Many people who know me are of the opinion that I have broken a record and they have not heard of anyone having diabetes so long and having no serious complications. There are many diabetics who have had diabetes much longer than me. See their storys below.
Bob and Gerald Cleveland (combined) look back on 154 years of Type 1 diabetes. See the story below:
Gladys C. Lester Dull was diagnosed with Type 1 in 1924 , just three years after the discovery of insulin. She is believed to be the longest living person with diabetes. Here is her story:
The Joslin Diabetes Center is located in Boston. They offer a medalist program for diabetcs who have been diabetic for 25, 50 and 75 years. See below:
I have never been interested in a medal even though I have had diabetes for 62 years and thus qualify for the 50 year award. My reward is my good health and my great life, with only a few very minor complications. That is the only reward I will ever need.
There are many conditions which are more prevalent among diabetics than nondiabetics. I will not make a comprehensive list here. I will mention a few that I presently have. In the 1980's I had pain in my legs and arms. I went to a neurologist and he had me get a body scan at a nearby hospital. The scan indicated I had arthritis. I was in my late 40's at that time. I was sent to an arthritis specialist and he told me that my diabetes was probably the cause of my arthritis. Research on the internet reveals that the musculoskeletal system can be affected by diabetes, leading to conditions such as arthritis. Now, more than 20 years later, I have a lot of stiffnes in my joints but after moving around my joints are more loose. I do not take any medication for that. I frequently walk three miles in one hour either on my tread mill or outdoors where there are several hills to climb. I also have had cataracts removed from both eyes. Cataracts are more common among diabetics. I was diagnosed with gout in early 2007. Gout is more common among diabetics. I take medication to reduce the amount of uric acid in my joints and I rarely feel any pain from gout. I have occasional splotches of retinopathy in my eyes. Follow-up appointments a few weeks later have consistently shown that the retinopathy has disappeared. I have had some neuropathy for many years but then my diabetes control improved after learning to count carbs and my A1c's dropped below 6.0. The neuropathy has almost disappeared. I feel a twinge on days that I have run higher than normal blood sugar. In the 1990's a blood test showed that I had some hyperfiltration in my kidneys but it was only borderline. I take Altace to combat that condition. Altace also lowers my blood pressure. I check my blood pressure at home and it runs in the 120's and occasionally the low 130's. That is considered healthy for a diabetic. I have had surgery for carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve poblems. I have some pain in both arms and hands but it is not that bad. Some of that pain is probably due to my arthritis. Nerve damage is one of the most common complications experienced by long term diabetics. I have a lot of nerve damage but it is all minor. I even have nerve damage in my ears and that has resulted in some hearing loss. Many of my muscles are weak because of nerve damage but it isn't bad at all. I can do almost anything I want, but in moderation. I love carpentry work very much and have essentally torn most of my house apart and reconstructed it. I tore apart the entrance to a closet earlier this week and am installing new bifolding doors. I added a new room to my house in 1979.
I have not let any of my diabetes problems or my age slow me down very much. I enjoy life to the fullest and never get depressed or stressed about my diabetes or anything else. I am a very humble, laid back easy going fellow and the lack of stress in my life has aided me very much in getting good control of my diabetes.
I have asked all of my doctors how I can have Type 1 diabetes for 62 years and have only a few minor complications. None of them coulld give me a satisfactory answer. I feel certain it was the measels, mumps and chickenpox that I had in 1945 that led to my diabetes in September of that year. The only logical explanation I have found for the success I have had is that I may have good genes that have protected me and have kept me from the more serious complications that so many diabetics have. Of course the medications I have taken are very helpful too.
I had insulin injections for 61 years. I started pumping insulin on 6/19/07. I have told friends that I intend to pump insulin for 61 years. Since I was 6 when diagnosed that will make me 6 + 61 + 61 = 128 yeras old on Sept. 10, 2067. I plan to have a whale of a birthday party on that date. You are all invited!!! Now, who is going to host the party??? LOL!
This was to hve been my concluding chapter but I presented it now before I lost the URL's posted and the notes I had gathered. Now I have to fill in all the blanks. More chapters are coming in the days ahead.
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