Swimming Master Turned Diabetes Educator
My name is Verónica Rubio, I am 46 years old and live in Mexico City. I’ve lived with Type 2 diabetes for 16 years after my son was born and having gestational diabetes. I didn’t think I could ever develop diabetes, as no one in my family suffered from it, and I had good eating habits and was always active as a competitive swimmer. I belonged to a Master swimming team, called the Masterterribles, in Mexico and started swimming when I was 5 years old. As I grew older, I began participating in competitions, which required me to be in good shape, maintain a healthy diet, and of course, have some knowledge of water sports.
I always thought that my diagnosis had to mean something and became resilient in dealing with it. It was then that my first endocrinologist, Dr. Herrera Madrigal, suggested that I become a Diabetes Educator. Over the years I realized, in addition to diet and medical advice, patients needed someone who could listen to their issues regarding emotional health such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, I decided to study and obtain a degree in Psychology and specialize in Behavioral Cognitive Therapy.
As a swimmer, I’ve had severe hypoglycemia episodes during my swimming competitions. As a result, my endocrinologist, Dr. Cuevas asked me, to never compete again. I felt frustrated and angry, but I understood that the risk was greater than the benefit of competitive swimming. However, from that moment I challenged myself to complete a Sprint Triathlon in an hour and had to convince my doctor this was a good idea and I wouldn’t put my health at risk. Together with him and my nutritionist, Mónica Martínez, we managed to control hyper- and hypoglycemia in three years. ¡I felt so good to achieve this goal!
My Life Today
Nowadays, I hold a certification in Exercise Prescription and plan to do an Ironman in three years. I work as a psychologist and diabetes educator at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán. At this facility, I also work as a researcher in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes. I’m also part of a multidisciplinary team of Dr. Daniel Cuevas’s private practice in Médica Sur, a medical laboratory company, and work psychologist and diabetes educator at the Omega Clinic with Dr. Sanchez Mijangos.
I have three teenage children and a wonderful husband who support me and my life with Type 2 diabetes. We have all integrated the changes of living with diabetes into our family. We believe that this has led to making a healthy diet and exercise as a fundamental part of our lives.