Living a happy life with type 1 diabetes

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I would like to acknowledge Sheila Hagar for her article on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

This summer I celebrated 50 years with type 1 diabetes. My diabetes came on suddenly after having mumps and chickenpox in the same year. I was rushed 200 miles to a hospital in a near coma. I started at age 11 with metal needles, glass syringes, pork insulin and food exchanges that I memorized.

There was no diabetes educator, dietician, support group or good blood-sugar monitoring.

My life revolved around my insulin duration. Now I use an insulin pump, which is a small computerized syringe.

The insulin flows through a thin tubing then under my skin.

The syringe and tubing are changed every three days. A far cry from the old days with the daily insulin shot, etc.

People think I am wearing a cellphone. This gives me great flexibility all day long.

I use very fine backup syringes, recombinant DNA insulin and a blood glucose meter to accurately test my blood-sugar level. The meter syncs with the pump.

I still watch my diet and have to deal with low and high blood sugars but overall I am doing just fine.

I am a happy person who has accepted her type 1 diabetes.

Willy Van Krieken

College Place

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