Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Joslin 75 Year Medal

 I received my Joslin 75 year medal yesterday, August 10. I will not complete 75 years of Type 1 until September 15, so I have received the medal early. Several days ago I mailed a copy of my book to Joslin. It gave a thorough description of the days leading up to my diagnosis in 1945. I think the book may have given the needed proof for my 75 years.

Dr. King, Director of Research and Founder of the 50-Year Medalist Study sent me this message:

"We honor those with long duration type 1 diabetes by hosting a Medalist gathering every other year. The next celebration will be in 2021. I hope to have the opportunity to meet and personally honor you at this meeting."

The Medalist meetings are usually held in May. I would love to attend that meeting, but I am concerned about being there in a crowd, and the virus. Maybe things will be more safe at that time?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

What is this?

What is this? A new thumbs up? Your hand after thousands of finger sticks? A strawberry?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Peer Support

In my early years with T1D starting in 1945, when I was 6, I did not know another person with diabetes. I trusted my doctors, and did not realize that they knew so little about diabetes. I was told to test my urine in the morning, determine my insulin dosage, and take my shot. There was no additional testing or insulin until the next morning. I could eat anything I wanted, and as much as I wanted, as long as it did not contain sugar. I did not know about potential diabetes complications for many years. Diabetes seemed very simple, and I was not scared because of my ignorance. It was that way until I was 30, when I read an article that predicted the life expectancy for someone diagnosed in the 1940's. My life was predicted to end when I was in my teens, but I was already 30 when I read the article. I was very discouraged, and I was afraid for the first time since I was diagnosed. A few years later my wife, my two young sons and I moved to New York. We bought a home, and a few years later I wanted mortgage insurance. I thought I might have diabetes complications before the mortgage was paid, and I did not want my wife to have that burden. An insurance company sent me to a local doctor. He was supposed to examine me and determine whether I should be insured. He gave me a test strip for urine testing. I used the strip and it showed a very dark green. That indicated very high sugar. Based on that test strip, I was denied the mortgage insurance. That was a ridiculous conclusion based on a single urine test. Testing at home frequently showed good results, with low urine sugar. The doctor told me that I should prepare my will. He said I probably would not survive beyond my 40's. I was very much afraid that my lifespan was going to end in the near future. I was not scared by my diabetes for so many years, and then I was very much afraid, even though I did not have any diabetes complications at that time. I did approach another insurance company, Metropolitan Life, and was approved for mortgage insurance. They contacted my own doctor, and he gave them a good report. I was relieved!

I still did not know another type 1 diabetic until I joined an online support group in 2006. I learned so many things on that none of my doctors had mentioned. I had lived with T1D for 61 years at that time, and I finally found what proper diabetes management should be. In 2007 I joined and continued my online education. Friends there convinced me that I should use an insulin pump. I started pumping in June, 2007. With successful programming on my pump, I started having fewer highs and lows. My roller coaster control was greatly improved. Lower highs and higher lows made my diabetes so much easier to handle.

Friends on Diabetes Daily wanted to know what it was like to be a T1D in my early years. I started writing blogs, and there were many many replies. I was encouraged to continue my blogs. When the blogs concluded, my readers suggested that I should write a book. I did that, and it was published on Amazon in March, 2010. The link for the book is given here:

I wanted to give support to my fellow diabetics in all the groups I had joined. I received so much help online, and I wanted to return the favor by offering encouragement, inspiration and hope to my fellow T1D's. I have attempted to do that here on my own Facebook timeline, and in some of the T1 support groups. I have joined several parents support groups. The parents of T1 children seem to be encouraged to know a 74 year T1D who does not have any serious diabetes complications. I enjoy having discussions with the parents. I have met some of them, and their children at the Friends For Life type 1 conference meetings in Orlando.

Diabetes peer support has helped me so much. I joined Facebook in late 2009, and joined several support groups. I have found Facebook's groups to be the best. I get more replies with good discussions here than I get on support groups that are not on Facebook. The article below comes from DiaTribe. It discusses the value of peer support online in diabetes support groups. Several support groups that are not on Facebook are listed there. I belong to several of them, and they are very good! I am very pleased that I have joined support groups online, and I hope that you are, too.

The link below from DiaTribe gives a discussion about the success of Peer Support.

Thursday, May 14, 2020



C-peptide was discovered in 1967. The first actual use of a C-peptide test was in 1972. In more recent times, C-peptide has been found to have an effect on microvascular blood flow and tissue health.
Type I diabetics typically have very low levels of C-peptide because most of their beta cells have been destroyed. This has been seen in the development of long-term complications such as peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. I have experienced both kinds of neuropathies, but neither type has proved to be particularly problematic after 74 years of type 1.
C-peptide has been shown to significantly improve nerve and kidney function. It has also been reported to have anti inflammatory effects as well as aid repair of smooth muscle cells.
When experimenting with type 1 diabetics who lacked sufficient C-peptide, improvements were seen on diabetic peripheral neuropathy, nephropathy and other complications associated with long-term type I diabetes. Dosing with C-peptide was shown to be safe and there were no effects of C-peptide demonstrated.

