Lynda was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1973, and has lived successfully with the condition for more than 49 years through many career and life challenges, including two successful high-risk pregnancies and a high-powered international legal and business career.
Lynda found the fear and discrimination of others in the early years of living with her condition both alienating and isolating, so she learned to manage not just her condition, but also the information relating to it on a 'need to know' basis. Even those who knew she lived with T1D were not privy to her thoughts and feelings on the subject.
After starting insulin pump therapy in 2008, Lynda found herself connected to a community of informed, engaged T1D patients she could relate to. Gradually, she began to share information, experiences and stories with people who understood, people she didn't need to explain everything to, because they lived the same reality. But it was a slow and very selective thaw. Most people still couldn't be trusted to 'get it'. Public misinformation about T1D is still one of the greatest health hazards faced by people living with the condition.
Once she began to speak, write and sing publicly about her experiences , she found that not only did she feel more freedom, but others in the community, with and without T1D, responded very positively. Now, she hopes that she will empower others to survive and thrive on the never-ending T1D journey, as well as raise public and professional awareness of the unique challenges encountered by those living with Type 1, which is typically misunderstood and often confused or conflated with other types of diabetes.
The catalyst for Lynda’s change of heart occurred during an Insight Session of the T1 Diabetes Think Tank Network, a not-for-profit collaboration of T1D healthcare providers and patient opinion leaders (www.t1thinktank.com). Think Tank uses innovative methods, such as dramatic and creative arts, comedy and storytelling to transform lives by improving communication and understanding. Think Tank has shown that by putting patients on an equal footing with healthcare professionals in a safe, nonjudgmental environment, barriers to meaningful communication fall away, the standard of care is elevated and patient self-management is empowered.
Her one-woman cabaret on her journey with T1D: Not Dead Yet: A Cabaret with Deep Dark Secrets, is in workshop performances with select groups.