Dr. Stephen Ponder, a pediatric endocrinologist, started a discussion on his Facebook page about the effect that a type 1 diagnosis had on the lives of his type 1 Facebook friends. He invited us to reply and describe our feelings back then. Most of his type 1 friends are the moms of type 1 children, so I am posting about this here. My reply is unique because of my number of years as a diabetic, and is posted below:
I am 73 now, with very good diabetes health, but I was diagnosed in 1945 when I was 6. Years later my mother told me about the diagnosis and that the doctor gave no advice except that I should not eat sugar. For that reason diabetes did not change my life very much. I adjusted very well, and rather quickly. Having to take a shot once per day and not getting to eat candy and other goodies were the only day to day changes in my life back then. There were no finger sticks until the 1980s, testing urine each morning was painless. I did not know about the possible diabetes related complications until I was an adult, so I led a carefree life. This makes it seem like things were better then than now, but that is not the case. Many more type 1 diabetics had terrible complications with eyes, kidneys, etc back then and there were very many deaths from diabetes. It is not known why some of us from the early years lived so long and stayed healthy. I am not aware that I ever had DKA, and I never heard of it until the 1980's. I led a rather normal life without worrying about my diabetes.
I wish you parents of young type 1 children today did not have so many worries. The extensive knowledge available now enables you to know what can happen without good control, so you worry so much and watch your children so closely. That is good though, and it leads to good results. At the present time the life expectancy of young type 1 diabetics is almost as good as that of non diabetics. That is a very encouraging fact!!