I am 30 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 23… so I’ve been officially diabetic for about 6 ½ years, with symptoms first manifesting roughly a year and a half before I was diagnosed. I was actually happy to hear the diagnosis, as I thought it was something MUCH worse (like terminal cancer). Not really knowing much about the disease, I did quite a bit of research on my own. I am currently using an insulin pump (without sensor) manufactured by Deltec called the Cozmo, with a glucose monitor (called the Cozmonitor) attached to the back for information transfer purposes. I have been using the pump for about 11 months now and am very happy with it. Prior to the pump, I was using Lantus for my basal insulin once a day and Novolog for my bolus shots whenever I ate or as necessary to control my blood sugar. With the pump, I am only using Novolog. For a brief period I was using Apidra, but stopped after have an allergic reaction. I use carbohydrate counting to manage my diabetes and have an average A1C level of 7.0 (which I would like to see go down and am working towards). I have no other health issues, maintain a constant weight of 150 lbs., exercise regularly and, with the help of a wonderful family, have managed my diabetes successfully (from what I’ve been told).
On a personal level, I feel that being diagnosed with diabetes was a sort of blessing. Before I started to experience diabetic symptoms, I was eating very poorly, going out to clubs and bars almost every day of the week, and was generally unfocused as to what I would do with the rest of my life. Being diagnosed with diabetes forced me to take personal responsibility for my own life and make decisions for my own well-being; what food I ate, how I spent my leisure time, and what profession I pursued would all be affected, but with those critical examinations of my daily life came active decision-making. I was no longer drifting along. I had to take control of my life in order to continue it in a positive and healthy manner and the result has been nothing short of miraculous. I am easily happier now than I was at 22 and have so much more to be happy about.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my personal experiences with others who may be struggling and looking for some positive outlooks when dealing with a disease that has so much negativity surrounding it.
Photo Above: Dr. Joseph J. Fallon, Jr. & Kitty Castellini
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6/10/08 ~ Diabetes Living Today® ~ No Sugar Added™ Open Forum with Dan Dantinne