Type 1 Diabetes at 9 Years Old
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was only 9 years old. I have lived with this disease for 45 years now and I'm still fighting it. I started out treating it with oral medications and diet (how do you get a 9 year old to stick strictly to a diet?) but was happily injecting myself with insulin by the time I was 11. I now manage with 5 shots a day and watch what I eat (which isn't nearly as hard as it was 45 years ago!). I have complications: diabetic retinopathy ( stable after 12 laser treatments); congestive heart failure (stable with medication); COPD (stable with occasional medication): and my kidney function is around 50%. I keep a careful watch on my blood glucose readings and adjust my insulin accordingly, walk every day either outside or on a treadmill, eat as healthfully as I can, take supplements and try to avoid any more prescription medications than I'm taking already. So far I've managed to avoid any overnight hospitalizations (the last was over 10 years ago), I've kept my complications fairly stable and manage to stay out of the doctor's office except for my scheduled appointments. I strongly believe that if you arm yourself with knowledge about your disease, take action to control it (diet, exercise, supplements) and ask plenty of questions ( don't believe everything people tell you) that you can have a rich, rewarding life. By the way, I have a 30 year old son, diabetes-free and I've had several rewarding careers in my life so far.