I’m honored to introduce you to Laddie (@MNAZLaddie on Twitter). When the weather here in Minneapolis is nice, she lives here. The other 11 months of the year she migrates to more a more hospitable climate in Arizona. Okay, I was kidding about the 11 months thing, the weather is beautiful here for 5 or 6 months (most years).
She has been such a huge support and inspiration for me, so when she asked if I’d be willing to share a guest post from her I agreed without hesitation. With great pleasure, here she is!
Type 1 Diabetes and My Day on April 15
Almost every time I have two glasses of wine, I convince myself that I should start a
blog about my diabetes. My iPad has ten half-written posts that reflect some of the
subjects and memories that I would want to address. By morning I always know that’s a
crazy thought and I continue my day as someone who has had Type 1 for 36 years and
who is fortunate to have a wonderful life in both Minnesota and Arizona with a loving
husband, two sons with wives, two grandchildren and two more on the way.
This evening I’m being a bit smarter. I have decided to write about my day with diabetes
and how it fits into the larger world around me. Rather than think of starting a blog, I’ve
determined to write what I’m thinking and feeling and beg my good friend Scott Johnson
to let me guest post on his blog site.
I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1976 when I was 24 years old. My symptoms were
typical of most Type 1’s: unquenchable thirst, nonstop trips to the toilet, losing weight,
and bad eyesight. Rather than giving me a c-peptide test and a GAD test which I don’t
think existed at the time, my new internist sent me downstairs to have pancakes and
repeated the urine test 2 hours later to confirm the diagnosis. I was admitted to the
hospital and learned about injections by shooting an orange. Before my diagnosis, I
knew absolutely nothing about diabetes and I started my new life with no worries about
the repercussions of what had just happened to me. I read the pamphlets given to me
at the hospital. I took my once-a-day shot of Lente and faithfully recorded my 4+
readings from my Diastix pee-strips.
Here I am 36 years later at 61 years old. Good insurance has given me an insulin pump
and a Dexcom G4 CGM. I have some of the autoimmune co-morbitities of Type 1 with
hypothyroidism, inflammatory arthritis, and a dermatological condition called granuloma
annulare. But I have no retinopathy, kidney disease, or neuropathy. My endocrinologist
considers me a star A+ patient although I know that I’m not nearly as “perfect” as I might
appear. But I try hard and despite my imperfections, I wake up every day and try to do it
all over again.
What makes today special? A couple of things.
I read Kerri Sparling’s post at www.sixuntilme.com about her beloved daughter whom
we readers know as “Bird”. It wasn’t diabetes specific, but my comment to her said that
reading SixUntilMe makes me glad that I have Type 1 because I would have never
“met” Kerri and read this blog if I hadn’t had diabetes. This caused me to think about
the other people and things that the diabetes online community has introduced me to.
I’ve met in person some of my online friends such as Kara, Susan, and Tom. I’ve
received hugs from Scott Johnson online, in person, and on Twitter. I play Words with
Friends every day with my diabetes friend Sue who lives 2000 miles away. I follow my
friend Kelly on Facebook and pray for her health as she struggles with a foot infection. I
“friend” Doris on Facebook. I argued with her on the ADA forum for years but I
respected her every minute while I did it. My life has truly been enriched by all of my
online experiences and I thank every one of you, my fellow PWD’s.
The second thing that caused me to write this post is the bombings that took place
today in Boston. One of my sons went to college in Boston and although he wasn’t a
runner, he loved the Boston Marathon and felt a part of it because he lived in Boston.
Sometimes I hate the world we live in where someone wants to destroy the people, the
cities, and the events I love. My children and grandchildren may live in a world where
things like the Boston Marathon, the Superbowl, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
disappear because they are too dangerous. I am able to live a “safe” life in the USA
because my friends Kathy and Caryl have sons in Afghanistan fighting to protect me.
But who is protecting the children of Afghanistan or North Korea or the other battlefields
around our world?
Diabetes seems simple in comparison.
A third thing that hit me hard today was a thread on TuDiabetes where posters were
arguing. It wasn’t by any means one of the more argumentative threads I’ve ever read
or participated in online. But I am at a point in my life where I enjoy hearing opinions
and participating in discussions with lots of viewpoints. The DOC has slowly but surely
taught me to be more tolerant of other people and all kinds of diabetes. So why can’t
we get along? I still cry at news reports of the Newtown shootings, so why can’t our
elected officials work together to reduce the number of guns in our country? I don’t
know who was responsible for the bombings in Boston, but why would you kill and injure
bystanders and participants in an event which celebrates the heroes and heroines who
live among us?
I’m afraid of the big world we live in, but I feel safe and embraced by the diabetes world.
I read blogs and forums daily and I feel part of a large and very important community.
While walking the dog this afternoon, I listened to a DSMA ‘Rents broadcast and
laughed and cried with Type 1 parents Ubergeek and his wife Denise from Alaska. I feel
as though I’m best friends with them and they don’t even know who I am. I have
learned to tweet and I never miss the DSMA TweetChat on Wednesdays nights. I know
JennMamaBear and MyDiabeticHeart. I have 66 followers and I follow 103 people.
Every one of these D-twitterers is special and I treasure everything I know about them.
So what has become of my world where I am glad to have diabetes because of the
magical universe it allows me to live in?
Who will keep my non-diabetic friends and family safe?