Heather’s Story

Ask Dr. Heather Stuckey about her diabetes, and you probably won’t get the answer you’d expect. You won’t hear about insulin doses or what her blood sugar was earlier that day. She may not mention that she has Type 1, and not Type 2, diabetes.

What she might say, though, is this: “My diabetes is like dry bones. For me, it’s just a never-ending dryness.”

Heather has been managing Type 1 diabetes for most of her life, since she was diagnosed at age 12. And for as long as she can remember, creative expression has been part of her coping strategy. She recalls that, even as a child, she felt the need to search for support outside of traditional medicine, as she has long been aware of the emotional gap in diabetes treatment. “There are so many different specialists who treat diabetes,” she says. “But the psychological aspects of having diabetes are simply not recognized.”

Compelled by her love of writing and an interest in art, she sought to make peace with the range of emotions that often accompany chronic illnesses like diabetes. She did this by engaging in creative expression. “I was asking myself, how do I thrive with this disease? How [...] continue the story