My Life With Type 1
After retiring and teaching part time for a few years I was having good blood sugar control with A1c's below 6.0. Doctor B. would walk into his office with a big smile on his face and say, with his heavy Thailand accent, "nondibeetic". He would go over every line of my extensive lab report, and discuss anything that needed discussing. He had much blood work done every three months ever since I first became his patient in 1977. Almost everything in the report was good except for a few occasions. My cholesterol was 280+ one visit. I took several meds, and finally settled on Zocor. In Nov. 2007 my cholesterol had dropped to 128. I had bad reactions to Mevacor and Questran, but Zocor was much better for me. At the present time (2016) I am using Crestor. In the 1990's my kidneys showed some sign of hyperfiltration. I started taking Altace, which is primarily intended for lowering blood pressure, but it has a side effect of stabilizing the hyperfiltration in the kidneys. My kidneys have been great ever since. In early 2007 my blood pressure was 145. Dr. B. gave me a Rx for water pills, and prescribed Altace. I started experiencing dizziness with the Altace, and there were times I fell down. I started taking Lisinopril, and I reduced my dosage from 10 to 5 mg, without asking my doctor. My doctor approved when I had my next appointment. My blood pressure has been somewhat higher ever since. I test my blood pressure at home too, and it stays between 115 and 135. Dr. B. is the only doctor I have had who had extensive testing like this done.
All other blood tests had been great, with one exception. In August of 2002 my PSA count was 4.2. The previous year it was 3.0. This test is to determine the size of the prostate gland. Now 4.2 is a very low number, and would not normally be anything to cause concern. Dr. B., however, is very cautious on all matters. He sent me to a urologist who told me I was probably fine, but he had twsting done, just in case. The test did not indicate anything was wrong. The urologist still wanted to do a biopsy. His concern was not the number itself, it was that 4.2 was a 40% increase over the 3.0 from the preceding year. A 40% increase is significant. The biopsy showed I had cancer. After an MRI and other tests, it was determined that the cancer was totally contained in the gland. The little cancerous tumors were so small that they did not show up on the X-ray. They were microscopic in size. Dr. B's cautious nature resulted in such an early diagnosis that I did not have to have surgery to remove the gland. That is considered to be major surgery, when it is done. I had radiation treatment done in Jan. and Feb. of 2003. On each of 41 visits to radiology I received 6 jolts of high intensity X-rays into my lower abdomen to destroy my cancer. That is a lot of radiation. It worked perfectly, but there were very unpleasant side effects that continued for about two years. I developed anemia. Iron tablets helped. Damage was done to my intestines, but it was kept under control, and when the bleeding in my bowels stopped two years later I was in good shape. I was told that there was an 80% chance that the cancer would never return. I saw my radiologist doctor each year with good reports. After ten years (2013), he told me that he would not need to see me again. I learned that males used to be checked for prostate cancer in their early 60's. In the present day men should be checked by the time they are 40 because prostate cancer has been found in men who are in their 40's.
I still had a significant amount of overweight in the early 2000's. I bought a treadmill, and started strengthening my leg muscles. After several months I could walk a mile in 20 minutes using a 7.0 incline on the machine. By reducing my daily carb intake to 150 carbs and using the treadmill I managed to lose 26 pounds. I still needed to lose more weight, but I felt great, and I had to buy new trousers since my waist size was 4 inches smaller. I leveled off and stayed at that weight for several years. I was pleased I was not gaining more weight.
In 2006 I watched a dLife TV broadcast and heard them advertise the dLife website. I joined the support group on dLife on July 4 of that year. I really loved it. I made friends there. Janis Roszler was a moderator for dLife. She is a CDE, a RD, and has written three books for diabetics. I enjoyed her comments on dLife, and the help she gave the members there. I spent several hours each day posting on that site. I was giving much support and advice. Janis encouraged me to become an ambassador for dLife. There were four of us ambassadors then. We were not moderators but we were the ones most likely to welcome, advise and support the members as needed. By Dec. of that year the other three ambassadors were working hard at their jobs and, since I was retired and had more time, I did almost all the work the four of us had been doing previously. I did too much though. I was burned out, and I sent Janis an email. I was through posting there. I went back there occasionally to visit friends.
I wanted to join a new and larger site so I typed "diabetes support forums" on a search engine. The first site listed was dLife and the second wasdiabetesdaily.com. That was late Jan. of 2007. I had never heard of that second site, and I immediately joined. I was so impressed. It had so many wonderful features that I had not seen on other sites. I was really hooked. What a wonderful job David Edelman had done in creating this superb site!!! I felt so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful group!
In the early 1980's I was teaching a class in basic Statistics at the community college. All students in the nursing program at the college were required to take the Statistics course. I was the only teacher there with a degree in Statistics, so I taught most of the Statistics classes at that time. I taught many nurses through the years. In the summer of 198? I had about 10 nurses in a Statistics class. It was an evening class. I left my office and started my walk to reach my class, I had blurred vision, and I was very dizzy. It seemed to hit me so suddenly. I reached for my container of sugar in my pocket. It was not there. I recognized one of my students in the hall, and asked him to go to the classroom to tell them I would be late. I fumbled in my pocket for change to use the candy machine. No change. I had no one dollar bills to use in the machine. I should have gone to my class and asked for help but I was not thinking clearly. I went outside to my car. The parking lot was rather dark and my vision was so bad that I had great difficulty finding my car. I finally found and unlocked the car door. I knew I had a roll of quarters I used for tolls. I grabbed the roll and headed back to the candy machine. It was not in the same building as my class. My hands were shaking, and I dropped several coins. My vision was so bad that I had to feel for the coin slot. I managed to get several coins in the slot. I could not read the letters and numbers so I just pushed buttons and pulled knobs until something dropped. I felt something, but did not know what it was. I wanted candy but I had a big cookie with some sticky stuff between layers. I gobbled it down, and headed to the other building to meet my class. I was about 15 minutes late. I explained what had happened. The nurses were all over me for not asking them to help. A couple of them were perhaps in their late 30's, and had been nurses in a local hospital for years. They were at my desk, feeling my pulse and asking me questions. The class started late, but I have always bounced back from these hypos wery well. The class was about 2 1/2 hours long but it was Ok that evening.
Two days later I had a terrible hypo during the night, and my wife could not get me to eat anything. I was convulsing, and she called an ambulance. They were there promptly, and gave me a much needed injection. I was hospitalized for two days. One of the nurses from my class waited on me there. Another nurse from my class kept dropping in even though she was on duty in another part of the hospital. That was a weekend, and I was back in class Mon. evening. Everyone knew what had happened by the time I got to class. Those nurses took good care of me both in class, and at the hospital. That was the only time in my first 34 years of teaching that I had such help, or need of help, from my students.