A Letter to Diabetes

I was told writing a letter to diabetes would be cathartic, so here goes…

Dear Diabetes,

I was a fairly healthy 34 year old, slightly overweight but with decent eating habits and a regular exercise regimen. Before diagnosis, I only thought of Type 1 as something that affected other people’s kids. I barely knew the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. I went on a date with my wife to celebrate our anniversary and found that I couldn’t get enough water. After doing the paranoid internet research doctors just love, I called my GP and she had me come in the next day. Within 24 hours of normal, my whole life was turned inside-out. You have completely consumed my life since that fateful day. I think I’ve researched all there is to research on the worldwide web. All my mental energy is being spent wondering about what comes next. Am I still in the honeymoon phase, or is my low-carb diet paying off? Will my insulin needs increase drastically all of a sudden or is it a slow burn? Do other Type 1’s just eat too many carbs and that’s why they have such drastic highs and lows, or is that just how my life will be in the near future? Will my 10 year old daughter develop type 1?
Because of you, I will always have to count on civilization not collapsing so I can still procure insulin. Because of you, I will always have to have a job that provides really good insurance. Because of you, there is a much higher likelihood my wife will become a widow and my daughter fatherless.
Hey Diabetes, go ■■■■ yourself.

Best regards

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Excellent, Chris3. Excellent. You are a wordsmith, lol.

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In the old days, this was more true, but not today with current treatments. Your actions, attitudes, educating yourself will be a big part of your success. Choose to beat this !!

T1D for 55 years.

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I second MM1’s post. It is up to you and it sounds like you are going to do a really good job on this.

If you were going to develop T1D, think of yourself as lucky your body waited until really wonderful technology became available to help you manage. When I learned I was a T1D, they gave me a roll of Lilly Tes-Tape (Urine Sugar Analysis Paper). This measures spillage of glucose into the urine, which means your BG has already gone quite high before you get a reading. Much later I got a meter, and last year a Dexcom G6 CGM. It is so very much easier to manage now, what with alerts telling me of problems ahead in time to correct them.

I just checked – I have been a T1D for 55 years 4 months, similar to MM1. I am very active and have not allowed my T1D to keep me from doing anything I wanted to. Yes, there are inconveniences, but compared to the alternative, they are not a big deal.

The key is to take it seriously and do what you’ve learned is the right thing, then get on with life and don’t look back.

@Chris3:

While I don’t have the experience of either @MM1 or @Jim10 (I’ve only been a T1D for a scant 48 years starting at age 22), I agree with them completely: the ball is in your court but there is some amazing technology available to help you. It probably sounds twisted, but this is an EXCITING time to be a T1D with better insulins, more accurate BGMs, CGM, first generation closed loop pumps, shelf stable glucagon … and who knows what we will see over the next 5-10 years. Pat yourself on the back for being smart enough to wait until now to become a T1D …

I think that there are a lot of chronic conditions that are a lot more debilitating than T1D. My younger brother has serious RA and watching what he goes through in terms of pain, numerous joint replacements, etc, I can’t help think “How did I get off so easily?”

Best of luck … but I think that you’ll find this forum a great resource in the coming years.

Stay safe!

John

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Type 1 s are usually underweight at diagnosis so you you are a little rare.

My letter goes like this…

Dear Diabetes.
You absolutely and completely suck.
I pretty much hate dealing with your tired behind.
No matter what I do or how I do it, you are always there annoying me.
I really wish you would get lost for ever.
We are not friends, never were.
Don’t talk to me.

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I was happy when I was told I was type 1, not happy because I was a type 1, but happy that I was finally diagnosed right and things finally made sense. I was slightly overweight too and they automatically assumed I was type 2. It wasn’t until I switched doctors that I was tested right away and diagnosed right.

Your daughter can be tested to see if she’s at risk. We inherit a gene usually from Northern European descent that makes us susceptible to developing type 1. Interestingly to me is my 2 sisters don’t have as much Swedish background per Ancestry as I do, but I don’t know if they have the gene or not. They are older and do not have type 1, but I had an uncle that did.

My letter goes like this…

I know I am blessed because I could be so much worse off. God gave me a disease that I can control at least a little bit and in a lot of respects maybe I have to pay more attention to my health and exercise regularly. I am thankful that I have all these wonderful tools to use and it’s not 50 years ago. But I sure wish I could fire you. You screw with me a little too much.

52 years, since age 7. Boiled a glass syringe weekly for I don’t know how long, urine tests and the doctors said nice things when you (I) didn’t spill too much sugar. Even getting the ability to test blood by ourselves was huge. CGM makes it far more complicated because you can no longer assume that what you don’t see is OK, we have far more information to interpret.

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