I enjoy reading articles about the effect that Diabetes has had on individuals and how it has changed their lives. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for just under 64 years. I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was a few months over one-year old. Way back then, life was extremely different. I recall my Mom boiling glass syringes and needles. She had to sharpen the needles with a hone (this is a stone that you may see occasionally in an old-time butcher shop that is used to sharpen knives.) I am told that I’d start running as soon as I saw my Mom preparing for the shot. She says that I’d start running all around the house. I remember how she originally checked my urine. She used a device like a Bunson Burner, add water, powder and urine. Next testing method was to add urine into a test tube, add a tablet and color would provide test results. Next step was urinating into a cup, dipping a strip and getting a color which would approximate a reading.
My world changed with the advent of the Glucose Meter with strips. Now the pump has been invented and, with it, infinitely better control over this deadly disease. Diabetes is prevalent in my family. I lost my older brother from all of the complications of this disease. People don’t understand what I mean when I say that I can easily have walked in his shoes. I believe that the reason Diabetes does not receive the funding from the Government that it should is simply that unless I told you that I was a Diabetic, you’d never know.
In addition, Diabetes is not advertised as a deadly disease which can easily result in heart problems, circulatory problems, neuropathy and, of course, many amputations. Again, I have been much blessed with no complications from this disease other than short term memory loss which is being responded to by my medical team. I have been a member of Joselin Diabetes Research Center as a Medalist which means 50 years, minimum, with no complications.
It may not seem much today but 50 years ago, most of us died. I am extremely aggressive with my Diabetes and would recommend that each and every Diabetic, both Type 1 and Type 2 become extremely aggressive. It is your disease and it can easily cripple and kill. I have spoken to many newly diagnosed Diabetics in my own inimitable way and have attempted to encourage them to take total control of this disease and become responsible for managing the disease.
After reading the above to my daughter, who has been a Type 1 for over 25 years, she strongly advised that I had to provide some encouraging wording as I come on too strong. I would like to end by saying that the treatment and tools now available to Diabetics enable them to control their Diabetes as never before. We all have our own blood level comfort level, but this is the first time that we have tools available to let us live longer, healthier lives.
Diabetes is not an easily controlled disease but we have methods readily available to let us live healthy and successful lives. Take control, my friends, and success to you all, each and every one. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to express my opinions.