Dying Young?

This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.

Many diabetics are faced with the idea of dying young. This (dying young) isn’t a fact, but just a possibility. I know many type 1 diabetics who have lived with this disease for many years, even up to 65 years, and are now healthy senior citizens.

The fact is that anybody can die young. you don’t have to be a person with a disease, you can die from an accident, or murder, or any number of things. So why do so many diabetics spend so much time thinking about death and a short life?

(The Band Perry - If I Die Young)

One reason could be that diabetes used to be a guaranteed early death. But not anymore, so stop thinking that! Yes, it can still happen, especially if you don’t take care of yourself. But it is more likely that if you care for your diabetes that you will live just as long as any non-diabetic.

Another reason is the constant vigilance of health and warnings of “higher risk” for this, that, and everything else. We are bombarded every day, all day with the need to be aware of our health, our numbers. Taking shots (or changing pump sites), checking blood sugar, counting carbs, doctor appointments, lab work, the worry of severe hypos, and everything else. It is easy to think about death when the warnings and worries are all around weather you want them to be or not, weather they are true or not. The constant reminder (lie) that you are sick, not healthy, not normal.

I say, who gives a ■■■■ what others think. I’m normal for me. I’m trying to be as healthy as possible for me and I will live as long as I am lotted to live and I will not worry myself with if and when I am going to die…or how.

Diabetes has not been a death sentence for a long time and people, diabetic or not, need to stop thinking type 1 diabetes = early death.

When I get frustrated, worried, or depressed about my health issues I always listen to this song and it calms me. For me this beautiful song leads me to think about comfort, love, and peace.

Yiruma - River Flows In You


Although one cannot truly know someone just by reading their posts on this Forum, I feel as if I’ve gotten to know you, Tamra, by reading your thoughtful posts. I suspect we’d be fast friends in real life…

Thank you for writing this, and thank you for the link to the beautiful and soothing music.

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Hi Tamara, I enjoyed listening to that beautiful piece and can understand why it fills you with comfort. There was an Asian artist named Kitaro whose music was also a work of art and had a similar effect on me.

I was 16 when my type 1 was diagnosed; a junior in high school. I cried and cried. It was the absolute worse thing I could have imagined. While friends in school, circa 1964 were practicing the
application of lipstick and mascara (in anticipation of the Junior Prom) I spent 2 weeks in the hospital
learning the fine art of shooting Insulin.

Life wasn’t fair! Wasn’t I the child who ran and hid when the doctor made house calls with a huge syringe in his hand?

My dad explained to me that life was like a spinning wheel and that sometimes we are on the bottom
but that eventually we’ll be on top again. It was such a ‘bitter pill’ for me to swallow. And, if only
it were a pill but, alas, it was 1964 and my insulin needed to be injected with a glass syringe which my
mom had to sterilize on the stove in a pot of water.
Still, I loved life so much. The beauty of nature, the four seasons, the fruit trees my grandparents grew
along with the most beautiful roses of every color.

Upon graduating high school (wasn’t yet interested in college) I started working. At age 22 I came extremely close to dying. I had taken on a position I wasn’t ready for. I was overly-stressed and
there weren was’t glucometers at that time. I started slipping into a coma; my father was away and
my mom thought it was a flu. My dad and I shared a psychic connection and he held my hand tight
as a police ambulance rushed me to the hospital as I tried to remain conscious.

Doctors worked on me in ER’ at that point I was unconscious and didn’t awake until they had put
me in a room and I, with strength I didn’t know I had, fought as 2 doctor intubated me. Over the next
few days I had teams of doctors come in smiling and shaking their heads; all remarking that I had an
incredible will to survive. My doctor later told me that I had made medical history, that my blood sugar
was up to 1,000??? He was head of Mt. Sinai - diabetes division and so I believed him.

I married at 25 and had 2 sons at ages 27 and 30. They are now 36 and 39 and are healthy. And I’m
blessed to have 2 beautiful grandsons.

Life is what we make of it. I never thought I’d have children. Never thought I’d make it to my current age of 67. I don’t go to church but I constantly talk to God and thank Him for all he has given me.

Heaven, or the Other Side, I feel, will be so much more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

In the meantime, treating Diabetes now, is really on the cutting-edge. Diabetics are living longer, and with the technology of today, so much of life can be experienced and enjoyed. Sure beats the heck out of the big glass syringe of my yesteryears - LOL


Hi @Tamra11, thank you for your thoughtful and well-written posts. Your positive attitude is admirable and inspiring. I am not good with words on subjects such as the one you addressed in your post, so I’ll just share these thoughts by Charlie Brown and Snoopy


I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. The year was 1966. I was not afraid until my mother started to cry. But the very wise doctor said to her, “Mother, your child will probably live to be 99 because from this point forward she will care for herself, watch what she eats, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and will be aware of how her body reacts.” The doctor was right. Although I cannot say how long I actually will live, in April of 2016 I will be aware that 50 years have passed since my initial diagnosis. My health is relatively good. I have kept my weight in control all of these years, and my husband and I exercise on a daily basis. We have two wonderful daughters, and I have been blessed with a grandson. Is diabetes a daily concern? Of course, but I believe that the condition has helped me live a full life while counting my blessings, just as the doctor predicted all of those years ago. As for 99? Well, my mother is now 92, so longevity is in the genes. Don’t count me out yet!


I was fortunate that, growing up with diabetes, my parents never talked much about dying or complications. I knew about the complications, but I didn’t think about them much. I didn’t have any other family members with either type of diabetes, and so my parents and I were ignorant to how scary diabetes could be. Growing up it was lows I was scared of, not highs, because lows were the thing I had scary experiences with. I didn’t really become scared of highs or complications until I was in my early 20s and read a bunch of autobiographies written by people with diabetes and discovered that every one of them had complications.

Sometimes, I worry what life will be like when I retire and have had diabetes for over 50 years. But most of the time I don’t spend time worrying. I’ve unexpectedly lost close friends who were in their 30s, and so I know that dying is something that can happen anytime to anyone anywhere, and there’s not much point in worrying about it. As long as I’m taking as good care of myself as I can, I’d rather enjoy life and live it to its fullest than spend time worrying.

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i never think, type 1. as a early death, i’m in very, good health,.

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