Looking to Connect with other Type One Diabetics Diagnosed Later in Life

Hi Everyone!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetics over a year and a half ago at the age of 29. I’m wondering how other people who freely ate candy, drank pint glasses of juice and generally lived a “sugar-filled” life for a good amount of time dealt with their diagnosis late in the game. What has been the response of family and friends? Have you been affected by depression at all? Tell me your stories and how you overcame some of the shock from finding out.

Thanks! Robyn : )

Hi Robyn,
I was diagnosed when I was 27…I was sick with a flu bug and I never recovered from it…I be
gan to lose a lot of weight,blurred vision ,weakness,etc,etc, to make a long story short .I was admitted thru the emergency room with DKA…I honestly thought I was going to die…I slowly began to recover and my journey with diabetes had begun…I am now 44…and doing pretty well…I started on the omnipod in July…before that mutiple daily injections…I have dealt with depression and also anxiety symptoms at times…but on the whole ,I feel so much better now that I have started on the omnipod tubeless pump…It has given me so much more freedom!! …Stay proactive with your treatment and things will get better…God Bless you…Patti

Later in life is an understatement for me. I was dx’ed in ICU aug./08, DKA and 52 years old!! Yes I do miss only having to care about how food tasted not how many carbs. Shocked, it how my family and friends took it, out of a very large family I am the only type 1. Depression, some on top of my dx., is unemployment, divorce, etc… I am not one to dwell on what I can’t change. There has been some good, 1st I feel better than I have in a long time, 2nd I use to have a, let’s say a party abuse problem(drugs), now I have a simple choice do drugs and die, pretty simple!!! My daughter loves her new Diabetic Daddy and I will live longer. Weird huh???

I was very shocked to find out I had diabetes. I went through being shocked, then being very angry, then had a spat of depression for about 3-4 months but found it went away once I got my blg’s under some semblance of control. My dad was type II and growing up watching him deal with health issues as a result was a huge driver for me to maintain a healthly lifestyle. I was always very very athletic, trim and a heart-healthy foodie. I was diagnosed at 40 after getting quite sick with a flu bug then suddenly losing a lot weight, etc. Family and friends have always been very supportive.

I find it interesting that two of you were diagnosed after a flu bug. I wonder if there is some kind of connection. It’s great that you are very athletic Maureen, I find that I’m a bit more afraid to do some of the things I did before. When I go for long walks or bike to school, my BG drops pretty drastically. I felt I had finally figured that out, and then I started on the pump in Sept, and now I’m figuring it all out again. Thanks for your story.

Hi Keith,

Sounds like it has been a rough go of things. Wow, I’m shocked. I felt like I was one of the oldest people diagnosed with Type 1 because of how shocked the doctors were. I was always a picky eater, and I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 10 years, so adding diabetic to the list makes me the least likely to be invited to a dinner party! At least that’s what I thought. Did your relationship suffer due to your diabetes diagnosis? I feel as though my relationship has been through the ringer since I found out. It’s great that you are more healthy now too! I’m happy for your daughter, it’s great news!

Hi Patti - What exactly is the omnipod? Is it a brand of pumps? I know what you are saying about the freedom, I love being on the pump - mostly because I’m a diabetic who is afraid of needles! I spent a few weeks crying before every injection because I didn’t like to see the needle going in. Thanks for your story. : )

Hi Robyn: I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 35 (hospitalized in DKA, and sadly initially misdiagnosed as having Type 2 strictly due to my age). We who are diagnosed with Type 1 as adults are actually the majority, but heck the kids are cuter and get more attention and sympathy and funding dollars. My first 10 months were extremely difficult–before diagnosis I had traveled all over the world, in multiple third world countries (Nepal, India, Mexico, Africa), and when diagnosed with Type 1 I thought my life was ruined. I had what I call “situational depression.” But I was wrong, my life most certainly has not been ruined, far from it. The eating part has been difficult, but I try to indulge in excellent dark chocolate and good wine in moderation. My family and friends have mostly been supportive. For me, overcoming the shock was probably just letting time heal. I did see an excellent therapist who has Type 1 herself. I also do a lot of yoga and fitness activities, and that sure has helped, especially the yoga. It’s good to “surround” yourself with positive Type 1s such as you’ll find on TuDiabetes (and I also found via the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, or DESA).


Hi Robyn,

I, too, was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 29 (or a month away from being so). I wasn’t so much a sweet tooth but I had just bought myself a bread machine for Xmas 6 weeks before being diagnosed! :stuck_out_tongue: My family was very supportive, and took their cues mostly from how I was acting/responding. Aside from being denied a job with the State Department, diabetes hasn’t really changed my life all that much. I spent the first year as a Type 2, (mostly) controlling my sugars with diet and exercise. After a year I realized that stress played as big a role in my sugar levels as the food and that wasn’t something I had enough control over. So I conceded defeat (my endocrinologist at the time had been encouraging me to go on insulin) and started giving myself shots multiple times a day. I was never fond of needles, but managed to get over than in a real hurry. The insulin allowed me to cheat from time to time and have an occasional dessert. Of course, after avoiding processed foods, simple sugars, etc, etc, the occasional “treat” can be a real let down if you don’t do it right! I’d have to agree with Melitta: get the good stuff, just in moderation! I still take my lantus and novolog manually (I’m not on the pump), but strongly recommend a CGM if you haven’t found one already!

