Another year that came and went

In the big picture, it was just another day for me. So much so, that it came and went and I never thought about it.
Another year. Of many years that just keep adding up. September 28, 1970 was the day my life changed forever. And my family’s life changed forever. It is a day that I will remember forever. And as we have learned, when you face a traumatic event, you don’t remember everything and sometimes the things you remember are the littlest details.
I don’t remember a lot of the diagnosis because I was in a coma at the end. But I floated in and out and I remember sitting in a wheel chair outside the gift shop while my Mom did the insurance stuff and I saw this beautiful teddy bear. And when a parents child is that deathly ill and they want something, it’s done. I’m sure that bear was way overpriced but I do remember when I finally came around, that bear was in the bed next to me. He was named Hector by my family doctor (another story). But Hector became my buddy and my parents always knew when things were not good, because Hector was with me.
I do reasons very scary talks the nurses and doctors had with my parents throughout my ER visit and my two weeks in the hospital. They think because they are out of the room, you don’t hear. So those very scary realities stuck with me.
Do I remember who was in my room with me, no. Do I remember all the classes I went to with my Mom, no. I remember some especially the ones with older type 2’s with many complications. Do I remember walking up and down the halls trying to get some exercise, yes. But memories are very select. Most of mine are the scary ones.
So 48 years later and while none of those scary things have happened to me, they are a driving and motivating force in my care. They scare the heck out of me but that works well for me, as I am winning the battle most of the time.
So I know I won’t have another 48 years in me, I will continue the fight and continue the fight for everyone else. So whether it is canvassing right now for elections, or doing clinical trials or just helping a fellow PWD get through a tough stretch, I will continue the fight! And maybe next year, since I won’t be so invested in election stuff, I can actual celebrate the day when it actually happens instead of a week or so later😊


This tugged at my heart-strings, a poignant story.

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Congratulations on another year. I just passed my 27-year diaversary yesterday.

Like you, I don’t remember a whole lot of my diagnosis, but I do remember bits and pieces of it.

Luckily, there was no scary talk outside my door.

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Same for me, 50+ years ago. I was not close to coma when my mom took me to the doctor. I clearly recall her trembling voice when she called my dad to say we were being sent directly to hospital. I recall an IV in my arm for fluids, and some type of board to keep it secure, and limit my motion.

No teddy bear at the hospital, but my kindergarten teacher brought over several gifts to my house after I got home, and I got a toy doctor kit, including a toy syringe!

Recently, as each year goes by, I pause and review all the new products and improvements we see each year. In 70s, 80s, not much changed year by year.


I remember almost nothing about my actual diagnosis over 30 years ago, but I do remember being in the hospital for a week. I remember what the room looked like and what my roommate was there for (well, at least what his diagnosis was related to, I don’t know if I ever knew exactly what he was being diagnosed with, but then, I was only in elementary school), but nothing about what the doctors said to me. But I think that anybody that can survive several decades of dealing with everything we need to do (and it sounds like you survived more than 1 1/2 times as long as me) has something to be thankful for and a right to be proud of themselves.

Since a number of my relatives had diabetes I had a general knowledge of the symptoms, so when I noticed it was drinking and urinating more than usual, I tested my urine with a urine glucose strip we always kept handy just in case and found that mine was 2%. Well, 2% I thought, that’s such a small number that it can’t be very bad, not knowing that a normal person has no sugar in the urine and that any is a pathological sign.

Only when I did some research at the school library the next day did I realize the significance of the result, which I kept to myself, planning to commit suicide later that night. I climbed to the top shelf of the pantry to access the dangerous things that were kept there out of the reach of children and found my uncle’s World War II ceremonial dagger. However, when I pulled off the black and silver, stylized eagle top I noticed that the danger was not all that sharp, so I decided it was not the most comfortable way to kill myself and returned it to its sheath, planning instead to jump out of a high window the next day. I did get far enough to push it a bit into my stomach, though, but just enough to appreciate how unpleasant death by that method was going to be.

