Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’
On April 16th, we held our first Connected in Motion community event in the Moncton Area. (more…)
There are very few times where I feel that I have been lucky to actually have diabetes.
So I am stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way next weekend.
- I never ever asked to have diabetes.
- I did not eat too much sugar as a kid.
- I am allowed to eat whatever I damn well please. I just need to compensate more then you do when you eat the same thing.
- I am stronger because I have diabetes in some ways, but weaker in others. Its a trade-off.
- Having Diabetes friends helps. A lot.
- Diabetes sucks.
Back in 1983 or so, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, we had no new-fangled carb counting. We had no Insulin pumps, glucometers were cutting edge technology (60 seconds testing time), and dieticians were old school.
For Type 1 Diabetes
Fake Cure – low carbs with low fat lean protein, sprinkle a little cinnamon, and some Cacao powder – voila!
There is a fine line between success and failure sometimes. Recently I found out that a man that I talked to pre-transplant, who went on to have one, had rejected his cells after about a year. Now obviously I do not know any details, but it got me to thinking.
These are my islets being transplanted as part of my 2nd procedure. I would have to say that the whole islet experience has become quite the passion for me. I love sharing my story and experiences. I believe that it serves a couple of purposes.
I have discovered that when you have a chronic health condition (like diabetes) you can help yourself by not hiding your condition, talking and sharing (when appropriate). I used to be a bad diabetic. I was what health care professionals like to call ‘non-compliant’. When I was in my early twenties, I was unfortunately your typical young male. I sort of did whatever I wanted, with little thought to long term consequence. Let me tell you that came back to bite me in the ass! I went for long periods of time without testing my sugars – up to several years at a time! Occasionally I would give my head a shake, and start testing again, only to become frustrated when I could not get my sugars under control – little wonder why – and then I would stop and put my head in the sand again.
It wasn’t until I started recognizing secondary complications, that I started talking openly again about my diabetes and how things were. Slowly – and only to my nurses and doctors at first, but over time I realized that the more I shared, the easier it was for me to handle what was going on. I still struggled with my disease, but a psychological weight was lifted from my shoulders. So my advice to people is often to start talking about it with someone, and you may just find things easier to handle – but hey that applies to lots of things in life right?
The second purpose for me to tell my story (and I will gladly speak to your group) is help raise awareness, help raise money, and to show people that money funneled into research does pay off. I am living proof of this. Those who donated to JDRF say maybe 7-12 years ago, directly helped fund my transplant. Thanks.
I have a few passions in life that I would like to share.
Obviously my wife is one of them (as anyone who is married would say)
We met volunteering for the Canadian Diabetes Association in Edmonton around 2002/2003 or so. When I started volunteering, it was because I was sick, and was not able to work – so it got me out of the house once or twice a week. At a Christmas volunteer get-together the volunteer coordinator Tanis introduced us. Sarah was a Phd candidate in islet research at the University of Alberta, and I was just starting down the road that eventually led to my transplant. So needless to say I was excited to meet her, and to hear her tell it, she was excited to meet someone like me (a patient who was being evaluated). We just chatted a bit at first, and Sarah asked me to contact her younger sister Hannah, who also has Type 1 Diabetes – as it was a taboo topic for their family to talk about, and she thought that I may be able to offer some sage advice via email. So I did as I was asked, and probably got some bonus points for it.
Sarah and I crossed paths at several volunteer events over the next 2 years on somewhat of an casual basis, I was supportive of her, and she the same of me, even though I was still very ill (hence the need for the transplant). When I got my call (more on that later), I sent out a mass email informing people, and Sarah was quite worried for me.
Anyhow, we ended up going out to the fair about 10 days after my transplant (a big deal to eat whatever I wanted!) and ended up starting to date that night.
We have been together ever since, marrying on August 4, 2007.