it's actually almost comforting, because then like, you can say, I don't have to. I don't have to explain this to these people, which I think that's cool too. Yeah,

 

Liv  25:57  

Yeah, it's actually easier to talk to like random people, in my opinion.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  26:01  

Yeah. No, I agree. It's like, we get it. Like, you're like, I'm low. And people are like, Oh, okay. Yeah, take a minute, like I'm here. And it's just very Yeah, very comforting. How was it? So you were diagnosed, kind of like in the covid, Like, we were still in covid era in covid-era, like, how was that with getting support? And just that aspect of it.

 

Liv  26:27  

Like, I thought it was kind of nice, because I didn't have to, like, be out and about a lot. Um. With getting support, like, you mean from like, family and friends and stuff? 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  26:38  

Yeah, I guess. Just kind of like, I mean, I guess this past year hasn't been too bad with the whole, like, isolation part of it. Like we were still able to see people. Um. But did that just impact the the experience?

 

Liv  26:51  

Yeah, I think it made it easier for me to like, ease into social life again. Um. Because you know, you were still not necessarily doing as much as we used to be, at least for me. Um. But it didn't impact it too much. Like you said, you know, we're kind of out of the extreme lockdown and isolation part of it, at least temporarily and have been since I was diagnosed, so it wasn't like too weird. But I'm definitely, I've become more like covid focused, like, much more cautious about wearing a mask and much more like about getting, I'm vaccinated. And you know, I'm going to go get my booster next week, and basically, just very on the ball, whereas like, maybe before I was like, as long as I'm just in my house, and I'm vaccinated, like, I don't know, I was careful before, but like, now I'm just extra careful. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  27:47  

Right? Yeah. Yeah, I think it kind of forced us to like advocate for ourselves a little bit more to because we kind of had to like, you're one of the first people who on the list of right, you know, to be careful. Um. A whole nother conversation that like, definitely go off about but yeah, so as far as like your account and connecting with other people and showing up in a way that like you're sharing a lot of vulnerable pieces of this diagnosis. And like, what, like have you ever been, I know that you're met with a lot of support, but have you ever gotten those people who maybe don't understand diabetes too well, or like made assumptions or you know, like those, the troll accounts?

 

Liv  28:28  

For sure, I've like started getting some trolls coming to my page. There's this like, funny thing. I don't know if you see this on Instagram, but like, there's this special comment that comes in by like, I don't know, these like bots, and it'll be like, I'm so relieved that I was cured of diabetes and herpes. By Doctor like something. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  28:49  

Yeah. You're like, yeah, all the time. And I'm like, What are you like, I know that they're not real people. Or maybe they are, they're just like getting, I don't know. I'm like stop. Like, you can really talk to the wrong person on this.

 

Liv  29:03  

I mean, I think it's hilarious. A lot of people get annoyed by them, but they kind of make me laugh because it's like herpes and diabetes. And I'm like, what guys? Like both of those are not, to my knowledge, not curable, but also like, how are those like both coming up on my page?

 

Elisabeth Poyner  29:23  

Right.And like, diabetes? I'm pretty sure if there was a cure, it wouldn't be from your herbs, thank you.

 

Liv  29:30  

Right, right. But then I'll get like some that are like, like, like, ew like you're ugly, or like um, like, just stop eating sugar then and again, like those kind of make me laugh because I'm just like, alright, weirdo, like.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  29:49  

Right. And it's funny, those people will say those things and then not realize that literally, almost everything has carbs and sugar in some way. So it's like, yes, I will [..] my carrots and celery all day long, and now I'll be fine. How do you respond to those?

 

Liv  30:06  

Um. Sometimes I'll make a funny video. And sometimes I'll like respond funny to them. I never try to like, let them get like an angry response out of me. But also like, because I just know like, this is not important. If I got like a really, really mean one from like, someone I knew that would be crushing. But like, from just people on the internet, it's like, it doesn't matter. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  30:31  

Right. Yeah. It's like, they don't know you personally, don't they obviously are uneducated, if you're making those kinds of assumptions. So

 

Liv  30:38  

I like to give them a break. Because they honestly, they probably want me to get angry. And I'm not going to do it.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  30:44  

Yeah. Like, it's just easier not to. Yeah, but what has been like the best response or like, comment or, like, support that you've gotten?

 

Liv  30:58  

Oh, my God, there's so many. I don't know, I want to look but I, it would take me forever. But just people like, on my first video I made I was like, it was kind of like an intro to the account. And a lot of people like sent blue hearts. And um were like, Hi, my name is so and so I was just diagnosed like, I'm excited to go on, like a journey together. Or like, I'm excited to watch your account or my daughter or my son has it like those ones. I'm like, Oh, my God, I wish I could hug everyone like [...]

 

Elisabeth Poyner  31:32  

Because you're not, you're not only showing, you're not only giving support to people who have diabetes, you're showing people like the we call my type threes like the people like parents, partners, um friends, like how to show up for people in their life who has dia, have diabetes that might not know how to start the conversation or how to support them or just like what they're going through. Like maybe there's a barrier there. So yeah, that's that's like a huge piece.

