When I tell people that I have diabetes it is like them finding out I have had a cold. Many people are rather blasé about me having diabetes. The true reactions are when I tell them I was diagnosed at the age of 16 months old and then I see the mental math being calculated in their head. I typically put them out of their misery and say that I have had it for 43 years. Their reactions then are of astonishment, like you have survived 43 years with one of the most deadly chronic illnesses in the world.
I wish people knew that diabetes is a delicate balancing act of food, insulin, exercise, stress and sickness that keeps a diabetic in the ranges that are acceptable. Any of these factors can throw the whole balancing act askew and raise blood sugars or lower them out of acceptable ranges.
Living with diabetes affects not only the person living with T1D, but also those around us. My wife is the person that has most impacted my diabetes. She has saved my life countless times with bringing me out of hypoglycemic episodes, calling 911 and making sure I take care of myself as much as possible. I finally realized that she is not responsible for me keeping my disease in line. I am responsible for my own actions and my adherence to diet, exercise and maintaining my own health.
I saw that I needed to take control of my diabetes or it would have a terrible impact on my health. I have had some complications because of the disease. I have experienced retinopathy in both eyes. Had it treated several times with laser surgery! Cataract surgery last October was the eye opener for me, figuratively and literally. I began testing my blood glucose 3-4 times a day, took bolus with each meal and started taking my blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney damage medications regularly.
I am supporting JDRF in fighting T1D because I want to help other persons with diabetes realize that they can live a long healthy life with the disease and lead a normal life with some minor modifications. I also support JDRF in order to have community with other persons with diabetes. But mostly, I support JDRF to help find a cure for this disease for myself and all others afflicted with this disease. JDRF gives hope to the newly diagnosed and gives fellowship to diabetics living with the disease.