Best of luck!

Greg :slight_smile:

Hi Robyn,
I am 58 years old and was diagnosed in September as a T1. My GAD antibody is >250 so there was no discussion of is she or isn’t she. I feel lucky that I have been able to spend the majority of my life without fingersticks, insulin, and meal plans. I do get angry and depressed but everytime I look at a 7 year diabetic at my school I know how fortunate I am to get diabetes later in life. As for family and friends, I am constantly educating them on Type 1 vs Type 2 and what autoimmune means and they still don’t get it. I hope you are doing o.k. and wish you well!

I’d recommend joining the LADA Diabetics group:

LADA stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (also called type 1.5 some times). There’s several hundred more LADA folks here (myself included):

Hope this helps! As you can see, you are not alone.

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I would highy recommend getting John Walsh’s book, “Pumping Insulin”. In it he talks about using ‘ex-carbs’ as a tool for exercising. It was an eye-opener for me, and made the difference for being able to be really active while on insulin.

Robyn -

I was diganosed as a LADA on my 42nd birthday, less than a year ago. At this time last year I was in serious denial about the preliminary type 2 diagnosis I had received in November as I plowed through the Holiday Carbs!

This last year since my diagnosis has been one of the best I’ve had in quite a while, just because I feel so much better than I had in some time. My blood glucose swings were causing me to be pretty irritable, and I was generally low energy and just never felt like doing anything. I had several experiences of “bonking” while working out due to low bgl, so I was starting to avoid strenuous activity.

My family, especially my wife, have been incredibly supportive. She had been dealing with autoimmune thyroid and adrenal issues, and had found carefull diet and stress reduction to be very helpful. The same has worked very well for me.

I am still in a serious honeymoon phase with my diabetes, as I only have to do one daily injection of 18 units of Lantus along with diet and excercise to maintain good control in my target range. If it would stay at this level, I would think diabetes is not so tough. However, I know that at some point I’ll continue the downhill slide of insulin production and my life will get much more difficult. I am trying to live in the moment and just appreciate my current status. If I thought too much about where this all could lead, I think depression would be a serious issue.

At this point though, it’s been hard to see my diagnosis other than as a blessing based on how much better I feel since beginning treatment. It’s been like emerging from a heavy fog into bright sunshine.


Thanks Maureen, I think I will. My diabetes educators told me about that one. At the time I was a little overwhelmed with all my school reading so I wasn’t looking forward to doing more homework with my diabetes. However now that classes are done for winter term, I am trying to get back on track with my exercising and it has been problematic, so thanks again!

I know what you mean by situational depression! The dark chocolate and wine does help! My favourite right now is a dark chocolate infused with chili so it’s a bit spicy…hmmm

I also do yoga! It’s great that you are able to keep up the fitness, since going on the pump and heading back to university my fitness has suffered but I’m looking forward to changing that. Thanks for being a positive Type 1 for me! : )

I was diagnosed at age 33. For a few months before diagnosis, I was very thirsty and urinating a lot. People also were telling me that I looked thinner, but I’m on the thin side anyway so I didn’t think much of it. It was also a very stressful time for me as my grandmother who I was very close to was getting ill, and I was working for an insane and abusive boss. I can’t say I’ve been depressed any more than usual with this. I’m 45 now. I just dealt with it. As a previous poster said, I was sort of shocked. I always ate healthy and exercise daily so I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. Diabetes hasn’t improved my outlook on living a healthier lifestyle, because I always had one. I feel like there is nothing I can do about this so I try to do my best everyday with it. It does get frustrating because diabetes constantly throws you curve balls. Sometimes no 2 days are alike. Cope the best you can and try to maintain as healthy of a lifestyle as you can.


Sounds like you are doing great Greg. One of the things that prompted me to go on the pump was my strong dislike of needles. Now I only have to inject once every three days! Yeaaa! What is a CGM by the way?

It sounds like it’s been a hard transition for you as well Kathleen! Keep positive! : ) Thanks for your story.

I’m sorry Carol, I guess it really is a lottery. Staying healthy will be best in the long run to help you with diabetes. Stay positive! Maybe instead of poison you could think of it as feel better juice! Look at it this way, at least you had 60 good years where you didn’t have to manage your carb counts etc. I like to fondly remember the day before I was diagnosed as the last day that I will ever drink 3 pint glasses full of Dr. Pepper. sigh those were the days! I also am thankful that I found out because it forces me to be conscious of food and work to stay healthy as I get older. All the best!

That’s a great way to look at it Dale. I was pretty low energy and lethargic for 1 year or more before I found out. Getting that insulin at realizing that the tiredness I felt wasn’t normal was the best gift in the world! Here’s to more sunshine!