Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day


Why am I talking about World Diabetes Day? I have type 1 diabetes, and I was diagnosed when I was 19. I have been pumping for a little over a year now, and the pump is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.

How does diabetes affect my life? I check my glucose levels 5+ times a day, I change my pump infusion sets and the insulin in the pump when I'm supposed to (every 3 days), and I try as hard as I can to keep up with a healthy diet and exercise plan. I visit my doctor 4 times a year, I know all the ins and outs of the medical billing and insurance systems, and I know never to trust a pharmacy to get your prescriptions refilled on time. Wearing a dress takes an extra 15 minutes of planning so I can find a place to put my pump, I carry skittles with me wherever I go, and I check to make sure I grabbed my test strips more than I check to make sure I have my keys. I can administer insulin shots in a moving car, I can check my blood glucose without a table to rest anything on, and I can tell you the carbohydrate content of almost any food just by looking at it. I also get instant membership to a great online community, TuDiabetes.

What does WDD mean to me? It's a way to bring attention to the fact that diabetes still has no cure. There have been major medical advances when it comes to diabetes management, and I am lucky that I never had to use some of the more archaic forms of treatment. But the pump is not a pancreas. Insulin is not a cure. Test strips will not revive my insulin-producing beta cells.

What do I want you, as the reader, to do? Learn the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, support stem cell research, and, if you can, make a contribution to the Junior Diabetes Research Fund (they focus on type 1 research).

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Yet.

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