Diabetes Spotlight: Amy Lasater

My name is Amy Lasater, and my story began 32 years ago at the age of 3 when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I grew up in a home where my parents taught me that I am more than just a person with diabetes. They taught me to strive and to be whatever I want to be.

I remember at the age of 3 being sick and in the hospital. I remember my dad giving me my first shot. I remember my mom always having a snack for me or making sure I was on a schedule. I remember starting kindergarten and having to wear a sticker to class to let my teacher know how my blood sugar was that day. I remember growing up in a small town in Oklahoma and both being and feeling like the only one with diabetes.

When I turned 9 years old, my life was changed forever! My parents allowed me to go to diabetes camp. That is when I realized I am not the only one with this disease. There were children there of all different ages that understood what I go through on a daily basis.

I met lifelong friends there whom I still keep in touch with today. One of the biggest things that happened to me at camp is that I learned how to draw up my own insulin in my syringe! (This was HUGE!!!) I now had the freedom to go spend the night with my friends because I could give my own shots. Most parents were scared to let me spend the night because they did not know what to do.

During my teenage years, life did not slow down. I was playing sports, trying to juggle my blood sugars, trying to act like I didn’t have diabetes, and keeping up with school work.

When I was 17, Humalog came out. It was a game changer. Then we learned that a carb is a carb. That year is when I had my first brownie. I remember this very vividly because I took them to a party with my friends from diabetes camp, and my mother cut them all up into the size of a dime. Of course, I was the joke of the party.

Later, growing up like all little girls do, I couldn’t wait to get married and have children. I ended up marrying my best friend, and we were blessed to have three beautiful girls. Abbie is 12, Chloe 8, and Hunter 7. My first pregnancy was a surprise! I was very excited but scared also.

At my first OBGYN appointment, she informed me that I was considered high risk, and she would not and could not deliver my baby. She informed me since I was high risk that I would have to go to a specialist. Not something to say to a first-time pregnant woman. I finally got into the specialist and my long journey began.

Having diabetes at that time for 20 years, I thought my blood sugars were under control. My A1C was in the low sevens and sixes. Well, not good enough! What I learned is that women with diabetes can have big babies. I had to see my specialist often to monitor the growth, make sure my blood pressure was good, and to make sure there were no complications. I was seeing my endocrinologist every other month to make sure my blood sugars were as normal as possible. This was very hard because my hormones were crazy. As you well know, anything—I mean anything—can fluctuate your blood sugars.

Six weeks before Abbie was due, and I was going to my specialist every other week. I was there for a normal stress test, which I failed. I ended up getting preeclampsia. They wheeled me immediately to the hospital. All I could remember is that I was not ready!

My husband was at work, my specialist was on vacation, and my mom and I were going shopping! The Lord had other plans. At eight the next morning, Abbie was born. I ended up having to have an emergency c-section. She was eight pounds and 21 inches long. She was the biggest baby in the NICU.

Chloe was a totally different experience. My husband and I started praying and planning to have another baby. From having Abbie, I knew what was ahead of me. I started buckling down on my blood sugars and watching everything I ate. A few months later I found out that I was pregnant. I immediately called the specialist and my endocrinologist.

I went through the same steps going to the doctors (which seemed like a billion times) to make sure that she and I were both healthy. I made the 34-week mark, and I was so excited. All was good. I felt great. I thought, “I got this!” The next week on June 6, I ran errands with my husband and went shopping with my best friend. Then the contractions started that evening. Chloe was born that night at nine pounds ten ounces. She was huge!

Hunter is my miracle baby. By far, she was my toughest pregnancy. Hunter was born at 27 weeks. She weighed three pounds and fit in the palm of my hands. I had some complications with her and was in the hospital on bed rest for 40 days. Believe it or not, but it had nothing to do with my diabetes.

Once my miracle was born, she was in the NICU for 56 days. It was so hard to leave her there at the hospital. My faith, family, and friends were my biggest support. My blood sugars were on a crazy roller coaster with all the emotions I was going through. Trying to balance being a mom to a 4-year-old, 13-month-old, and new baby was very hard. I had to remember to take care of myself or I would not be there for them.

Now my girls are healthy and thriving. They are aware of diabetes and how it affects me. I am a school teacher who also informs my students of diabetes. I strive to be a role model for all my students, especially those with health issues. I am a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, coworker. I am Amy Lasater, and I am a person with type 1 diabetes!