I am celebrating my 50th year of having diabetes this year and am proud of it.
I was 8 years old when diagnosed and was told I may not live to see 14, as many children just didn’t make it with this illness, back in those days.
A few years after diagnosis, I had a wonderful doctor that pushed, prodded, and challenged me to learn all I could about diabetes and its care. Dr. Jones told me I had to stay up to date with my diabetes learning/information, as it was forever changing. He also reminded me that I had to take care of my diabetes every day and he had to only do it 3-4 times a year, when I had an appointment. My Mother measured everything I ate, for 10 years, until I graduated from high school and left home.
It was rough back then. There were no glucose meters and lots of myths including:
1. I wasn’t suppose to eat anything with sugar.
2. Diabetes was contagious.
3. I was going to be very limited in what I could do for work as an adult.
4. I wasn’t suppose to have any birth children.
5. I had a difficult time getting a driver license.
6. Etc, etc, etc.
I’ve done lots of jobs in my life so far, including being a hairdresser, police officer, and security officer. I also have a vehicle driver’s license, as well as a motorcycle license. I have a beautiful daughter that is now 36 years old.
At 58 years old, I have very minimal neuropathy and no others diabetes complications at this time.
I also run two free monthly diabetes education and support groups locally.
My personal feelings about having diabetes are: Since I have a brain, I will know and run my diabetes, instead letting my diabetes, that has no brain, run me. As a result, I probably am more healthy now than if I didn’t have diabetes, due to taking care of myself.