I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 27. There are 2 types of Diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2. Most people associate Type 1 diabetes with "juveniles" because it was once called Juvenile Diabetes and it USUALLY diagnosed in children or young adults. Only 5% of people with Diabetes have Type 1. Type 1 diabetes is inherited from risk factors from both parents and something "triggers" it. Type 1 diabetes can only be controlled by insulin because the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes (is also caused by genetics but also lifestyle) does often require oral medications, but can also be controlled with lifestyle choices (diet and exercise).
Okay...enough with my facts. I was very lucky in that we caught my diabetes very early. I attended a wellness even our school system put on. We fasted and went in and they checked sugar, flexibility, weight, etc. My fasting sugar was 116. The nurse questioned if I fasted and I assured her I did. She knew my mom was a nurse and said...you may want to have her check this another day this week. So we did....fasting morning sugar of 156. We knew immediately. We assumed it was Type 2. (My first cousin has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed around the age of 25...what were the chances I had the same thing?) My mom did some major research and found the best doctor in Louisville (2 hours from my hometown) and we begged her to take me. (She wasn't taking new patients.) That was THE BEST decision we have ever made. She immediately did a test checking my antibodies to see if I had Type 1 or Type 2. (I'm almost positive if we stayed in my hometown...that wouldn't have been done!)
As soon as we found out it was Type 1...we cried...then went and got Graeter's Ice Cream.
In 2010 I decided to get an insulin pump. It only seemed logical to me. Instead of giving myself 5 injections a day...I give 1 injection every 3 days. DUH! I chose the Omnipod because I like the idea of it being wireless. (My cousin had the same pump and liked it.) I have not regretted the decision. I have been healthy and currently have an A1C of 6.3. (A1C takes you average blood sugar level over 3 months...the goal is to be under 7.)
Today...was another big day. Today I began using a Dexcom G5 Continuous Glucose Monitor. This is another device that I wear that checks my sugar every 5 minutes and keeps a graph of my sugar. (This was not available 5 years ago when I began wearing a pump.) It has that pretty pink device that I can use, but it also has an app that I can use on my iphone. It seems silly to me to carry around another device when I have my phone with me all the time (and I still have to carry around my PDM for my pump).
This is how you wear it:
I'm so blown away by technology and I'm so thankful for doctors and science that allow me to live a healthier lifestyle. Is it easy? No. Is it scary? Yes. But it is the card I was dealt and I am thankful that this disease can be managed. It isn't curable (although they are working on it and making HUGE strides) but it can be managed, unlike many diseases and cancers.
So...I got real personal but I feel like if this can help at least 1 person..it was well worth putting myself out there!