Carolyn Wisdom is living with type 2 diabetes, but that’s the least interesting thing about her. Her most interesting? Take your pick: her last name; the fact that she’s a custom cake designer, a mother, grandmother, and as talented with a paintbrush as she is with icing. Forty years ago, Carolyn moved to Indianapolis to start a career with the federal government. While happy at her job, she didn’t feel fulfilled and soon began seeking out more creative outlets in her free time, hobbies where she could use her own two hands to create something unique and meaningful.
“My aunt was a baker, and I got some of her recipes,” Carolyn recalls as she started baking and decorating cakes a few years ago. Things quickly took off. What started out as a hobby would soon blossom into a successful local cake-decorating business. A few years later, Carolyn’s doctor diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes.
Ever the optimist, Carolyn reflects on her diagnosis with a tint of humor: “All the cakes, cobblers, and pies caught up with me.” Being around baked goods all the time wasn’t great for her health, and even though she was exercising, her A1C level kept rising. But Carolyn was busy. Working full time, being a mother to three children, and running a bakery didn’t leave her with a lot of free time to focus on her health. It’s no surprise that managing her diabetes fell to the wayside.
During this time she saw firsthand what diabetes can do. The very aunt who inspired her to start her cake-decorating business was struggling to manage her own type 2 diabetes –a battle, sadly, that she eventually lost. Carolyn “feared becoming her.” As time went on, Carolyn’s baking business kept growing, but the success was bittersweet. Her health was in decline from not managing her diabetes, and her husband was also experiencing a rise in blood sugar levels.
The pandemic provided Carolyn with a much-needed pause. She reflected on her current situation and faced a hard truth: She might suffer the same fate as her aunt if she didn’t get serious about managing her type 2 diabetes. She decided to make some big changes, focusing first on her diabetes management plan.
She talked with her doctor, who decided Rybelsus(R) (semaglutide) tablets 7 mg was the right medicine for her, in addition to lifestyle changes. “I was interested in this medication because it was a once-daily pill, and studies showed others had lowered their blood sugar and A1C, so I asked my doctor if Rybelsus(R) could be right for me.” After a few months of incorporating Rybelsus(R) into her daily routine, along with better food choices and lots of walks, Carolyn saw an improvement in her blood sugar levels and lost some weight along the way.* She found a diabetes management plan that works for her.
Living in a state with a prominent occurrence of diabetes and being a black American, who is more than twice as likely to develop diabetes as a white American, Carolyn knew she had some considerable statistics to overcome. But she is not letting any of those things stand in her way. When Carolyn started on Rybelsus(R), her A1C was 8, and now she’s down to 6.2.*
She made other big changes as well. She shuttered her cake business to pursue a new creative outlet: painting. “I live for color–I love it. Bright, vibrant colors are my favorite. My favorite thing about making art is seeing the joy it brings people. When I’m going through rough times, I just want to splash paint around,” Carolyn said.
These days Carolyn spends more time with canvas than she does with cake. Her newfound love of bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors is where she finds her joy. Every day, she is painting a new chapter of her story.
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*Carolyn is a paid Novo Nordisk spokesperson. Individual results may vary. People should consult with their health care provider regarding medication or any changes to diet and exercise plans.
What is RYBELSUS(R)?
RYBELSUS(R) (semaglutide) tablets 7 mg or 14 mg is a prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes.