Between Two Lines: Tackling Type 1 With Humor


Nobody has to know

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 15. This was a very formative time and adding diabetes to the mix made for several “non-compliant” years. I hid my diabetes from everyone. Friends, teachers, girlfriends, teammates—if they didn’t HAVE to know, I didn’t tell them. I was embarrassed by it. I felt it made me weak and if there was one thing I refused to be, it was weak. There is no way to properly manage T1D and keep it completely secret—hiding it meant poor management.

After college and baseball ended, I became infatuated with working out and bodybuilding. I began work for a personal training company and learned an incredible amount about how blood sugar and insulin impacted my results. This resulted in an increased motivation to manage diabetes better but still, I told very few about my condition. I rarely checked my blood sugar and operated based on where I felt my blood sugar was.

Fast forward a few more years and I was married, had two young children and a successful sales career. One thing that was not going well, however, was my T1D. It was ignored. I had dropped from a very fit 6’5, 235 pounds to an emaciated 188 pounds. The turning point in my life with diabetes was a tingling in my legs. It was light, but enough to send me into a tailspin. I realized that contrary to my own beliefs, I was not invincible. I was shaving years off of my life and it terrified me. I immediately began researching the latest and greatest diabetes tech. I purchased an insulin pump, a CGM, and a smartwatch to display readings on my wrist. Within six months I had regained the lost weight and felt unbelievably better. I slept better, my moods were better, my work was better, my relationships were better—it had been 10 years since I felt that good.

Letting the world in

My quality of life had improved so dramatically that I was encouraged to share it, to find ways to help others find the motivation to change. It took me a year, but I finally got up the courage to open up about the fact that I had type 1 diabetes. I started the “Between Two Lines” YouTube channel about a person with diabetes’ daily efforts to keep their blood sugar between the high and low lines. The following eight weeks were a whirlwind. My friends, coworkers and former teammates were stunned at the realization that I had diabetes. The diabetes community was extremely supportive and there were crazy amounts of engagement, comments, emails and messages from fellow people with diabetes with encouragement and positive vibes.

As a person with diabetes, I have had some victories and plenty of failures. My goal is to help others capitalize on some of the things I have had success with and avoid a lot of the pitfalls. I wanted my videos to inform and that is difficult to do without being dull. It is even more difficult to accomplish when the person is not diabetic.

How could I help others understand life as a T1D? I talk to myself about my blood sugar all the time—what if blood sugar could talk back? I put out the skit “If Blood Sugar Could Talk” and to my disbelief, people connected with it. People with diabetes related big time and I had a neat way to share a little bit about life as a T1D that was humorous and lighthearted. The videos that followed did not ask for sympathy but instead were aimed at informing, creating community and reminding other T1Ds: you are not alone. We all deal with the same things and it is okay to laugh. Humor helps to provide perspective!

If you haven’t checked this video out, I encourage you to! I hope it brings a smile to your day and is a reminder that diabetes stinks, but we all go through it together. You can do it. Good luck keeping it between the lines!

Check out “If Blood Sugar Could Talk”:

WRITTEN BY Levi Davenport, POSTED 03/23/20, UPDATED 11/19/22

Levi is 31 years old, lives just outside Nashville, and has a successful sales and marketing career. He played baseball at a high level and to this day, loves being active. Unbeknownst to most, he also likes to have fun and joke around. He decided to create his Youtube channel after he went through a major type 1 diabetes (T1D) transformation. He went from ignoring T1D to incorporating an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM). It changed the way he looked, felt, slept, worked and improved all relationships. His mission is to share what an impact T1D has on so many lives and the importance of managing it. It is not a death sentence and Levi aspires to motivate, encourage and bring some humor to the T1D world.