Type I Diabetes n Me

In 1st grade, my “behavioral problem” of peeing many times per day turned into a trip to the principal’s office from my first grade classroom.  I wish it could have been 40 lashes less one for mercy, but no.  At that point I was still a good kid, so mom took me to Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, to my new doctor.

He told me, “You’ll be staying with us for a while, young man.”  I got excited.  It sounded fun!  It was, I suppose, except for all the shots and blood draws. Man, the things you can do with wheelchairs, unlocked gurneys, meal trays and bedpans when you’re a kid!

It became somewhat “normal” to wind up in Ford Hospital for a month or so each year over the next six years, but everything else was a fairly average childhood: school, camping, bike riding, wrestling, mud fights, football, minibikes, dogs, friends, family, and shots every morning.

I joined a Type I Diabetes support group last night, and now see a crystal clear way to support people with a similar problem.  Every once in a while I have really good advice, and usually a few laughs and tales of endurance over the many, many (many) times I survived when absolutely no one thought this was a very good idea.

In about 1966 my mother stopped trying to “control my diabetes.”  She kept giving me shots, of course, and prepared healthy food, but she also figured out that her tight controls and “doctors orders” were killing me.

Besides, everybody knew I wasn’t going to live very long.

Throughout life, when folks found out I was diabetic they’d say, first off, “MY UNCLE DIED OF THAT,” “MY GRANDMA HAS NO FEET AND SHE’S BLIND ‘CUZ OF DIABETES,” or the gentle one, “OH, I’M SO SORRY!”  These were “nice people.”  (“Where do you think your depression comes from, Dave?” Oh, I don’t know.)

People who have Type I diabetes — just like everyone else — get what we get.  We either deal with it, or we deal with the consequences.  I have found that many times, consequences were the better choice.

It’s only experience, remember (NOT advice) but I’m pretty sure you’ll react to it all in one way or another.  I’m pretty excited about this blog, though it might offend more people than a normal serving of politics or religion.

If there is a particular aspect of diabetic living you are interested in, just ask in the comment section.  I might just tell you not to deal with it the way I did 40 or 50 years ago, but I will say something.  So far, at least, I haven’t died of it.

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