Why is 30 years diabetic a long time?

Hi, after developing type 1 diabetes when I was 13 And am now aged 42 why do people look and sound surprised that I have survived 30 years of diabetes. 42 isn’t exactly old. Am I missing something, am I supposed to be dead now or crippled with complications?

Good for you maybe you can do 60 years like our Johnben.

I was always pretty sure that I wouldn’t last past 40 however I got much more healthy when I was in my mid-30s, perhaps inspired by obituaries of 38 year olds listing the ADA as the donation charity in our local paper.

i get the same reaction too…im 35 years type 1 diabetic,i think people think that cause sooo many diabetics long term seem to develop complications i made up my mind when i was 15 years old that i was going to take good care of myself and not get complications!

I think many people still hold the old sterotypes of diabetes in their minds. Diabetic women aren’t supposed to have babies, people with diabetes should be crippled, on dialysis, or blind after 20 years. I find it sadly amusing the general public hasn’t kept up with the treatments and monitoring we have now.

When people find out I’m a type 1 with 3 kids (all diabetic pregnancies), I frequently get asked if I’m nuts or what was I thinking?

Good for you for taking care of yourself. 42 isn’t old, I’m there with you, but only 14 years of diabetes.

Personally I happily tout the length of time I’ve had diabetes (27 years this month). I don’t interpret a response of “Wow, you’ve had it a long time!” as a negative comment, I see it as a totally positive comment. Usually a comment like that is followed by “I had no idea” or “Wow! You look so healthy!” or (insert any inappropriate but well-intended comment here). People genuinely ARE surprised when they learn that I’m a Type 1 and have had it for so long - because I am a happy person and I look healthy! (And I am healthy for the most part - I think!)

My advice is: Assume people are totally impressed that you have what is considered (and is) a disease that challenges a person to the very core of health and living, and they are amazed that you are doing so well! They don’t think you should be dead. Instead you help quell fear in general about having a disease, and you are likely an inspiration!

42 isn’t old. I’m 42 also. Getting older bugs me, but then I have step daughters that think 30 is old. Keep on with whatever you’ve been doing because it’s working!

Me too Mary Ann. :slight_smile:

You are correct. 43 is old! (disclaimer…I’m 43 :-))

The general public assumes that diabetes is a death sentence. … a death sentence of lingering malaise. Not to brag, I am blessed , but I am fit , fine , and foxy at 56, type one diabetes for 43 years. My parents were told I would die before I reached 40.I never believed that ,and they neither did they. They are 82 and 83 and we are all having a laugh on the nay-sayers., who I believe are no longer around.

I am grateful and looking forward to a long life!!

God Bless,


I would personally take such comments, as compliments. It is a remarkable success story that what used to be a “death sentence” of juvenile diabetes, now has most of the patients living to have gray hair and grandkids. We’ll show them exactly what’s juvenile about our disease, we’ll show them good :slight_smile:

Ha, almost exact same time frame for me. Diagnosed at age 14, now age 42. I usually round up to 30 when I say how many years :-).

Know what? When I was diagnosed the doc said that if I took care of myself I might live another 25 years.

Remember the “diabetic education” when we were kids? Being shown pictures in books of amputated and gangrene limbs?

Just because you and I made it this far, doesn’t mean everyone did though. Two kids in my hometowm, both well-to-do and in fact one of them the son of a nurse, died of T1 as teenagers. And I myself had a few 911 calls for hypos over the decades.

All that said, it’s still a chronic disease, and we still aren’t cured. That same doc said, nearly 30 years ago, that a cure might be 5 years off. Well, it isn’t here yet.

you two don’t know what old is

It’s not the years, it’s the mileage!

Woo-hoo Brunetta! You inspire ME! :slight_smile:

my best friend of 25 years got T1 at 2 years old; that’s when he started shots (he started giving himself shots at about nine years old).

he is now 49 years old and has a little bit of complications in all the well known categories.
he is perfectly fine; he just laments that they waited until he was much older to warn him (in detail) about the possible health dangers.

but he is doing fine thank you very much

kind of ditto for me

keep well karen


I found out when I was 16 and was told by my Dr “you won’t live past 40 yrs old” yeah, telling a 16 yr old that! I proved them wrong, and even went through Cancer and I am 54… so like you taking care of ourselves we can live long:)

People give me looks to, and sometimes I say why that look? they say often you don’t look like you have Type 1< next question what does a Type 1 look like!! I say, ME!!!

Hi, Thanks for posts. Even reading some of these responses it seems maybe i have just been taking this condition for granted a little and that 30yrs is long time. It rarely interferes with my life and havent even thought about not reaching at least 80. Reading this infers i may need to look at this again. Maybe i should avoid buying any green bananas this week!

I get the you don’t look comment frequently. As if a big D appears on your forehead to warn people