Catherine shares her experiences and insights of living with diabetes for over four decades and the changes in self-care she has seen over the years:
Many things have changed since I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 9 in 1969. Most of the daily testing equipment and testing routines at that time are so archiac now that I will fast forward to the present.
I believe that the standard for me is the counting of carbohydrates, which I learned when I started to use an insulin pump over 12 years ago. It is truly a way of life that I have found to be easy and so effective. Counting carbs was a very good new approach because a majority of the information I need is on the food label. The transition fron counting calories to reading a label that lists so much, including carbs, is simple and more precise.
Another large factor in my diabetic routine is the testing of my blood sugar. When I compare using a test tube and dropper then going to a machine that was the size of a tape player early on in my diabetic life, testing my blood sugar today is a piece of cake (sugar free of course.) The fact that I can test at any time, any place has simplified my life. And, let me emphasize how very important it is to test. To be able to get that ever important number, at a moments notice, can be a life saver.
Add to all of this is the invention of the insulin pump. For me, it changed everything. I just could not believe that there were going to be no more daily injections; no more having to carry around a vial of insulin (and keep it cool) and finding a “private” place in which to take that injection. I also learned that diabetes DOES NOT have to be hidden and should NEVER be an embarassment. It was a big adjustment with a learning curve that was very attainable. Commitment and honesty were essential in getting on the pump. It is an accomplishment I am very proud of.
Last, but not least, I TALK WITH MY DOCTOR. I let him know what is going on in my life so adjustments can be made when necessary. He wants to help but sometimes I need to be my own advocate when sitting in his office.
Along with help from my doctor, Certified Diabetes Educator, a Registered Dietician and support from my spouse (my husband has a good understanding and gives me input) I can live very well with diabetes.
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DON’T MISS: Diabetes Late Inspired by Doris Day on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6 PM, ESt.