Those of us who were diagnosed many years ago were "ticking time bombs", but some of us survived and are doing very well now, without serious complications. Most type 1 diabetics had terrible complications back then, and many died. That is why our life expectancy was not good. Two doctors told me in the 1970s that I would probably not survive beyond my 40's. Now I am 70 and very healthy. It seems like a miracle sometimes.
My parents did not have a clue in caring for me. There were no books on the subject that would have helped. The doctors knew nothing that helped, and there were no meters or pumps, etc, available. Test your urine on the stove, poke yourself with the insulin from a pig, and pray to live another day. My mother saw that certain foods made me sick. It was high blood sugar, and it made me feel nauseous. We learned that I should eat small portions of pasta, potatoes, breads and even fruit. It was all trial and error, with no guide to help us. Maybe it was good genes that we survivors possessed, maybe it was the C-peptide in the animal insulin that protected us, there is no way of knowing. Why were some of us spared, and others not?
My parents would not allow me to participate in gym in school, they limited me in many ways, and thought I should not go to college. I was so "brittle" and they saw me have many hypos and seizures. They had no confidence in my ability to lead a normal life. I developed a persecution complex and had very little confidence in myself.
I defied their authority and went to college for 6 years, married and had two kids, became a college professor and led a normal life, accomplishing almost everything I wanted to do. Every step of the way I doubted that I would be successful in my attempts. I hesitated, but I forged ahead, with good results. That lack of self confidence will always be part of me. Even when I am successful at something, I feel I should have done better, and am somewhat disappointed in myself. I think that my parents' lack of confidence in me made me this way. I do not blame them though. I would probably have done the same thing, if I was in their shoes. They had no guide or advice to help them and they did the best they could. I loved my parents very much. They have both passed on, and I remember their love and kindness. I have no ill feelings or resentment of any kind. Time marches on, I want to see how long I can survive without complications.
What do the rest of you have to say about your parents and their dealing with your diabetes?
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