I’m Heather and have lived with T1D since 8 years of age. While I was diagnosed on October 15, 1978, I celebrate my diaversary on the 18th as that was when I awoke from the coma and found out that I had something they called “brittle juvenile diabetes.”
At the time, the doctors told me that I would be dead by 40, blind, with an amputation, and most likely on dialysis. This “death sentence” set me on an overly zealous path of self-destruction that I followed well into adulthood. I spent first couple of decades with diabetes actively facilitating my demise. And, doing a rather good job of it, I must add.
I thought I was rebelling against my diagnosis, only to find that I was actually rebelling against the chance of a good life. I held on to being extremely resentful of the doctors and their prognosis for many years, and yet to be fair; my diagnosis was 15 years before the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial demonstrated, how we manage diabetes REALLY does matter.
The past 20 years, or so, I have learned to embrace diabetes as part of what makes me, me. It is my personal mission to help others overcome the obstacles and barriers to self-care and live well with diabetes.
Profoundly grateful to say that I am almost 10 years past “my expiration date,” with all of my body parts, and am living a Sweet Life with diabetes!
Welcome, I was diagnosed in 1974. In 2008 I found this community and then after being away for a little bit I returned in 2012. Welcome to the one place that we can always say what is in our heart. Welcome home !!
Sorry to hear that you received same messaging. It seems it was commonplace back then. I was at a luncheon last fall where we honored about 20 Joslin Medalists. I posed the question, “who was told by a physician they should have been dead a long time ago?” Everyone in the group raised their hand.
Happy to hear you and many others here are beating the odds, too. Also, completely agree that tech, newer insulins and peer support were and are integral to mine as well.
Thank you for sharing about your experiences here. I appreciate your contributions to the advocacy efforts of DPAC. Advocating for our community is something that I also take great joy in doing, Am always on the lookout for opportunities.
Hello SweetHeather, I like your attitude, and your introduction! I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. Children diagnosed back then were not expected to live beyond their teen years. I have now completed 73 years with type 1, and I do not have any serious diabetes complications.
There are so many Type 1 people who have lived many years beyond their initial life expectancy. More than 6000 people have received the 50 year Joslin medal, and many have the 75 year medal. Several have the 80 year medal.
You are doing well! Keep up the good work!