Sandy dreams of a kidney transplant... and having a baby

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Not too long ago, we saw a very large number of members joining us from the Philippines. Sandy Cortez was one of them. His blog post titled “Dilemma!!” caught our attention. His member page has the thought “Life is a blessing… The best is yet to come!” at the top. This is his story…

When did you get diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on May 1990.

How did you find out you had type 1 diabetes?
I was visiting at my grandparent’s house. They told me that they rushed me to the hospital because I collapsed. I underwent laboratory tests and there they found that my blood glucose level was 599 mg/dl.

What/when was your most current A1C?
My most recent A1C reading is 8.

How did you do when you were diagnosed?
I stayed at the hospital for almost a month and I stopped studying for a year. I lost a lot of weight. I felt so alone because I didn’t know what to expect regarding my diabetes: there are no support groups in the Philippines.

I thought I was the only one suffering from diabetes, I had no one to talk to. The only advice I could get was from my doctors. I had a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle: imagine being a 13 year old kid that cannot enjoy the luxury of eating sweets.

How do you manage your diabetes?
As part of my meds, I have insulin (Humulin 70/30) twice a day, 20 units in the morning the 15 units in the evening. Then I exercise and watch my diet. Before I used to do a lot of exercise but due to my present condition I have to minimize my activities.

What is a typical day like for you?
I check my blood sugar, do my morning insulin shots, have breakfast and exercise (I do some walking, but if it’s raining I have my own treadmill). I rest a while and then shower. I help with the family business, watch some TV, surf the net, take my evening insulin shots, watch more TV and go to sleep early.

What are the biggest challenges with diabetes you have encountered since you got diagnosed?
First, the eye complication with the laser treatment that I had to endure. I underwent cataract extraction for both eyes. And now, kidney failure: I have to undergo hemodialysis twice a week with the constant blood transfusion that goes with it.

What would you do differently if you could?
I was a hard-headed kid back then. I admit I was doing things that I was not supposed to do. I wish I was more selective of the things I did and had watched my diet more closely.

What is your biggest dream today?
My biggest dream is to have a kidney donor and eventually a kidney transplant. And hopefully, for me and my wife to have a baby.

How could other members of the community help that dream come true?
Through their prayers.

What is your advice for other people with diabetes in the Philippines and the rest of the world?

  1. Diet… Diet… Diet… and lots of exercise.
  2. Follow your doctors advice.
  3. And of course prayers: lots of them!

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Acceptance is the key word here. We have to accept that we have diabetes, don’t wallow in self pity. We can still live a normal life even if we have diabetes. Fight Diabetes!!!

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That’s an awesome story. Thanks for posting this. Sandy, I love how postive you are. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers!

Thank you for sharing your story Sandy. We have you in our hearts and hope your dreams will come true. A big hug form California!

Hey Sandy, thanks sa story mo, dito lang kame para sa yo, sana maging matatag din akong kagaya mo. :slight_smile:

What does that mean Badeth? :slight_smile:

Hi Sandy,
Thanks for sharing your story. You have really come to the right place. We have a quite a few family members who have very serious kidney problems i would like to offer some suggestions if you want. We know very well how hard it is to lie or sit in bed for so many hours during dialysis and transfusions. I would suggest that you sign back up for classes and while you have to stay in bed to read your text books. Also if you are surfing the net on a laptop, work on classes online while in bed. A number of us do that and it makes the downtime so much easier. Also i would recommend checking with the kidney unit supplying your dialysis and ask them if they would like a speaker for educational purposes. There are a lot of places here that want people with experience (those who have had dialysis for a least a few years) to speak for them in different places, like schools, some churchs, shopping centers, etc. The younger adults are the most in demand.
The online classes that you finish can help you to get a good job for when you and your wife are expecting a baby. And the public speaking really is a help in bolstering your self image and helps you feel better too.
I know that we get tired pretty easily, so go at your own speed. But when you get a chance to make a difference in the life of a child or someone else it will just make your day. I am sure you remember how it felt to be going through the dialysis and being scared. With your experience you have the chance to really help So, I wish you Godspeed, great strength and great classes. My prayers will be with you and your wife.
Something i forgot is about your eyes. Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under really good control will be your best protection and help. God bless

We will fight with you!

By the way, My dad died due to end-stage renal failure, but he managed to survive 11 years on dialysis. Since he had good medical care in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), he managed to survive that long. A lot may not believe, or agree, to what my dad’s doctors advised him before he left his doctor’s care, but he was told to stop taking his medications, because ultimately, that would “do” him. I am absolutely not saying that everyone follow suit, please no.

But it does give me some light on as to how diabetes, like a lot of other diseases still do not have a cure…

Hey Sandy, thanks sa story mo, dito lang kame para sa yo, sana maging matatag din akong kagaya mo. :slight_smile:

(Thanks for your story, (and) we are just here for you. Hope you stay strong just like me. smiley)

Thanks for sharing all these great insights with Sandy and the rest of us. You are a true inspiration!

That was a very touching story…and very inspiring too, you know what before i read your story, i always get mad of myself because im getting tired of the pain and of the taste of every medicine that i take, im tired of getting away from the food that i really would love to eat, im tired of my everyday ritual of pricking my fingers in morning ad evening, im tired of always getting lazy to go out because i easily get tired and get dizzy…and until my doctor told me that i have to undergo many procedures because he is suspecting that my kidney is having a problem…now im not just tired, im scared!!! But i thank God that he let me read your page…at least now you give me more hope and inspiration…though we are not physically strong at least we get strong mentally,emotionally and most of all spiritually…i have to deal with this and face my fears! because i have a son who needs me much more and i want to take care of him until i get old…thanks to you… i will pray for you and your wife…God is very good and He is a very loving God! He will take care of us and our needs! count your blessings!

I have my prayers to join yours,so God will fulfill your dreams

You will be in my prayers Sandy…Wonderful things happen to people who have faith…

Dear Sandy,My heart and prayers go out to you.Stay positive.

Thanks for sharing Sandy, you will be in my prayers. Wonderful things happen through prayer, I have experienced and I believe.

Thank you for the post. This si a wonderful network of people and I will continue to pray for you and your family. It was scary for me as a pregnant diabetic, but the outcome was a beautiful healthy little girl, now 4 years old. Keep us posted!!

hi sandy ive read your story i admire your strenght and courage, mydaughter lovey with type 1 is with me when reading ur story and ishe is still adjusting to her situation shes having her shots for a month … we will pray for you friend always take care of urself and happy holiday to u and ur family… GOD is GOOD and GOD bless. Your sharing gives me and my daughter inspiration continue to hold on to it thanks.