Marking 47 years with type 1 diabetes

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The diagnosis came February 1972 when I was 18. Spent 4 days in the hospital then went back to college, away from home, with insulin vials and syringes. Didn’t know much more than, “Don’t eat candy bars.” That was my diabetic diet. How far we’ve come.

Many call the date of their diagnosis their “Diaversary.” I call it, “Wow, what the f+&k! How amazing I’ve actually gotten this far!” If I had a bedpost, I’d add another nick to my notches for another year gained.

So far I’ve gotten here with few complications – diabetes complications. I have slow-growing cataracts (about 15 years growing), the occasional tingling in my calves (immediately helped by alpha lipoid acid, get it at the health food store), some hearing loss (not usually talked about in diabetes), but nothing much else I can think of. Don’t ask about the everyday decision-making complications. They never end.

I filed for my 50 year Joslin medal five years ago when I wrote this piece for the Hufington Post. The woman who runs the program encouraged me to do so. So, if you’re anywhere near the 50 year mark, why not get your entry in?

I don’t know where the husband is taking me to celebrate in 2022, but I realize this is a big one. Maybe crystal clear water and drinks with umbrellas, and nothing less, should mark this occasion. FIFTY YEARS WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES! Of course I’m thrilled to know Joslin now gives medals for 80 years!

Musing now, I recall something from when it all began. I was in the hospital while they were getting my blood sugar down. My hospital doc was so cold. He told me all the complications I was going to get and gave me two books to read about them. My father, having had enough of his attitude yelled at him, “Don’t you realize there’s a person in that body?” Thank you dad. Thank you dad. Thank you dad. Maybe that’s why 32 years later, I started working in the emotional aspect of living with diabetes.

So look up when you mark another year with diabetes. Stop, take a moment, and congratulate yourself for still being here. Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 9.09.18 AM.png

The shaming language of diabetes

There’s a movement afoot, that began last year, by the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators and a number of patient advocates. The aim: to change the shaming, blaming language about people who have diabetes. My friend, warrior CDE, RN, College Prof, Diabetes Educator of the Year, and type 1 herself, is carrying the torch.

Read the full article at ThriveGlobal.


Keto & IF – and no more emotional eating


Unknown.jpeg There’s a lot on the internet about the advantages of eating a high fat, low carb ketogenic diet. Most will say it works best when you’re doing intermittent fasting. I agree. I’ve been doing both for the past month.

I realized in addition to the health, weight loss, reduction of inflammation, metabolic syndrome busting effects, hair growth on your Uncle Larry’s head (sadly not true, but keto does fix a lot) there is a striking advantage I’ve never read about. I experienced it yesterday during my frustrating, miserable day.

I was a sad sack due to an accumulation of things, mostly having to do with a broken toe that still has me barely limping in a surgical shoe. That broken toe has made me a prisoner in my apartment; I’ve been feeling isolated. Not good for happy social hormones. I reviewed all my family members’ problems and felt overwhelmed by the abundance of Medicare papers I have to read. I also watched the Michael Moore movie, Fahrenheit 11/9. That got me entirely depressed. Then let’s not forget there’s always managing blood sugar on top of that. The sky was dark grey and so was my mood.

Yet – and here’s where the revelation comes in – I didn’t get any urge to eat! We’re always told we don’t just eat out of hunger, but when we’re sad, lonely, happy, celebrating, anxious, bored.  I was half those things combined, yet had no craving, no hunger, none of it. And trust me, I was always someone who would reach for food as solace, not lose my appetite to grief.

I realized that ketogenic eating and intermittent fasting doesn’t just stop cravings and lower appetite (because your hunger is satiated from fat, not spiked by carbs and you’ve likely worked your way out of your Leptin Resistance), but those benefits are with you during times of emotional stress too. Woo Hoo!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, dietitian or clairvoyant. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for (47 years in two weeks) dieted for years when I was younger, and have recently been experimenting on myself with high fat/low carb eating and fasting.