My story

I originally was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the summer of 2008. However, I have had chronic pancreatitis since I was 14 and in January of 2009 finally decided to go through with a total pancreatectomy (getting my pancreas removed) and auto-islet cell transplant. If successful, the auto-islet cell transplant would allow my liver to grow islet cells which would create insulin and they could live there instead of my pancreas and I wouldn’t have to be diabetic. However, I waited too long to go through with the surgery (I should have had it 3 or 4 years ago) and they couldn’t salvage enough islet cells (10k when typical is 300-700k… ouch!) so I am now a Type 1 Diabetic.

It is a struggle learning to deal with Type 1. I had a much easier time with Type 2, and even though I was on a stricter diet I didn’t have to deal with insulin shots and hypoglycemia. I have a tough time dealing with the lows, and counting carbs, and am thinking about a pancreas transplant. I cannot get one for a year, so perhaps once I go on the pump and get a CGM (hopefully approved by the end of the month!) I will be stable enough and am able to manage the Diabetes where I won’t have to have another drastic surgery. But only time will tell!

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:

What a great story. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!!

Wow! What a story. It taught me something too. Hope you learn how to cope well and get the proper equipment you need.

Please stay in contact.

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

If you want to learn more about the pancreatectomy and auto-islet transplant for chronic pancreatitis (the surgery I underwent), as well as islet cell transplants for Type 1 Diabetics (giving you donor islet cells to make you not Diabetic anymore- currently in experimentation and taking study participants) you can visit and the links are on the main page. My surgeon, Dr. Sutherland is a pioneer in both surgeries and I am grateful to him for everything he has done and is currently doing to make me healthy!

I was very curious about that. I have heard about it for years. Thank you hon!!

Bless you! You have truly been through a lot. I’m very excited that you were approved for the Omnipod.

How long did it take to recover from the surgery?

Thank you, Cynthia- I am excited too. They told me 2-3 weeks in the hospital, and 6-8 weeks bedrest. I did 2.5 weeks in the hospital, and about 5 weeks at home (not necessarily bedrest, but I did notice that I fared better with minimal activity then when I was up and about). So I did a little better healing than others because of my age and I’m lean.