Type 1 for 76 years, life is good

In 1945, when I was diagnosed, my family did not know that an early death for diabetics was very likely. I had to wait until I was in my 30’s to find that my life expectancy in 1945 was not so good. I might have died while in my teens, but I was alive and healthy at that time. A doctor in Richmond, Va, when I was 30, gave me a book that had a chart showing I might possibly live into my 40’s. I was told by a doctor in the 1970’s I was lucky to be alive, without complications, and I should prepare my will in case I did not live much longer. Very depressing!

In the meantime, my wife and I had two sons, and we had a good life in NY. I tried to not dwell on my life expectancy, and the forecasts of potential early death.

| have now lived with T1D for 76 years. My eyes and heart are in great shape, but I do have neuropathy in my feet and legs. My neurologist says the neuropathy is severe. Numbness, but very little pain. My walk is uneven, and I seem to stagger a bit at times, but I keep on taking walks, without falling down. Just chugging along.

I had difficulty emptying my bladder for several years. My urologist had me get an ultrasound to see if the urine has backed up into my kidneys, and caused damage. My kidneys are good. I am no longer able to urinate without a catheter. I have been using catheters for urination for six months. They work very well. Aggravating, but I am ok with this now.

We have had a lot of rain this Fall in my part of New York. Raking leaves is very difficult for me now. I am grateful for ALL seasons as they occur one by one, while I keep on chugging along, living day by day. Life is good!! :slight_smile:

23 Likes

I am so happy that you are doing so well Richard!

2 Likes

That’s really inspiring.! Insulin was only around 24 years before you were born.
The generation before you died pretty quickly without insulin.

I bet you are among the very few longest living type 1 diabetics. I think we have one passed 80 years somewhere.

Lots of otherwise healthy people do t live as long as you have. You are really an inspiration to us kids doing out best

2 Likes

Keep up the good fight and the good life, Richard!

3 Likes

Inspiring! Great to hear you’re doing so well after 76 years.

1 Like

So glad to hear this. Having developed autonomic neuropathy perhaps due to type for 36 yeSrs or perhaps not as my control was okay, it is such an encouragement to hear your story. Thanks for sharing!!

1 Like

So good to hear, Richard! Carry on, great Soul! You are an inspiration for all of us following in your tracks. :heart:

1 Like

That is so awesome and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

1 Like

Congratulations Richard157! I am very happy that you have reached 76 years with diabetes. Keep on going and going.

Becky
Type 1 almost 50 years!

2 Likes

God bless you Richard! It’s good to hear you’re doing so well! There are a few of us out here that have been living with diabetes for a long time. I turned 90 on Nov. 15.

3 Likes

WOW! @Goldfish, 90 years old! That is fantastic! How long have you had diabetes?

Bravo! I remember at 10 being shocked to learn that people who
lived with my new disease for 25 years got awards. Uh oh. Now I’ve lived with it for 58 years, with no complications, and trust me I am not a regimented zealot. Just blessed, I guess. People like you inspire me to keep going (but we hire out our leaf-blowing now!)

3 Likes

Richard, I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 28 years. I’ve always thought of it as a challenge, and more an art than a science.
Stay well, and God bless!

2 Likes

Fantastic! I was a type 1 at 29 and my doctor told me that I wuld not live past 60. Today I am 76 and still in good health – other than diabetes.

1 Like

Inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

1 Like

Welcome to TuD, Rebecca! It would be nice to read about your story if/when you are ready to share. On the other hand, this forum serves well enough when lurking, something I did for about a year before I started commenting.

You’re amazing Richard! I am so impressed. I have been T1D since 1971 - so 50 years for me now. I turn 60 in February this year, Valentine’s day specifically! My older sister and I were diagnosed due to pee tests done in school by the Canadian Kidney Association - I should send them a thank-you letter!
Your results are beautiful to see. I was also told at that time (9 yrs of age) that I would be lucky to hit 30 years. It was very scary and my parents were devastated as my father’s brother had T1D but passed away due leg injury and his T1D. Things are so much better now, I’m on an Omnipod for 5 days and it is quite effective. I’ll stay on it for a long time I think. Cheers Richard - bravo to you!

2 Likes

Congratulations Richard! Something to aim for.

I’ll reach 35 years on December 29th, diagnosed at the age of 21. I have mild retinopathy in the right eye, and moderate retinopathy with edema in the left. I’m getting better with monthly injections in the left eye. It’s great to have the injections available, for which I am grateful, and the ophthalmology people are very good at doing them. I have no reasonable, rational objections, and I know they are important, but I hate them!

After 4 years with a 670g and a Dexcom, I recently switched to a Tandem with Control-IQ, and my control is better. My goal is no more eye injections, but my ophthalmologist is making no promises.

Other than that, no complications. Keep doing your best, and living your life. :woman_shrugging:

2 Likes

I’m in the same boat. I am at 34 years and I was also diagnosed at 21. I don’t have any eye issues though. I have Duputrens contracture which may or may not be related to diabetes.

I was not well controlled in the early years. I was super happy with an a1c at 7% for most of my life. Although there were times in the 8% range too.

When I switched to Tandem I dropped to 5.5 and that’s been over a year now.

I think there might be a genetic component to all this.
Some people get retinopathy without diabetes.

Some people with horrible control never have a complication.

For the most part though, normal sugars=normal body.
I’m going for that anyway

1 Like