I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about 45 years ago. Although I had tried insulin, insulin and pills, just pills, and an insulin pump, after 40 years on insulin my body decided not to consistently respond to that form of control. I had serious insulin reactions at unpredictable times. I also had many of the side complications - starting into high blood pressure, eye damage, diabetic neuropathy in my hands and feet, and starting to spill protein in urine. My sister died from diabetic complications at 52.
So four and a half years ago, I got a pancreas transplant at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (the Starzl Institute). The eye damage had gone away in less than two months after the surgery and I no longer take any insulin or blood pressure medication.
Not everyone is a candidate for this surgery - but if anyone has any questions, I am definitely a success story and have been grateful daily for the change in my life.