I decided finally to tell my parents what was going on and was taken straight to the hospital and started on insulin, which repeatedly failed to do its job, since with each increasing dose the urine sugar stayed high. After a few days of waiting I went to the Joslin’s Clinic and began diabetes lessons, which in those days, back in 1966, were wildly optimistic about the prospects for a cure in the next five or ten years, so the disease was presented as just a momentary inconvenience which would soon be overcome. I did not realize then how even serious professionals tell absurdly over-optimistic lies to new patients about hopeless diseases, so I could not put the propaganda I was being fed into proper perspective.

So I bounced from being suicidal to viewing the entire problem with a shrug as just a passing irritation, and only over the years did I come to a properly realistic view of it as a never ending 50% reduction in quality of life, but not as something worth killing myself over.

My condition and diagnosis came on slowly over a few months. I went from 125 to 95 pounds while drinking every liquid I could get my hands on and craving something to eat but just couldn’t put my finger on what sounded good. I could hardly stand when I went to the doctors and as many have said on this page you remember going to the hospital just after the appointment. What I remember the most about the appointment were the nurses outside saying how high the blood level was, 495. Most have never heard the start of my journey they have only known me as being a diabetic.

I’m not a sensitive person and normally talk straight and sometimes come across a little abrasive. The result of 33 years of type 1 diabetes has been long and bumpy for the most part. I have had my share of highs and lows, some lows sitting on the floor leaning against the open refrigerator drinking milk from the jug. I have generously passed my disease to three of five children, some angry at first and other not so much. They have seen what this has taken from my in their life time. I will admit I appreciate the time on earth more because of the sensitivity and death and the extremely fine line between the two but find myself having more “emotional” breakdowns in the recent years.

I’ve tried to live with the idea that there may not be a tomorrow so take the opportunity to ride that crazy roller coaster, jump from a plane or go to college MUCH later in life. I’m finding little things make me get a little emotional, stair out the window more watching the weather change.

A little hard to explain to my wife or kids, they don’t seem to understand the struggle of diabetes. The Forum helps to read so thank you all for your contribution and for being open to share.


I am also past the 52 years and yes things are changing rapidly compared to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s but one thing we know for sure it is all money driven and not solution driven.
Why isn’t there a “cure” because we can sell different insulins, different syringes, different pumps, basically anything to “manage” the decease but God forbid getting a solution to reverse (cure) the illness.

I’m sorry you suffered such reduction in QOL. Your journey was similar, yet much different than mine.

I was diagnosed around the same time, started one daily injection of Lente insulin. Diet in my family was always home cooked meals, veggies from garden, and minimal sweets. So for first 20+ years T1D, my life didn’t change much, although I did have high BG and positive glucose in urine most days. My Doctors were more worried about lows than highs, prior to DCCT results.
I completed school through college on this regime, rarely missing any days, and active in sports and other activities with great QOL. Most did not even know about my diabetes.

With some complications now (diagnosed after 25 years T1D), I still consider myself with high QOL after 50+ years.

Well, I also did a lot of things and saw a lot of life despite type 1 diabetes, living and working in seven different countries and at one point having to fly every week between Germany and England to teach at two universities at once. But I would still say that my quality of life was reduced by half through diabetes, given all the time lost to managing it, worrying about it, suffering with hypoglycemia, dealing with complications and the constant threat of them, adjusting to a diminished life expectancy, having to decide not to have children in order to avoid the guilt of passing on the risk of a severe illness, etc.

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Hi Seydlitz, it’s been a while but your posts have been very informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with those of us (relatively) new to the disease.

I was diagnosed October 31, 1970 Your story is my story Word for Word !
I used to dread the anniversary as another year closer to inevitable complications The words of those medical people back in 1970 ingrained deep in my brain
But I like you choose to fight every day embrace each new medical advance each connection with someone with T1D and see all the gifts that this disease has brought !
As next week approaches I will celebrate Halloween and begin the journey for the next 48 years with grace and gratitude!!
Thank you for sharing !!

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