Thankful it's not 1940

I’m really glad I don’t live in the year 1940. If you are a surviving diabetic from that era, you have my respect and admiration.

I picked up a book at the thrift store a while back - “Diseases of Metabolism”. This was advanced disease management in 1942. A hefty section is devoted to diabetes. It’s interesting for sure. No use of the terms Type 1 or Type 2, just diabetes innocens and diabetes mellitus.

Anyway…I’m thankful I have a pump and CGM, and insulin analogs. Check out this chart showing mortality rates. I don’t understand why the rate is lower for diabetics prior to 1913. Maybe fewer cases were recognized?

Anyway, have a happy Thanksgiving if you’re here in the USA, and have a great day otherwise in the rest of the world! Be thankful for the good things in your life.

Yes, I understand completely. I was diagnosed in 1956, when it wasn’t QUITE as bad. At least they had decided that Type 1 existed in 1952, but it hadn’t penetrated to the hospital I was taken to. What happened when I had bad stomach ache in the middle of the night was that I went to the ER and was checked by a surgeon, who ignored my Mom’s questions about whether I didn’t have diabetes like her sister and grandfather had… So he looked at the symptoms , declared it MUST be appendicitis, and operated. I went into DKA coma on the operating table.
Then my folks got a newly licensed Pediatrition in there, and he said immediately that it was Type 1 diabetes and started me on insulin. Set a new record for initial dosage of insulin, 1050 units according to my Dad. Not sure about the number there, he was saying this some 40 years later, and you can understand whow things grow over the years.
Anyway, then I was unconscious for 2 days while they worked to get working electrolytes back into by bloodstream. Mom and Dad were called in for a death watch, but some nurse told Dad to keep talking to me, probably the only thing that saved me. Everbody was startled when I opened my eyes after a few hours with Dad talking to me.
Then I started 7 hard years of little control, if any. My pediatrician thought we should do things the “easy” way, so I took 1 shot a day. What a mess. Things finally got under control in 1962 with a novel treatment, 2 medium speed insulin shots with Phenformin ( a Metformin relative) a day, which straightened things out exceedingly well. That’s likely why I’m still alive today, doubt I would have survived my teenage years without such stability.
So yes, the situation was terrible for diabetics in those years. Of course it was even worse for my Grandfather Marshall, who was diagnosed in 1901 (or so). No treatment was working then at all, but he somehow came to the conclusion that all he could do was to eat almost entirely fat with NO carbs at all. He lived with it for 25 years, and died in 1926, basically of old age.
Yes, diabetes treatment has come a long way since then. Amazing what happens in a century or so anymore…

In 1959 things weren’t much better but I survived. I went into DKA for 2 or 3 days and at that time it was said that if I didn’t come out of the coma in 3 days I was a goner. People with D didn’t survive before 1921, that’s when nsulin was available.

Well, MOST people didn’t survive diabetes well before insulin was discovered in 1921, but as I said before my great grandfather Marshall Hudson DID. he survived for 25 years on a high fat (with nothing else) diet from 1901 to 196. Never took insulin even when it was available, but he had it in some kind of control by then anyway. This method was finally recognized by some authorities by about 1916, possibly including Dr. Joslin, founder of the Joslin Clinic in Boston. Still didn’t help all that many, and only Type 2 in any case.

Well , I need to say here : …was thankful it was 1940 …my year of birth … And so were my parents :slight_smile: ( please accept my " joke " ) …and it seems a long time ago .

So true Danny they might.LOL

I suspect that in this graph, many adults and children were dying of other things, like infections (this was before antibiotics), so they didn’t live long enough to develop diabetes and die of it. I’m not sure when the sulfa drugs were developed, but they cured some infections, and also, maybe doctors were getting better at diagnosing diabetes as the years went on. Who knows?

my great grandmother had to boil her insulin syringe and needle between uses and sharpen her needle until it got too dull to use. they were very expensive and not easy to obtain.

I’m also thankful it’s not the 1950s when I was dxed. I’m especially thankful I’ve lived this long to take advantage of the new tech that makes things a little easier.

Yes, they didn’t list Type 1 (or Juvenile Onset) or Type 2 (Adult Onset) diabetes then because they weren’t yet recognized as separate diseases until 1952. Didn’t seem to make much difference I guess, since the only treatment in those days was insulin.
Diabetes innocens is a whole other thing entirely, since it’s only a failure in the kidney that leads to glucose dumping all the time. Of course it’s called diabetes since that basically means “sweet urine” (or such).
At least my great grandfather wasn’t listed among th diabetes deaths before 1913, even though he was diagnosed about 1901, he didn’t die till 1926. SOMEBODY had to beat the odds!

NIH has some interesting facts regarding Type 1 and how it use to be in the past.

Alan I remember that also. Only it was in 73 before I became diabetic but my Type 1 cousin had theuring testing kit and i bet before 73 I drove her crazy woth questions about it! LOL!