I am a T1 diabetic for 17 years and i am 29 now. I joined this website only yesterday. My doctors constantly keep reminding me the importance of controlling blood sugars and the consequences of not having good control over BG for prolonged durations. The biggest question i had during the first couple of years was not “for how long should i take these insulin shots?”(since i very quickly came to terms with the fact that this is for life long), but what would be my condition be in say like another 55-60 years (This question occurred to me when i was 15 and i was hoping to live until the age of 70-75)? To me this is an interesting question because when at younger age things were taken care by my parents. But i soon realized that this won’t continue for too long. I mean i had to soon find an answer to the question “Who moved my cheese?”. I cannot remain 13 or 15 for ever. Once the honey moon called “High School” gets over i wanted to be a doctor or an engineer, probably would get married some day and take care of my wife, then be a father to a couple of kids and grand pa some day. We all know that being in a relationship isn’t an easy thing and so i guess (though i am not married) doing all the stuff i just said before must be even harder. I say its harder because in my view “dragging life” is different from “living it.” So my constant worry was if i can’t take care of myself then how can i play so many different roles for the rest of my life and take good care of my family.
In this website i have seen several youngsters with T1 who are in their teens and complain that they don’t see motivation to control their BG. I personally don’t blame them. I took a great care of my diet and took good control of my BG for the first couple years. Its easier for the first couple years partly because part of my job was made simpler by the honey moon phase. But then as i kept growing up i had interact with different groups of people and move to different cities first for my education and then for my job, i had to switch between different diets (depending on what the local culture ate). Since “routine” is the key to controlling BG, i find it hard to adjust my insulin shots to the different foods i ate. Partly, because many a time you need to go out with your work colleagues for a lunch or a dinner and sometimes i go to a bar with friends and slip ups do occur (u meet a beautiful girl, you talk to her, tell her something funny, she says either ‘I Like You Very Much’ or ‘You Are So Sweet’, then the next moment you are offering her a drink and then realize that u both have similar interests you take couple of more drinks…then you dance with her…then u realize u just made an exception to your routine and now u are not sure what your BG looks like until u get back home or u wake the next morning). My point is no matter what the doctors say its not an easy thing to maintain a fasting sugar of 60-80 and a value of 150-160 after meal. At the same time its not entirely my fault, i am 29, i go to school, i got tests to take, i balance between 2 different jobs, i attend 3 different meetings a week due to which I delay my lunch or altogether miss my lunch, some days i get time to work out some times not. So its not possible to keep my routine constant.
My point is that if you are a T1 then you A1c could go over 7 even if you avoid direct sugars (i mean cakes, doughnuts, flavored milk etc) altogether. Its not possible to stay away from sugars all the time. Because of either birthdays, weddings, Christmas break, new year and many other times i break my diet and end up having sugars. To maintain an A1c of 5.5 i need to maintain a steady routine. This is often frustrating.
Anyways, I would be more than happy if people who were diagnosed with T1 before 15 and who are now in their forties can share their experiences about effectively dealing with their T1. i mean i would be happy if you can tell us
- If you had the option to go back in time what you would have done differently?
- How do you manage your Diabetes, you family life and professional life?
by answering the above questions, you would motivate a lot of teenagers who due to a variety of reasons have given up controlling their BG and do not realize the fact that they have a lot more beautiful things to look for in their lifetime. This would be a motivation for them to keep their BG in control. At the same time its not possible to get this feedback from my doctor since he doesn’t with such large group of people.
Though i am not a teenager i would like to receive advice based on my today’s condition.
Personally, due to a dynamic life style some times i find it hard to control my BG. 2008 has been a bad year and my A1c remained over 7 touching a high of 7.9 in the last 5 years. The thought of diabetic complications just scares me. But honestly speaking 90% (for 17 years) of the time i have trouble keeping my evening (before dinner) BG below 200. They average about 300. If i try to maintain below 200 i end up with a hypo early in the morning. So i am not sure what this would mean in the long run.
I am sorry for making this too long and even more sorry if you think this is meaningless discussion.
Thanks for your time,