Diagnosis +15 Years

Yesterday, April 1st, marked my 15th anniversary of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. As I think back, it seems like yesterday in many ways. I remember the doctor telling me about my ridiculously high blood sugar in the ER. I remember the sincerity in his voice when he told me that I was lucky to be alive and that DKA would have taken my life within a few hours had not sought help. I remember the tech’s coming in my room almost hourly to check my blood sugar… all hours of the day and night. I remember my nurse showing me how to draw my first insulin shot after I had stabilized. I remember my first meter – the precarious way I had to balance a drop of blood off my finger and onto the waiting OneTouch test strip – and the funny flickering red lights. Most importantly, I remember wondering why I had lived.

This past December I found myself in an ER for the first time since my diagnosis in 1993. Once again I was at the crossroads, like it or not. I was fortunate to not have the life changing issues that I faced all those years ago, but the risks and fears were just as real. Having a wonderful wife and family and potentially risking everything served as my final wake-up call.

Just as I experienced all of the “new’s” then, I have spent the past few months experiencing “new-new’s” again. Getting back to multiple testing, religiously. Learning carb counting and leaving the part carb counting, part exchange counting behind. And most recently, finally biting the bullet and moving to the insulin pump, only to find out that all of my worries and barriers to entry were all in my head.

With an A1C of 7.7, down from the ugly double-digit number I faced in December, and officially moving ahead with applying for CGM, I am thankful for my accomplishments. Hopefully I can begin to add time back to the end of this ride, that would have been gone forever had I not made a change. This community has played a strong part in my transformation and I hope those who may feel that they can’t do it – or can no longer do it – stop for a minute to think about the many more reasons that they can. Because you can.