Type 1, Just Being Human

Riva Greenberg has written a wonderful article. She has been type 1 for 42 years, and has published three books. They are very good books, and I enjoy reading them. Here is her article on “Just Being Human”.

“We all have little ‘blunders’ in day-to-day life, right? Leaving the cup of coffee on the roof of the car and driving off, locking ourselves out of the house by accident, forgetting the lunch date we made with a friend eons ago…these things happens, whether or not you have diabetes.

I recently had a funny everyday blunder in which I went off to record an interview for an article and realized much later that there were no batteries in the tape-recorder. It hadn’t worked properly during the interview and I couldn’t figure out why.

Later that night, I pulled out the recorder and showed my husband how when you press the power button nothing happens. Then I handed it to him. He began to look at it when he remarked, “It’s awfully light. Are you sure there are batteries in here?”

Doh.

I disclose my error, foolishness, absentmindedness, laugh-inducing mishap for one reason: since life has become so increasingly fast, busy, frantic, chaotic, multi-task-demanding, haven’t we all noticed some lapses and spells of absent-mindedness?

Now ponder: how are we expected to perfectly fulfill the multiple and constant requirements of good diabetes management? Without any mistakes?

The daily list of diabetes to-dos is endless:

planning meals

counting carbs

taking your medicine, if on insulin calculating your dose before each meal and post meals for corrections

checking your blood sugar x times a day and deciding what to do about the numbers

deciding whether it’s safe to exercise, grab some glucose tabs or wait an hour

seeing your team of doctors

getting your lab work done

shopping for healthy food

preparing healthy meals

managing the tightrope between highs and lows

packing and carrying your supplies everywhere

always having fast acting carbohydrate on hand for a low

figuring out how to manage the time difference when you travel. I still haven’t cracked this one

explaining when people tell you you can’t eat something

explaining when people ask you to eat something they made just for you

hitting a rough spot, tough time, mysterious readings, burn-out and depression

knowing no one “gets it” who doesn’t have it

knowing it never lets up

knowing you have a responsibility each day to do your best, yet being human simple can’t always do it

wondering how that will impact your here and now and long term future

…and on, and on, and on, day after day after day after day after week after month after year after year after year after decade after decade after decade.

Now tell me what we do every day isn’t miraculous. And I’ll tell you when you falter, it’s human nature, like forgetting to put the batteries in your recorder.

When you notice you’re out of juice, just put your batteries back in, and turn the power button back on and let it be.”

I identify with every part of Riva’s list. How about you?

Joslin Medalist Study

Joslin Medalist Study

People with 50 or more years of type 1 are given medals by the Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston. These people have to apply for the medal, and offer some proof of their being type 1 for that length of time. There is also a 75 year medal. I have the 50 year medal, and will be eligible for the 75 year medal in 2020.

In 2005 medalists were invited to participate in a study at the Joslin Center. I participated in 2009. Dr King, head of the study, stated that he hopes to find the factors that have enabled many long term type 1 people to live so long without any serious diabetes related complications. In 2008 the following article appeared in the Diabetes Forecast magazine. It mentions several discoveries that were made during the first three years of the study.

At the present time almost 1000 medalists have been examined. I will give more information about the study, beyond 2008, at a later date.

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/…/o…/how-d-they-do-that.html

Man Lives 85+ Years With Type 1

William Rounds was diagnosed in 1923, and was diagnosed in the same year (only 2 years after insulin was discovered). The last I heard about him, he was alive and well in 2009. He was T1 for 86 years in that year. He was one of eleven interviewed who had lived for 60+ years with T1D. I was one of the eleven. The stories were published in Oct, 2008 in the Diabetes Forecast. That was the month that the Diabetes Forecast celebrated its 60’th anniversary.

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/…/long-lives-lived-well.html

Woman Is Type 1 for 80 Years

The lady in the link below is said to be the longest surviving female T1 diabetic in the world. She lives in New Zealand and has been T1D for 80 years. I know there are several males who have been T1 more than 80 years. I wonder why there is only one female with that distinction. There is a lady in upstate NY who has been T1 for 79 years. You can find her on Tudiabetes.org.

http://www.3news.co.nz/…/diabetes-survivor-hits-record-80-y…

Long Lives With Type 1

In 2008 I saw a request by the Diabetes Forecast magazine for T1D’s who had lived with their diabetes for 60 or more years. I applied, and a professional photographer was sent to my house. He took several pictures in August of that year. The magazine celebrated its 60’th anniversary in October, and an article appeared telling about the lives of eleven long term T1D’s. My story is included in the article. There are two other articles mentioned at the bottom of the page. You can click on them for additional material. One of the additional articles discusses the Joslin Medalist Study, which was begun in 2005. I participated in the study in 2009. Almost 1000 medalists have been included in the study now. An attempt is being made to determine what factors exist that have enabled so many T1D’s to live long lives (50+ years) without any serious diabetes related complications.

Participants Needed/ New Type 1 Study

The Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston has started a new study in conjunction with the Medalist Study. They are looking for patients with 30-49 years of Type 1 Diabetes who have no history of eye or kidney disease but have an A1c of 7.5% or higher! They find this group of people very interesting and are interested in recruitment. If you know of anyone who qualifies for this study PLEASE give them this contact information:

Stephanie D’Eon, Study Coordinator, (617)309-3481,

Stephanie.d’eon@joslin.harvard.edu .