The quotes given below were found in my online research:

"Newly diagnosed diabetes patients often get their C-peptide levels measured as a means of distinguishing between type 1 diabetes, Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA) and type 2 diabetes."
"The pancreas of a type 1 diabetic does not usually produce adequate insulin, so a decreased level of C-peptide is expected. Some secretion can still be present during the honeymoon stage for type 1 diabetics.
C-peptide levels in type 2 diabetics are normal, or even higher than normal. Determining the amount of C-peptide in people who inject or pump synthetic insulin can help to determine how much of their own natural insulin these patients are still producing, or if they produce any at all."
"The results of a C-Peptide test can vary from lab to lab. So different labs may have different 'normal' ranges. Doctors will sometimes evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. A C-Peptide value that falls outside the normal range may still be normal for you. The C-Peptide and blood glucose levels are measured at the same time to give a better evaluation.
A normal C-peptide level may be indicated as – Fasting: 0.51-2.72 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or 0.17-0.90 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)"
The first 725+ participants in the Joslin Medalist Study (2005-2015) were tested for their C-peptide levels. That test along with a glucose tolerance test showed that more than 66% of these long term diabetics did still produce some of their own insulin. My C-peptide level was less than 0.1, showing that my good health after 74 years of diabetes has to be explained by factors other than insulin secretion.
"Persons with LADA typically have low, although sometimes moderate, levels of C-peptide as the disease progresses and high blood glucose levels. The most common MODY syndrome may also have normal fasting C-peptide results because the flaw in this case is in the secretion of insulin in response to rising glucose and fasting secretion is still near normal.
Their postprandial C-peptide however is below normal with elevated blood glucose.
Low levels of both C-peptide and blood glucose are found in liver disease, a severe infection, Addison’s disease, or insulin therapy."

I have believed for several years that C-Peptide present in the animal insulins I used for 50 years may have protected me against certain complications. It may help explain the longevity and good health of most of the Joslin Medalists. Today's synthetic insulins do not contain any C-peptide. I have experienced several minor complications since starting synthetic insulins, but none of them have been particularly problematic. I asked Dr. King, head of the Joslin Medalist Study, about this. He said he does not think that C-peptide is a factor in explaining the longevity and good health of the medalists. Maybe he will have changed his mind as the research continues.

The link below is one of my references.

There was an attempt by a company called Cebix to produce an injectable form of C-peptide. The project failed during human trials. Here is some of the background of that project.…/once-promising-san-diego-biotec…/

There does not seem to be any present day attempts being made to add C-peptide to insulin, and the attempt to produce an injectable form of C-peptide has failed. I am not aware that any other attempts are being made to provide us with C-peptide, but I have not given up hope. I am thinking that each individual could be tested and the appropriate amount of C-peptide needed could be determined. Then a prescription could be given that would enable that individual to inject that amount of C-peptide daily, weekly, or for an appropriate time schedule. That may seem far fetched, but I think there has to be a way for us to receive some of this potentially valuable substance.
What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Type 1 Covid-19 Patient Recovers in 17 Days

I found the following report on A young woman with Type 1 for 30 years contacted Covid-19 and recovered after 17 days. This is an excellent day-by-day account of what she experienced, and how she recovered. I learned much from this report!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

My Diabetes, An Open Book

When I was diagnosed in 1945, I don't think I was actually ashamed of my diabetes. I did not realize what was happening. I was six years old, and my family was in charge. Later on it was obvious that people we knew were totally oblivious, they had not heard of the disease. Our relatives, neighbors, my teachers, and my classmates in school could not understand what was involved. People would stare in disbelief when I tried to explain my diabetes. Of course, explaining was very difficult since neither I, my family, nor my doctors knew much about it. I could not explain the highs and lows, DKA, carbs, and the possible complications since I knew nothing about them for so many years. My doctors gave no information except that I should take a shot of insulin each morning, and not eat sugar. It seemed like a simple disease back then. I got tired of seeing the doubtful looks on people's faces, and I kept my diabetes a secret for a very long time.
My mother went to my school on the first day of classes for seven years, and had private talks with my teachers. Those teachers had not heard of diabetes, but I think they believed her. I was not permitted to participate in gym or on the playground, to prevent lows. I felt like an outcast, and I was ignored by my classmates because I was so different. I became shy and withdrawn. That was the most complicated part of my diabetes during my early years.
In high school I was more mature, and I had less trouble with it, so I opened up with a few friends. I did not talk to my teachers, but I did not have lows during school hours. My blood sugar was high almost all the time, but I did not have any DKA, or did I? I don't think there was a way of measuring ketones at home, and there was no glucose meter for my first 40 years. In college I talked to some of my teachers, and they actually listened, somewhat. I had friends who were concerned, but they did not understand this mysterious disease very well. I didn't either, at that time.
When dating I did not tell my girlfriends about my diabetes. It was not necessary, and I was afraid that they would not want to date me if they knew. I did not have lows, so that was okay. My lows occurred during the night, at home, or when I had too much exercise. After college I told my dates about diabetes, and they were interested. They listened, and wanted to help! I married one of those young ladies, and she has been a tremendous help to me for almost 56 years!!! Anita has helped me through many lows, including several seizures. I think she has saved my life many times. There were glucose meters in the mid 1980s, and I finally knew my blood sugar numbers. I learned about carbs in the late 1980s, and started basal/bolus management in the mid 1990s. My A1c's dropped from a high of 12 into the high 5's over a period of several years.
How I have managed to avoid serious diabetes related complications is a mystery to me. I was not taking good care of myself for 50 years, because I did not know what 'good care' was. Now I am taking very good care of myself. My using an insulin pump in 2007 has eliminated my needing any assistance with lows. I am also using a Dexcom CGM, which is very helpful.
Now I am not at all shy and withdrawn about my diabetes. Maybe I am too open? I do not hold back because many online people tell me that I offer inspiration and hope for themselves, or their type 1 children. That is why I chose to be a speaker at the Friends For Life type 1 conference in 2015, in Orlando. I would like to speak to groups now, but my physical handicaps make it difficult for me to travel. The coronavirus pandemic also makes travel unsafe. If things improve in the future, maybe travel will be safe by the Summer of 2021.
My life with diabetes is now an open book. Sharing our lives and our stories serves an important purpose.
The pIctures shown above show me with type 1 friends at the Type 1 conference meetings in Orlando in 2013 and 2015.