It’s been a year and the honeymoon is over…but I’m in it for life! It was 1 year ago today that I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic (T1D). I was 49 years old when I received the news. Talk about a a surprising diagnosis and a life changing day!! I had never heard of an adult being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes but it happens. You can read my original blog post to know more of the story but just suffice to say that it’s been a journey. I received my insulin pump 6 months post diagnosis on my 50th birthday. It really was a gift as it gives me so much more control and flexibility on the tennis court.
The first year hasn’t been that bad. As a matter of fact, many parents of child T1Ds report wondering if there was a misdiagnosis that first year. My sugars were so easily managed that I often wondered the same thing! But, all good things must come to an end and the honeymoon is OVER!
The “honeymoon” is a period of time that varies from each individual but your body still creates a tiny amount of insulin so you don’t have to be quite as strict and things just kind of work out. (I’m sure my doctor wouldn’t approve of my explanation or lack of discipline but it’s just how it is when you have 4 kids and a busy life!) Nonetheless, it’s sad to be leaving the honeymoon as this is when the going gets tough. My initial A1C value was 10.1. Through fairly rigid carbohydrate counting and careful administration of insulin, my A1C ran about 5.9 most of the year. This involved at least 2,000 finger pricks, over 1,000 insulin shots plus almost 100 infusion set changes. The last 3 weeks my finger pricks are frequently revealing elevated sugar levels which is a huge indicator that the honeymoon is over. My A1C has risen to 6.4. I strongly believe that with tighter management of my carbohydrate counting that I will continue to be a well managed diabetic. Gone are the days of a haphazard snack. Everything must be included in the calculation.
Diabetes is a disease that is hard because there isn’t an exact science to the dosing. Stress, exercise, sleep, among lots of other things, impact the way your body metabolizes sugar and therefore your insulin amounts can vary from day to day for the exact menu of food. What works for one person won’t work for another and what works one day might not work the next. T1D is one of the few diseases that you are given life saving medicine and told “Don’t take too much or you will die. Don’t take too little or you will die. Good luck”
I have an amazing doctor and team of nurses and a great support system but my point is that only the person living with the disease can manage it. Just like most issues in life, you can’t wish them away. You can’t fix it for someone else. You can’t love it out of them! They have to want it. They have to live it. They have to walk their walk. It’s been a year. The honey moon is over but I’m stuck with this for life. The novelty has worn off and it’s kind of a drag to manage this disease 24/7 but it is what it is. So, as with most things in life, I will meet the challenge head on. T1D messed with the wrong girl. I will not let this disease get the best of me! (I will say it’s taking a toll on my skin but I’m combating the signs of aging with my amazing side biz and the #1 premium anti-aging skincare available in the US!
If you have a friend or family member with T1D, be supportive. Ask questions.
Some of the frequent misconceptions:
Yes, we eat real sugar!
No, we didn’t do anything to cause this to happen.
No, diet and exercise won’t cure it.
Mostly, understand that we aren’t that different than you! I still eat most everything I ate before but just with more moderation:) We are praying for a cure and I’m super excited about the closed loop “artificial pancreas” that’s just been approved by the FDA! I’m already in the queue to get it when it’s released in the spring! We are all praying that one day, Type ONE will be Type NONE! Until then, if you see me reaching down the front of my shirt, I’m (probably) trying to find my pump!
I’m thankful for my friends and family for their unwavering concern and support! I love you guys!!