Can you believe that twenty years ago this month, when I was 11 years old, I was getting super sick, and ended up in the hospital with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis! You can read my diagnosis story here if you're interested. I can't believe it's been twenty years! Sometimes it seems just like yesterday, but at the same time, it seems like a long time ago!
We have come SO far in 20 years! When I was first diagnosed, I was put on an exchange diet, I used a meter that took 2 minutes to give a reading and which required that you wipe the blood off the strip before you put it in the meter, I used Regular and NPH insulin (sheesh, I can't believe we thought that was "cutting edge" back then!) and everyone still operated under the assumption that diabetics couldn't eat sugar.
Twenty years later, I'm pumping, eating (pretty much) what I want, using a CGM, uploading my pump and meter readings via the internets to my doctors office, my insulin is much faster, and my 5 second meter seems like it takes an ETERNITY!
We've come far.
It's funny, though. When I was first diagnosed all the doctors said that they were certain that Type 1 diabetes would be cured in 5 years. And from what I understand, a lot of people hear that from their doctors upon diagnosis (even today!). Is that something they teach them to say in med school or something? It's a load of crap, but I am hopeful that ONE day there will be a cure for this disease.
I am so grateful for all the medical care I've received over the years, and even more for all the people who've supported me and have helped me manage this disease! From my parents who financially and emotionally supported me, to my college roommate who crossed the Mexican border to bring back cheap insulin for me when I had no insurance! There have been SO many people, who have helped me out through the years.
And can you believe it, that 20 years later, I still haven't had any major complications? No amputated limbs, no readmissions for DKA, no neuropathy at all. The smallest complication I've had was about 4 years ago when I had the teeny tinest of blood vessel bleeds in my eye that the doctor could barely pick up. And it has gone away since then. Healed itself right up! I know I'm lucky!
And you know what? Even though diabetes really really really sucks sometimes, I just can't imagine that I'd be the kind of person I want to be without it. And I don't want to imagine living in a world without knowing some of the people I know because I have diabetes.
Here's to another 20 years!