Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
An article in US News, "How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes As You Age," celebrates the lengthening lifespan of those living with type 1 diabetes.
George King, Director of Research at Joslin Diabetes Center, had a few positive things to share about aging with type 1 diabetes that I loved and hadn't heard before. He said people with type 1 diabetes rarely have Alzheimer's disease and that many of the women he sees have hair that doesn't turn gray until they're 70 or 80 years old. Both a nice chance to look on the "bright side" of diabetes.
According to the US News story, people who were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the early 20th century weren't expected to live past their early 50s. The story, though, features interviews with several people who have beaten those odds, and mainly attribute their longer life span to their positive attitude about their condition and the care they take in monitoring their health.
I also appreciated the following advice offered by Wallace Gordon, age 77, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 15. "I have a general philosophy that diabetics should treat their condition with lifelong acknowledgement but not with restriction," he says. "Never let it be a preoccupation in terms of what you do or how you do it."
Wallace and I share a similar philosophy about type 1 diabetes; it shouldn't be a limitation and can always be brought along for the ride— no matter what one chooses to do. The challenges change but if you are ready for them, anything is possible.