In 2013, Siera Marie Hayes, BIBIBOP’s beloved Graphic Designer, was suffering from what she thought was the flu.
“I had just started working with Gosh Enterprises,” she recounts.
Her mother had begged her to go see a doctor, but it was her fiancé-now-husband who finally persuaded her to seek medical attention. “Bryan, convinced me to at least go to the Minute Clinic.”
When Siera’s blood pressure couldn’t be found, she was referred immediately to Urgent Care. However, the professionals there couldn’t locate her blood pressure either.
“My heart was beating so rapidly. Not to mention I was vomiting and chugging super sugary Gatorades because I assumed I was dehydrated but going to the bathroom constantly,” Siera remembers.
After finally making it to the ER, the nurses there told Siera’s husband that if she had waited any longer to seek medical attention, she may not have survived. Her flu-like symptoms were revealed to be full blown diabetic ketoacidosis. She was close to succumbing from her true diagnosis, Type 1 Diabetes.
“It’s genetic,” Siera tells me, plainly. “I didn’t do this to myself with a poor diet or exercise. It’s an autoimmune condition where my immune system attacks my insulin producing cells in my pancreas. There’s no cure. It’s something I’ll have to live with the rest of my life. It is what it is.” After doing some digging, Siera discovered that she may have received the gene from her great grandfather on her mother’s side.
Type 1 Diabetes or Juvenile Diabetes typically shows up very early in life. Siera’s endocrinologist predicts that she’d been “sick” for quite some time before her severe symptoms presented themselves. She currently uses a Continuous Glucose Monitor or CGM which sends her blood sugar readings directly to her smartphone. Add to this her insulin pump, daily medication, and double-strength insulin, and it’s plain to see that Siera is determined to not let Type 1 Diabetes control her life.
“I have to watch my current blood sugar versus carbohydrates I’m about to consume. I enter the data into my insulin pump and it calculates the bolus” Siera explains.
That’s right, it’s carbs-- not just sugars-- that count.
“What’s great about BIBIBOP is that I can easily eat low carb and not see any big spikes. I just have to be wary of rice and potatoes.”
So what’s Siera’s perfect BIBIBOP bowl look like?
“I typically get a salad bowl, half spicy chicken, half tofu. I add bean sprouts, all of the cold toppings except for kale, sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds on top.”
Sounds like well b*ing to us.
So how does Siera recommend you, or anyone with Type 1 Diabetes, take care always?
“Not ignoring it. A lot of people with diabetes try to ignore it or not accept it. They just want to be normal and that’s just not something we have the option of doing. Dieting, exercising, and being healthy, that’s something that everyone should do, but it is especially important for us.” she explains. “My friends and I joke that the pancreas is a dead organ to us. We take it with a grain of salt. We’ve learned to laugh at it.”
Siera Marie Hayes is the Senior Graphic Designer and Photography Production Specialist at BIBIBOP, Type 1 Diabetic, and full-time creative goddess.