17 Years and Counting

I find it hard to believe that today marks 17 years since I was diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, 17 years ago was a Monday as well. And Easter was closing in on us, too, as I recall. The endo I was assigned told me that he expected type 1 dm to be cured in 5 years. At that time, there was a sense of expectation, since the DCCT was about to be released, confirming that tight control helps reduce the incidence of complications. “Keep yourself in good shape, keep your bgs down and you have a good chance of being complication-free when the cure finally does come.”

It’s 17 years later and the cure is still not in sight. It’s 17 years later and while there are a plethora of blood glucose meters out there, their accuracy is no better than it was 17 years ago. Insulin pumps are smaller, and insulin no longer has to be buffered to use them, but they still fail. There are even fewer insulins now than there were before. Diabetes management is still one of the most cognitively complex – cognitively demanding – medical problems out there.

Even though there appears to be a lack of progress, I still think my first endo’s advice is still wise: keep yourself in good shape (eat well, exercise, rest, manage stress, etc) and keep your blood sugars as close to normal as possible. Because that latter part did not always happen, sadly, I’m not free of complications (as I sit here, my foot is tingling and to me, feels a bit cool, a reminder of my neuropathy). Even so, on this anniversary day, I think I will try to forgive myself the things that are out of my control, and remember to focus on the things that are in my control, so I can go forward with my life with hope.

My wish for everyone with diabetes is for all of us to continue to have hope for the future.

Good show for 17 years. This August will be my 15th.