Karen Graffeo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1979, at the age of 11. In 2008 Karen started her diabetes blog, Bitter-Sweet, and became immersed in the Diabetes Online Community. She also advocates offline and is involved with two JDRF chapters in her home state of Connecticut.
Karen is hosting the sixth annual Diabetes Blog Week from May 11th – May 17th. More information about the week can be found here.
In one word, describe your mood today.
In one word, describe how diabetes makes you feel.
Three words that describe your personality.
Sarcastic, neurotic, cheerful.
What are you most proud of?
I am, by nature, a pretty shy person. But in the past few years I’ve managed to come out of my shell a bit, speaking up at conferences and meeting with government representatives to discuss diabetes. I’m always really nervous but I’m also pretty proud afterward.
Who would you like to invite to breakfast?
I think having the whole Diabetes Online Community over for breakfast would be a lot of fun.
Which diabetes chore do you hate the most?
Changing my sensor. I dislike that whole two hour warm up period.
Can you say anything good about diabetes?
Absolutely, it brought a lot of great friends and opportunities into my life.
Who inspires you?
People who live their lives fearlessly. I’m inspired by those who speak their minds and chase their dreams.
What are you afraid of?
What does ‘happy’ mean to you?
It probably sounds boring, but being in my house with my husband and cat is what I think of first.
Last book you read?
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
My all-time favorite movies is Gone With the Wind. It’s my favorite book too.
Words you live by?
I tend to drive myself crazy with my own perfectionism, so lately my new mantra has been “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be better than it was before.” I find it works really well as a diabetes mantra too!
Beach or ski vacation?
Beach. My lack of coordination and dislike of cold weather pretty much guarantees I’m not a skier.
Has diabetes changed or shaped your personality?
I often wonder that. I’m extremely organized and detail oriented, and I’m not sure if that’s because of diabetes or if I would’ve turned out like this anyway.
Do you think there will be a cure within 10 years?
I guess that depends on the definition of a cure. I believe there will be a lot of advances that make living with diabetes easier and reduce the burden. But a true cure, meaning I produce my own insulin again and don’t need any kind of treatments or medications or procedures? No, I don’t think I’ll see that within 10 years.