Skip to main content

Type 1 By The Numbers: Age 11

Welcome to November, a month dedicated to “no-shaving” and Diabetes Awareness. Since I am having trouble growing my beard out, I will focus on writing about Diabetes Awareness. This year I will be basing my posts on the “numbers” associated with the disease, hopefully this will keep things somewhat interesting (although I’m not convinced an autoimmune disease that attacks one’s own pancreas is all that interesting, but I will try ;-). I won’t be posting every day, but these posts will, in their nature, cover a wide variety of topics related to the disease. T1BT#

_______________________________________________________________


Today is the 11th day of Diabetes Awareness Month and represents the age I was when faced with the diagnosis "Type 1 Diabetes". I remember feeling "mature for my age" even before that fateful day, and afterwards, well, it's safe to say I was forced to mature at a rapid speed. After December 30th, 1998 my life was not just the simple, 11-year-old hodge-podge of boys, friends, Lisa Frank, sparkly pencils, pet hamsters, and annoying sisters....I was now faced with injections, glucose meters, insulin, medical ID bracelets, pre-planned snacks and glucose tablets.

I was scared to tell my friends that I had "Diabetes" because I really didn't know that much about it and I was afraid they might think it was contagious. I hoped that they would still like me...and all of them did - the beauty of 11-year-olds naivety and unconditional acceptance. They loved me through all of the crap...low blood sugars, testing in the middle of the night, finger pricks before lunch, and glucose tabs at recess. They stood up for me when I had to defend chugging down a Sunny Delight between classes in Junior High and when the security guards thought my insulin pump was a "pager" (those were not allowed at school back then ;-). Thank God for friends. They helped me feel as normal as I could with a busted pancreas. 

Some PWD are diagnosed as babies or toddlers, others as nearly adults, but if I had to choose when in life I had to get Diabetes, I think 11 years old is as good a time as any. Do I remember life before the 'Beetus? You bet, and the sweet taste of freedom from the disease is a great motivation for advocacy. I was old enough to remember not having Diabetes, but I was young enough to "grow up" with the disease. I had a chance to make shots and insulin and snacks a "normal" part of life. But even now, even though I have dealt with Type 1 Diabetes for close to 15 years, it still isn't completely normal. Injections and carb counting, I fear, will always be foreign...the cliche "necessary evil."

I had 11 blissful years, before Diabetes...I completely took them for granted...but I think that's ok. Kids should take things for granted, that's the best part of being a kid ;-)

Comments

  1. I have to say the last few posts have been inspiring. Look at all the things you have had to learn and over come. I hope you see that this has made you a stronger person. I look forward to reading more about your life and how you progress.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution? On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there i

Hot OJT

Last week I had the chance to mentor a newly certified ADCO trainee - the NASA process is called "Hot On-The-Job-Training", or Hot OJT. What makes it "hot" you ask? Well, essentially I am hands off - he is sitting at the console, working all the plan reviews and updates, making calls to other flight controllers and to the flight director, reacting to anomalies and preparing material for the shift handover. My job is to act as the fault tolerance - a backup ADCO of sorts. Tuesday was his last official day and by Wednesday morning he was in the backroom sending commands to ISS in preparation for the docking of a three-person Soyuz. Controlling ISS during the 61S Soyuz docking! The beauty of this system is the gradual buildup in responsibility. There is a subtle shift from student, to subject matter expert, to fresh operations trainee to advanced trainee and finally to certification and real-time operations flight controller - the process takes two years

The Diabetes Transportation System DTS-T1

I was looking forward to the Space Shuttle launch on Monday, then it was pushed to Wednesday and now it is scheduled for Thursday due to several electrical issues from a main engine computer controller. Ironically, our little MH-47G (due to start testing on Monday originally) has been having it's own issues and it is still unclear exactly when we will start testing. And all of this uncertainty, schedule changes, and issue-working reminds me of my little friend Diabetes [come on, you knew that was coming :-)]. Even with hard work, super awesome bolusing skills [ check out Holly's blog today, the number crunching is very impressive] and constant blood sugar checks, Diabetes can still be unpredictable, necessitate schedule changes, and cause the carrier to work through the issues. I have been lucky today, even after a late-night cocktail last night, I woke up this morning at 112, and before lunch I was an amazing 113. I love being steady like that, cruising along with hardly an
01 09 10