Getting diagnosed in 1994

Found these from when I was diagnosed back in December 1994, at 4 years old. Funny how they make it seem like you’re some kind of mutant. :joy:

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@KTrolland Hi Katie, and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!

Yes, those guidelines were recognized in 1994 when you were diagnosed with diabetes, they certainly were in effect when I was diagnosed in 1957, and they certainly apply to those diagnosed in 2020. I frequently quote or paraphrase that thought on this forum.

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1957!! What were the guidelines back then? I am interested to know!!
I just wanted to post because it is amusing to see how things were worded and how people viewed things back then compared to current times.

Hi Katie @KTrolland, during the years, decades since my diagnosis, insulin and diabetes management technique, as well as “tools” to assist us have changed immensely. Many of the helping tools have either been greatly improved, or newly developed since your diagnosis in 1994.

Insulin, in my mind, has been the single most important factor in improving life with diabetes; when I was diagnosed, the doctor told my family but my family didn’t tell me, my life expectancy was about ten years. The insulin then was what could be extracted from pigs and cows, and wasn’t as effective as the later rDNA insulin [Humulin] mid-1970’s, and then in 1996 analog insulin [Humalog]. The latter two types of insulin construction truly fit the human body needs.
My diagnosis, in a way, came at a good time because in 1954 a new “miracle insulin”, NPH came into existence - an insulin that only required one injection each day - WRONG. The NPH insulin came in U-80 strength, and the Regular insulin was in U-40 strength and shots were given with a glass syringe and long stainless-steel needle which had to be boiled before each injection. My syringe had both U-40 and U-80 scales printed on it, so giving both Regular & NPH as one injection required good mental arithmetic. Insulin strength was standardized at U-100 in 1974 with the advent of the rDNA type insulin.

Blood sugar testing was done at an out-patient hospital lab, and took a couple of days to get results. and cost a day’s wage. At home, I would use a test-tube and eye dropper to put urine and water, and a caustic tablet that caused a reaction and different color after about 15 seconds to estimate how much sugar I was passing. Color reacting test strips for home-checking came along later, and the first glucose meters [later] helped canalize the sugar level. Expensive digital BG Meters came in the 1980’s With the “color-strip” BG meters, the readings would be “Negative”, “Low”, “Medium”, “High”. Keep in mind, that a negative reading meant BS was less than 120 mg/dl; so, I could have a BG level of 85, 22, or 119 mg/dl. I didn’t have to worry much about that, because I was more often medium or high.

Diet in 1957 was, what I call, "STARVATION. I was supposed to eat almost the exact same thing every day for breakfast, and the same lunch, and the same supper. So my first “cheating” came during high school when I’d buy the school prepared lunch which could vary from a hot-dog to really awesome spaghetti with the thickest, most savory sauce I’ve ever had.

During 34 years as a patient at Joslin Clinic [Now Joslin Diabetes Center, ], founded by Dr. Elliott Joslin 12 years before insulin, I’ve participated in many diabetes related studies and projects; including development of HbA1c in early 1970’s, MDI in later 1970’s before digital glucose meters - this study developed the protocol for the Worldwide DCCT Study of the 1980’s that concluded that MDI is the most favorable option for diabetes management. The study for which I’m most proud and thankful began in 1966 when I became a test-subject for LASER photo-coagulation to “cure” blindness caused by retinopathy.

I could go on and on, Katie, but I won’t bore you too much - I get verbose. A JDRF group learned that during a presentation I made - the slide-show timed at 45 minutes, but with interruptions brought on by audience questions, my speaking only ended after two hours when I announced it was time for my lunch. I will say, now I use many of the latest gadgets and manage my diabetes well with the Control IQ algorithm.


@KTrolland I can add to @Dennis story which is more extensive than mine, that in the 1970’s. The written instructions were you must take your insulin (regular and NPH made from pigs and cows) at the same time each day and that diabetics generally do better if they eat the same exact thing at the same exact times every day. You could tell if you were doing more poorly because your urine sugar would go up to medium 3% or high 5% You always shot for 0, which would mean your blood sugar was somewhere between severe hypoglycemia and about 200 mg/dl.

I don’t miss that or those days. At all.

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