35 years with type 1

This is an important year in my life: I turn 50 in August, and in September I will mark 35 years with type 1 diabetes.

I was diagnosed on September 24, 1973, when I went into a coma resulting from ketoacidosis. The coma lasted 4 days and I was in the hospital for three weeks adjusting to insuilin. Those were very different days. I took one shot of NPH insulin every morning and was supposed to test my urine three times a day (I didn’t do that).

Through college and young adulthood, I ate and drank whatever I wanted and never tested my sugar. I’m very lucky to have survived that time, and even luckier that I have no serious complications today (limited to two frozen shoulders and dermopathy around my feet).

In 1984 I moved to multiple-daily injections and blood testing. I was a very irregular blood tester until around 1998. I began pumping insulin in March 2001 and it has improved the quality of my life so much. I would rather not be diabetic, but as long as I am diabetic I hope I will be able to pump.

My wife Angie, and my daughters Audrey (18) and Claire (13) have given me plenty of motivation to move to better self care. Also, in late 2000 I joined an online discussion of type 1 diabetes that introduced me to more type 1 diabetics than I’ve ever known (until I found this site). That online community has been a wonderful support for me over the last 7+ years. You can find it here: More Pins and Needles, TableTalk.Salon.com.

Audrey (oldest daughter) had a great vocal teacher in middle school who has type 1 diabetes and is a member here (she’s known here as Kimberly). I’m hoping that this community will help motivate me to exercise more and take my self-care to the next level. Before I turn 50, I’d like to have a regular exercise regimen, to make progress in healing my sore shoulders, and lower my body fat so my insulin resistance will improve.

How are you doing?

Hi Jeff,
I too have had T1 D. for a long time 34+ yrs. It sounds as though using pump therapy was the key to your sucess! I am also on a pump. I use the Omni Pod pump. I am glad that you do not have very serious complications resulting from your D. That is wonderful. I also have 2 daughters, who are my inspiration to do the best I can with my D. control, (my husband plays a part in that too! LOL) It just amazes me how quickly the years have gone by living withD. We are both blessed with our supportive families, but even more with our determination to do the best we can with our health! Be well, Linda

Greetings, Jeff!
We have many things in common, and I wish you only the best in your endeavors to deal with this problem. I have a few years on you, I was Dx-d in December of 1944 in wartime Norway, and living conditions were a bit trying there back then. Diabetes treatment was also fairly rudimentary, Banting & Best were our heroes, and we tried to survive on things like Benedict’s Reagens, steel needle sharpeners, and lots of boiling water to sterilize syringes and accessories.
But we have made it, and I continue to marvel at the tools we now have available to us. Fiften years ago I couldn’t spell endocrinology, and now we have gotten pumps (I don’t use one) and CGM (which I use).

34 years for me on March 1st. …I never dreamt that I’d see my 20 anniversary and here I am today, still kickin’.
Best wishes to you for continued determination and motivation.

jeff! you made it! as i was reading about the anniversary or the site, i was thinking about how it was this time last year that i found out there were more diabetics in the world than me. it was tudiabetes and the community here that really started me on the path to pumping which has totally changed my life. i think you’ll find this group of people and the information you find here uplifting, supportive and an incentive to change your life for the better.