A Nacogdoches native and recent graduate from SFASU, Giampiero Vanzzini has been enjoying the post- graduate life. “It’s not as I planned it would be,” said Vanzzini, “I’m now a software developer for Elliot Electric and was one of the lucky graduates that was able to get a job straight after college”.
During the summer of 2006 though, Giampiero was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1- Usually people are diagnosed when they are younger and genetics and stress could help trigger Type 1.
Type 2- Usually a person will be diagnosed with Type 2 when they are older and has to do more with they way you eat and take care of yourself.
Vanzzini said he was 13 when he began to start dropping weight at rapid speed, and was constantly hungry and thirsty all of the time. His parents believed it was just a growth spurt and puberty happening, and it wasn’t until a family friend suggested to the Vanzzini family that he could possible have diabetes and should schedule a checkup as soon as possible that they got the news.
“When I arrived at my appointment, the doctors thought that I had already been diagnosed so they made me wait another month to actually get checked. When I finally did, my blood sugar was so high and I was weighing 112 pounds at a height of 5’11”.
He states that he is still able to live a normal life and it was definitely a harder transition when he was younger than it is now. He also admits that it was something that many people stared at him for or even joked about. “You struggle with your blood sugar dropping or going too high and sometimes it can be pretty scary”.
Some people with diabetes have insulin pumps and some take shots. Vanzzini is currently on shots but did have a pump until it suddenly stopped working.
His advice to recently diagnosed diabetics he says is, “just don’t get frustrated and don’t act like you don’t have it just because you’re mad. You are risking your life and it won’t be going away anytime soon. Take care of yourself and watch what you eat; you won’t ever look at food the same way other people look at food- you think, that’s probably going to shoot up my blood sugar and as much as I want to eat it I probably can’t”.
He hopes to start Graduate School in the Fall at SFASU in Cyber Security, a new program that SFA is trying to put together from the Computer Science department. When he isn’t building code and fixing bugs for his job, he likes to relax with his dogs, grill, play video games and mostly sleep.