 

Liv  31:57  

Yeah. So like, I don't know, it's so nice seeing those comments. And it like makes me happy and makes me like I said, I just want to keep making content because it like brings a smile to my face. And if it brings a smile to someone else's face. That's amazing.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  32:16  

Yeah. Do you have a bigger vision for this account? Like? Or do you just want to keep sharing and supporting? Like.

 

Liv  32:22  

That's a great question. I like, Um, let me think. So I want to just keep sharing, and going as I go, you know, like, doing whatever, there's not like a lot of like, thought, I guess that goes into my videos. Like I'll just make them very like willy nilly. So um I haven't put together like a plan or anything. But one thing that I maybe want to do that I've kind of started on my account is share recipes that I know. And I was thinking like, maybe I would put together a cookbook. This is long goal, but like um that would be something I would want to do. Like, uh, this is like something you can make for dinner. And like, this is kind of about what the carbs would be. And, you know, kind of what you could expect from my experience in my blood sugar when I eat this, like that kind of thing. It's different for everyone, but I think just like eating is such a big part of it. I also, I'm a pescetarian. So like, I don't eat meat, which I feel like is hard because meat has basically no carbs in it. So like, that takes out a whole part of easy to eat food. So.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  33:32  

Yeah, but I mean, obviously, like you've made it work. And I think showing people that like that you can make it work and like you can find fun ways to incorporate like, yeah, like incorporate fish and incorporate the foods that you like, like I think that's so cool. And yeah, that's so fun.

 

Liv  33:49  

Thanks! Um, yeah, but like nothing huge. I just want to keep doing it honestly. How about you for your account?

 

Elisabeth Poyner  33:58  

I mean, TikTok, I'm definitely not, I, I don't understand TikTok still. Like, I just like scrolling through. I'm like, I don't know, like Instagram I love. Like, I would love to just connect with more people and share more like actionable tips. Um I have my team of like, my co-coach Jess, who's a dietician and my co-coach, Val, who's like Women's Wellness coach. So just kind of pulling all those expertise together and like kind of sharing more that people might not fully understand yet or haven't put together for themselves and bridging that gap. Um. You know, trying to do that a little bit more and yeah, I don't know, there's like so much that you can do with social media itself. It's it's exciting,

 

Liv  34:40  

Right. I know. And I think that it's also good to just let things kind of flow how they do, 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  34:46  

Right. 

 

Liv  34:47  

Like I never started with recipes on my account, but now I kind of want to do a couple of them and we'll see how that goes. If people hate it like then I maybe I'll keep doing it even if they hate it. it's my

 

Elisabeth Poyner  34:59  

That's the thing, it's your account, you can, yeah, make it what you want. And I mean, obviously, it's worked so far. People are connecting with what you have to share and the support that you give. So it's really cool.

 

Liv  35:10  

Yeah, thank you very much.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  35:12  

Yeah. What would you say, so being so recently diagnosed like, what would you tell somebody else who was just diagnosed? And what would you tell somebody who isn't sure how to support their loved one who was just diagnosed?

 

Liv  35:28  

Oh my gosh. Such a hard question. Yeah. For someone who's diagnosed, I feel like this is like the generic answer. But like, your first month is going to be so freaking hard. But like, if you think about, like, making it through the first day, like the first week, this is actually advice one of my friends gave me about, like relationships and like breakups, but I think it's kind of applies here, like if you think you can get through the first day, and then like, the first week, and then the first month, like, you start figuring stuff out, and then it gets easier. So someone who's first diagnosed, it's gonna be friggin hard, but like, it's gonna get a little bit better as you go. And like, you may even just find something like positive from it in your own life.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  36:20  

I love that.

 

Liv  36:20  

To like a family member, I think that researching and understanding outside of, like, you know, just what you see in your partner or loved one, like trying to understand it on your own, is what helped me a lot from my boyfriend and my family. Like, when people came to me with information, it was nice that I didn't have to, like, look for it myself, and then also didn't have to, like teach on it. So I think that's like, what I've appreciated from loved ones.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  36:53  

Yeah, definitely. And I love both of those approaches. Like, I remember, the first week that I was diagnosed, I remember literally saying to myself, I don't want to live like this. Like, I just didn't know how, I didn't think it could fit into my life. And like the vision the future vision that I had for my life, and you're right. Just taking it day by day, you start to see, okay, like, I can live with this, I can make it a part of my daily routine. And then you start to say, okay, like, actually, there might be some good parts of this, maybe I'm meeting new people, maybe I'm able to advocate in a different way. And then it might just change the course of your life. Like you have your account of all these different people who you can support now, I went from being an engineer to being a health coach, and like I'm, you know, able to support people in that way. And it just like, whether or not it, it doesn't have to become your whole life, but you can find the good parts of it. And it can change your life for the better.

