I was diagnosed 51 years ago with Type 1, at the age of 6, five monhts after I had mumps. I have lived through many of the improvements that have come for diabetics. Since we had no way to do a blood test at home, it was a once a month trip to the hospital lab for blood tests. For my child-hood, I was on a 1X day dosage of NPH insulin (as best as I can remember) with many hypoglycemic episodes. After this amount of time, my kidneys still function at 100%. I have very little retinopathy, and no signs of foot neuropathy.After living through this and with this disease, I recommend to all parents that they involve the child as much as possible. My father took me to a college library at the age of 7, to formulate my own questions to the doctor. I was made a vital part of the care equation and was told that I would have to be responsible for myself. I was also told that I could do anything that any other child could do, but I would have to make adjustments, and these are words that I have continued to live by. However, my parents didn’t coddle me, and I was allowed to be a kid. I played all sports in high school and I feel that now I have not missed anything in life due to diabetes.I now know that it wasn’t easy for my parents to be as tough as they were on me, but, I also thank them constantly for allowing me to be a kid and for forcing me to take responsibility for me.I also correct anyone that expresses pity that I suffer with diabetes. I correct and say that I don’t feel that I suffer and that I continue to live a full life.Yes, I am not underestimating the extent of this disease, but in many circumstances, it can be controlled in some fashion. I look around at other families that are experiencing other diseases, including cancer, with someone and I count my blessings.
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