T1D 15 years
I was diagnosed with diabetes in August 2001. I had lost 40 pounds, had a serious change in my eye sight, and finally went to the doctor for a female infection. My blood sugar in the office was 620. I knew I had diabetes, because my sister was diagnosed at age 12 with type 1, but I was in denial. She passed away from a massive stroke in 1996, It took them awhile to decide whether I was type 2 or type 1.
I got set up with the diabetes educator at Kaiser Permanente in Denver. Between she and my endocrinology nurse practitioner, I started to get a good handle on what I needed to do to learn to live with it. I remember feeling in the office at the time of diagnosis that I had just received a death sentence. I knew the long term problems associated with this disease. My diabetes educator recommended an insulin pump. By December 2006, I had saved enough money to get one. What a game changer!! There was some additional training needed for that, including a carb counting class led by a dietician that really changed the landscape of day to day living.
Then, last year, I upgraded to continuous glucose monitor with my Medtronic pump. Second game changer! This device is as close to a pancreas as we have been able to get. I can correct highs and lows within seconds of learning about them. It decreased my A1C by one point. I really love it. The extra equipment is a little pricey, but I have been fortunate enough to have good insurance coverage over the years.
Between my family, my endocrinologist, & my Medtronic diabetes educator, I have an excellent support network. Chronic diseases can be very challenging to manage, but this team makes it look easy.
Victoria Mattoni, RN