 

Liv  37:54  

Absolutely. And I never believed that. I remember watching like a YouTube video, this one girl who's much younger than me, but she was like, she was like, frequently asked questions. Would you like, if you could take away your diabetes, would you? And she was like, absolutely never. She's like, I love my life. And it's because of my diabetes. And I was like, What are you talking about? Like. This is like a weekend for me. And I'm like, there is no way I would think that. And I think that I don't know if I would still answer like hell yes, right now, but I think I would be leaning more toward a maybe. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  38:28  

Okay. Like, and that's such a short time for it to be able to shift. Like, I was super stubborn. At first, I was like, I don't want to find the good in this, like, but then you slowly start to warm up to it and see other people doing it, and we don't have to say like, diabetes is awesome. We don't have to say that this is the best part of our lives. But like, there can be, yeah those good pieces of it. And it can make us into a completely different person than we anticipated.

 

Liv  38:56  

Yes. And I think that that is all your like, mental look on it. You have to like, practice being positive. It's not just gonna like, happen that one day you're like, wake up and you're like, Ah, this is [...] you know? Like.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  39:13  

Coz no oart if that's fun, but yeah, no exactly. And like practicing that self compassion and like allowing yourself to grieve too like, I guess this is another kind of quick question of like, how did that go? Like, do you? Have you given yourself the space to grieve? Like, do you feel like it was hard to give yourself that space? Like

 

Liv  39:34  

I'm a naturally very emotional person, big crier, and like, very, very, like I'm a huge talker. So like, every feeling I ever feel, I talk to people about. And my poor boyfriend. Because like when this all started, and I was diagnosed, it was just like complaining, crying, being sad. Like, I was a mess, still am on a lot of days, but like specifically when it first happened, like I was uncontrollably emotional, and I've definitely gave myself space to grieve. Um. I hope everyone does because I for sure needed it.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  40:18  

Right. It's so important because if you just kind of read like, I feel like as soon as we're diagnosed, we're kind of taught Okay, take your insulin, manage, watch your blood sugars, just kind of like go through the day to day motions that you now have to do. And it can be so hard to like, give yourself that space to process this huge life transition that was just like, handed to you on a not so silver platter. Like so if you're just kind of like, okay, well, now I have to handle this with my job, my relationships, my, like, the things that I love, and like, I'm just going to go through the motions. It can cause a lot of like resentment later, I think.

 

Liv  40:53  

Yeah. No, I bet it does. I mean, I've had my bouts with resentment as well. Um. But yes, I'm like pro get your feelings out and like, Oh, my God, like the even just doing the first finger prick. I was like, I can not do this without crying like, 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  41:12  

Yeah. Oh, my gosh, well, if you ever need someone to cry with, I think you have a lot of people.

 

Liv  41:21  

Yeah. Seriously, thank God.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  41:24  

Yeah, I got like, social media is just so powerful. And I'm really grateful for even on the days where I'm like, I hate it. And I'm exhausted. It's really horrible.

 

Liv  41:34  

Yes, it sometimes feels a little bit exhausting. But I think I'm a whole it's like, amazing. And it's gotten me to this point of like, being okay with where I'm at, for the most part.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  41:47  

And I'm so excited to see like, where the account goes. Like, I'm excited to see your growth through it too. Like that's, that's the cool part. People want to see you from your when you were first diagnosed to a year, two years, like, you know, everything.

 

Liv  42:01  

That's gonna be crazy. [both speaking] Yeah, I can surely say like this is, I'm going to be doing this for years. So like, I am so excited to like, look back and see all of everything. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  42:16  

It will be so cool. I'm really excited to see. Where, where can people find you on TikTok, Instagram? Like where? Yeah, where can they connect with you and um find you?

 

Unknown Speaker  42:27  

So my TikTok, and is to make sure it's liv_violette which is V-I-O-L-E-T-T-E. That's my middle name. And then my Instagram is olivia_violette, and I'm working on my Instagram. I'm definitely more of like a TikTok person. But I'm going to try to put more like pictures of me with my devices and stuff on there. Because right now it's like, my life prior to that and like two sprinklings of pictures.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  43:04  

By the way here's diabetes. Yeah.

 

Liv  43:07  

This was weird, because everyone who follows me, like the thing with Instagram is like, this is your like, friend base. And people who've known you and all of these people besides like, a few handfuls I've not told personally about this, you know, because they're like past relationships, or people who I don't see very often because I'm not in Chicago anymore. So it's kind of weird to share with them as if they know.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  43:36  

Honestly, that's why I made my new like, I have a private account that's like that page, like friends from high school, college like or that might not know or family. And then I made, like the diabetes pages is like, I need space just to share this. And if people want to follow along, if they're interested, they can but like, I need I need the separate space. Which [...]

 

Liv  43:56  

Yeah, okay. I'm gonna think about that. But for now, it's just gonna stay the one that's my original.

 

Elisabeth Poyner  44:03  

Totally fair. But I really hope that everybody goes and connects with you. And I'm so excited to see all the things that you share in the upcoming months and years and just thank you so much for coming on.

 

Liv  44:15  

Thank you for having me. This was like an amazing conversation. I really enjoyed everything. 

 

Elisabeth Poyner  44:20  

I'm so excited. 

 

Liv  44:22  

Cool. Thanks, Lissie.




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