Thursday, April 28, 2016

Summary Of My T1 Life

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 I became shy and withdrawn.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 52 years!!! Anita has helped me through many lows, including several seizures. I think she has saved my life many times. Then 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. (See the graph of my A1c's below.) 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.
I am not at all shy and withdrawn about my diabetes now. 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 am scheduled to do that again this year on Wednesday, July 6.
My life with diabetes is an open book. I actually did write a book about my life with diabetes. It was published in 2010, and it describes my first 64 years with type 1. It is called "Beating The Odds: 64 Years Of Diabetes Health". It can be found on Amazon.
Here is the graph showing my A1c's for 1980-2015. Some A1c's are missing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

T1 Misdiagnosed as T2

This blog by Melitta Rorty​ discusses the people who are diagnosed as type 2, but they are actually type 1. "...many, many doctors throughout the world..." are misdiagnosing type 1 diabetics as type 2. There are tests that would give a correct diagnosis, but these tests are not always performed.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Type 1, No Family History

"At most 10-15% of type 1 people have a first degree relative with T1, and the majority have no family history. Viruses, environment, and certain food items may play a role."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I wish People Knew That....

‪#‎IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes‬ is much easier to manage than when I was diagnosed in 1945. The life expectancy for type 1 diabetes in the US is almost as good as it is for non diabetics.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dr. Joslin's Story

#IWishThatPeopleKnewThatDiabetes was treated by Dr. Joslin before and after insulin was discovered.
Dr. Joslin was called "Dr. Diabetes" in is time. Here is his story, presented by the American Diabetes Association. He treated type 1 diabetics in the early 1900s, before insulin was discovered. I know several T1 people who were treated by Dr. Joslin. They are alive, without serious complications, and are Joslin Medalists. I wish I had lived near Boston in my childhood. He would have been a great doctor for me. My doctors in the southern states knew so little about diabetes.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Artificial Pancreas Projects, The Race Is ON

There are several projects that are developing an artificial pancreas, and human trials are in progress. Which AP will be the first one to be available to patients? Here is an article that reports on the up to date progress being made.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

I get good articlesfrom every day. I have learned a lot from them. There was one today about Insulin Resistance (IR): What causes it, how to diagnose, how to deal with it, etc. I am type 1, but was diagnosed with IR in 1998. That was 53 years after my diagnosis. Many type 1 people eventually have IR. I am taking 1000 mg of Metformin daily to help me with this. Some of my online type 1 friends may have IR. How about you? Here is the informational article about IR.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Medicare CGM Access Act of 2015 is Three Congressional Representative away from reaching the "magic number" that is crucial for pushing this to a vote. We have 115 from the House of representatives and we need 118. We also need more Senators. This is an update of the link shown below.

This is the time to act (and to re-act if your representative is NOT a co-sponsor yet) by sharing this and asking your friends and family to take action with you. We are SO CLOSE.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Inventing the Autosyringe

Dean Kamen invented the Autosyringe, the first practical insulin pump, 1979. I have Facebook friends who used that pump. Large and bulky compared to today's insulin pumps, but it helped way back then. Dean Kamen is a resident of New Hampshire. He has made many inventions. The Autosyringe is only one of them. He has a secret island off the coast of Connecticut with a structure containing some of his inventions. The second link below gives an interview with Dean, made for NBC TV.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Palmer Injector

I bet any of you who inject insulin did not use this device in the distant past. I didn't either. Just insert the loaded syringe and pull the trigger. It kept you from having to manually push the needle into your body. I know many people were very squeamish about doing that. I used the old fashioned push method. This contraption looks much too scary! It is called the Palmer injector, invented in 1955.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Statins Can Hurt You

I have experienced so much pain in my limbs since I started using a statin, at least ten years ago. My energy decreased considerably, too. I thought it was my getting older, and my arthritis, but now I am undecided. Many people have stopped taking statins. They now have much less pain, and their energy has returned. The article below suggests trying different cholesterol meds, hoping to find one that does not have these unpleasant side effects. Perhaps "people should talk with their doctors about whether it may be possible to manage their cardiovascular risk and lipid levels without taking statins long-term."

T1 International

We are surprised and disappointed that for World Health Day 2016, there is no mention of access to diabetes supplies or insulin. The WHO has chosen ‘beat diabetes’ as the theme for World Health Day this year, ignoring those who cannot afford or obtain their vital and essential medicines.
This is why T1International is sharing some data from our Insulin & Diabetes Supply Survey. We ask that you spread the word and use the hashtag ‪#‎insulin4all‬ as much as possible.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Little Girl, Type 1 Diagnosis

A wonderful blog written by Christel Aprigliano, about her type 1 diagnosis in 1983. It expresses the feelings so perfectly that so many of have experienced. Christel is a wonderful blogger!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Beta Bionics

Beta Bionics gives us an update on the Bionic Pancreas. This amazing device would determine our blood sugar levels, and then correct highs with insulin, and lows with glucagon. Click on the site, and then on the four pictures to see the information about the progress of the Bionic Pancreas.

Blood Vessels In A Finger

This picture shows the blood vessels in a single finger. We depend on them when we test our blood sugar. I started finger sticks in the mid 1980s when I purchased my first glucometer. That was a very important step in helping us to know our blood sugar levels, and then have some direction in achieving better diabetes management.