Complications, but Life Is Good

In 1945, when I was diagnosed, my family did not know that an early death for diabetics was very likely. I had to wait until I was in my 30’s to find that my life expectancy in 1945 was not so good. I might have died while in my teens, but I was alive and healthy at that time. A doctor in Richmond, Va, when I was 30, gave me a book that had a chart showing I might possibly live into my 40’s. I was told by a doctor in the 1970’s I was lucky to be alive, without complications, and I should prepare my will in case I did not live much longer. Very depressing!
In the meantime, my wife and I had two sons, and we had a good life in NY. I tried to not dwell on my life expectancy, and the forecasts of potential early death.
| have now lived with T1D for 72 years. My eyes and heart are in great shape, but I do have neuropathy in my feet and legs. My neurologist says the neuropathy is severe. Numbness, but very little pain. My walk is uneven, and I seem to stagger a bit at times, but I keep on taking long walks, without falling down. Just chugging along.
I have been having difficulty emptying my bladder. My urologist had me get an ultrasound to see if the urine has backed up into my kidneys, and caused damage. I got that report on Friday. I do not feel any pain there, and there is no damage, yet. I may have to get a catheter installed at a later date.

Is it Fall, yet? It does not look like Fall here. Not much rain for for a long time. The green leaves are turning brown and falling from the trees. No Fall colors seen here. I am grateful for ALL seasons as they occur one by one, while I keep on chugging along, living day by day. Life is good!! :slight_smile:


Type 1 diabetes really casts a psychological pall over life, since it becomes objectively sensible to be a hypochondriac, always fearing the complications that are likely to be over the horizon. It can also make patients rationally depressed about the future, since, with type 1 diabetes for example, they can legitimately expect a reduction of life expectancy, though not as great as it once was. For example, I used to be resentful at having to pay insurance contributions, since I assumed I would never live to enjoy retirement, though now, surprisingly, I am old enough to retire.

What always bothered me the most was the 30% risk of developing renal failure for type 1 diabetes, since this does greatly diminishes life expectancy and reduces the patient to an entirely inert form of existence, a bare survival far below genuine life. It also accelerates the development of other diabetes complications. One patient I knew was on dialysis in his thirties and was also blind. He had been a carpenter who had been a avid car mechanic as a hobby, but now both of his vocation and avocation were gone.

Avoid having a catheter if you can, since inserting one can be painful. I was threatened with this fate a few years ago, but fortunately, after having a catheter for a few months, I was able to function on my own again.

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I love the saying, “Life is Good” Your life is not only good, but an example to all of us. Thank you.

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Thank you for sharing! I’ve gotten so down lately, thinking that the complications are inevitable and that I could never possibly make it to 70 in a healthy state. I can’t tell you how much reading this calmed me down.

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Well that made me cry. I love to hear these stories because I hear so many of the bad ones as soon as someone notices my son dosing. People can be so oblivious. At the hospital, at diagnosis, they went over all the complications. Although they told my son that as long as he takes care of himself, he can live a long life, it scared him. His blood sugar was high for the first week of pumping and he told me he was scared he was going to die. He lays down to go to sleep sometimes and says “Mommy, don’t forget to check on me”. It’s heartbreaking. I tell him he is going to grow up healthier than everyone else because we pay so much attention to his health and diet. I hope my son is as blessed as you have been. Thanks for sharing. I am going to share your story with him!