I am diabetes.
I have been diabetic all of my life. From the age of 2 to be precise. I am also 16th generation diabetic.
But my story really follows a very strange path. The doctor who took care of me would not tell my parents I was diabetic. As he put it, I had something like what Geralds parents have but not quite. But you need to bring her in every three months for a checkup..
Every three months from the time I was 2-years-old until the doctor left for Florida (about the age of 15). I went faithfully. Pee tests, blood tests and a series of shots. I was always told I could not eat for about 30 minutes to 5 minutes and then make sure I had little sugar. years and Years this went on. His concern he told my parents was my weight.
I loved bread and peanut butter, the crunchy kind. I was told peanut butter was O.K. but not the bread. Instead, make sure I ate fruits and vegetables. No
problem for me.
For over 35 years, every time I would get seriously ill doctors would take blood work and on one occasion after I had slept for three months straight and my blood sugars were 285 still it was ignored.
I was 39 when the blessed news was given to me. I was in the ER and a nurse came over and asked if I was diabetic. I was always told I never was so to me I wasn’t. She came back with a syringe of insulin. Said, “Julie you are diabetic, your glucose was 374 here is some insulin we are sending the blood to the lab to get a more accurate reading. She shot it into my I.V. and blessed relief! No more burning feet!
I had made the trip to the ER because I had developed a peroneal non resolved diabetic abscess stage 3.
Anyway, she came back with a tray of syringes. My blood sugar was actually 417. She gave me a bit more insulin and began the surgery prep. They saved my leg!
The following morning the Diabetes Educator came in and I was overjoyed at being diagnosed diabetic. I was thrilled. That which had been plaguing me and haunting me had a name!
I took to the information, testing and giving myself shots like a duck to water.
It was freeing to have a diagnosis and treatment.
After a while, I had received my medical records from my original doctor. It turned out he had put comments that he didn’t know how to tell my parents I was diabetic and he was afraid that my mom would not take the news well. So the thought that by controlling my diet and telling them I had something similar they could get used to the idea. Borderline was the best term he could come up with. I had in all of my years progressed through every stage of diabetes. MODY, but in reality was juvenile. Borderline, type 2 and now back to type 1. Which I was all along.
I was the youngest in the family to be diagnosed. And aside from my father dying early from diabetic complications due to the doctor not wanting to put dad on insulin, I hope to live a long life. My great grandfather died in in his 90s, my other grandparents in their late 70s and early 80s. Many took diabanese for years and ate so little it was amazing.
However, I hated the oral medications. I never felt in control. I always had to watch everything I ate, how much and what combination. The oral medication failed after 2 years.
And the doctors refused to pick up on it. So I forced the issue of insulin. Now on insulin, I can eat as I like. Vegetarian and as little as I like. No longer tethered to the oral medications. I get immediate control of spikes or lows. I have better healing ability and ability to take care of myself.
I do not hope for a cure. I do not hang on every study or clinical trial as the hope everyone is waiting for. You can waste your life doing that. I prefer to enjoy Banting’s discovery, relish it, embrace it. And get on with life.
Because of Baptist Hospital and programs that I learned from I am the face of diabetes today. I am an avid soon to be Snorkel Instructor, An IFA fitnesss Aqua instructor, A Presidential Fitness Champion Award recipient (three times and going for gold), I love climbing on waterfalls, day hiking, bowling, riding my bicycle and living life large.
I am Julie and I am diabetic.
hear me roar!