In the early 80’s, I’d traveled to Northern Ireland to get into the music scene, folks and cultural, Trad-rock and generally goof off. I wound up getting married and settling in Belfast, a major city over there, because of the musical venues and ‘sessions.’ What we would call ‘Jam sessions’ here in the USA.
We’d just moved into a derelict flat, and the Housing Executive were getting ready to repair and revive the flat. I was clearing old things out and constantly thirsty. As the next fortnight progressed our flat was almost finished and I was by now having some bad back pain, lost about 2 stone (28lbs) And finally on Sunday afternoon, September 9th, 1984, I staggered into the Royal Victoria hospital’s “Casualty” (Their “ER”)
After a few questions and a urinalysis, a very pretty blonde ‘English-Rose’ lady doctor said ‘Right. We’re admitting you.’
Started of on 2 shots of a Reg/NPH mixture and hated the time factors everything was now taking in my usually unstructured life. On leaving the hosital, I saw a patient come in and someone mentioned ‘Insulin-Pump’ On hearing more about it, I wanted this. Back then, the NHS in the UK would not even consider insulin pumps at all. I stayed another 8 years after that, coming home to the USA on the death of my mom, and earlier divorce from the hubby. No harm to the guy, we just grew apart.
After coming back to the ‘States, I got familiar with the banking-err-insurance ins and outs and eventually got my insulin-pump, buying it rather illicitly from a user up north who no longer wanted to be tethered. After buying that first one, the insurance I was on started to cover the sets and equipment for it about 1995. I upgraded pumps in 1999, and again in 2006. In 2007 started with my own CGMS – This thing is amazing…!
The day it got ‘Real’ was the day I was told I had type 1 diabetes. my rock and roll days were not Over, but I also recognized my humanity and fallibility in the biological sense. I had to grow up a bit. Stop being stupid with partying and drinking, start eating a bit better and resting when my body asked for it.
On my 25th anniversary, I’m still a big kid. Went to the Irvine spectrum shopping center, rode the Ferris wheel, ate some Chinese food and dessert was some Kelly’s fudge. Counting, bolusing, figuring… all pretty much second nature by now.
A month later, I got my Joslin 25th cert, because the doctor who treated me in the RVH back then is now a Professor of Endocrinology & Diabetes at the Royal Group of Hospitals. He still had my papers and was kind in sending copies to me. This is one of many things I have done well in life. Managing the type one dragon. s/he is in MY service, when I treat it well, it usually plays nice with me.