Long-term diabetic

Hey T1N,

So, I’m 32 and have had diabetes for most of my life. When my 30’s hit, I started feeling all the aches and pains that people always talk about—“Oh my back! My knees!” Etc. While I consider myself decently healthy and do fight to keep my blood sugar and appetite at a healthy balance, I’ve come begin needing chiropractic adjustments, hand surgery, and an appointment to see a rheumatologist for unusual join pains. Has anyone else experienced weird stuff like this? I’ve gained an unusual amount of weight, too, since I started this job a year ago (25+ lbs). I could go on and on, but has any other long-term T1D experienced things like this?? I’m always the only one so I never have anyone I can talk to…

@blaziansong Hello !

I am 52 now (39 with t1) and I am getting slower, weaker, heavier, and have an assortment of creaks and pains, some of them are diabetes related (2 frozen shoulders, trigger fingers, retinopathy, elevated blood pressure) some are only age related including the happy beginnings of cataracts . getting older is going to affect us - and it is my understanding that if we are taking care of blood sugar, then you’ll have the same health risks as a person without diabetes.

The struggle for me, now that I am established at my work, is more of recognizing that life is more important. That my company has a policy called “work-life” balance but it is up to me to make it a “LIFE-work” policy. That saying no is harder than saying yes, and if I tried - I could die at my desk trying to fix everything and it won’t make any real difference in the world. It is up to me to make my family, my health, and my time, the most important things in the world to me.

Hi @blaziansong, like @joe wrote as we live longer with diabetes we get more aches and pains as well as stuff like high blood pressure and for me a heart condition and retinopathy. Many of the “things” that affect us living with diabetes also affect the general population.
I’m now 76 and on my birthday in a couple of weeks I’ll begin my 62nd year living with diabetes and I’ve led a productive and active life - I like living and look forward to many more years. In many ways, I can say that diabetes, in spite of its difficulties has lengthened and made my life better than “average”. For example, I’ve lived more than 17 years beyond what my very healthy, never sick father lived and I’ve also outlived more than 1/3 of the guys in my high school class.
Life is certainly worth living, and try not to let diabetes hold you back - in my more than 50 year working career, I often got the Corporate “perfect attendance” award - yeah, an additional 2 week or month’s additional pay at the end of the year.

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This is both amazing and inspiring. How did you even know if your sugars were under control for the first 25 years of your diagnosis?

@Zale hi Sal, I got it in the renaissance that is to say I had disposable sharp needles, unlike @Dennis neither of us had bg meters. We had to pee in a testube and react it with a tablet which would tell me if my blood sugar was high ior ridiculously high 45 minutes ago.

In other words we had to “wing it”

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I was diagnosed 14 years ago and was upset that BG meters at the time had a 15 second wait compared to the 5 second wait they have now… go figure.

Gee Sal @Zale, 30 seconds :smile: or even 5 seconds. I remember the days when a blood sugar testing took three days. Yes, blood drawn from a vein, sent to a hospital lab where a technician would dribble some on yeast and the reaction created would be observed for a couple of days and then technicians would make educated estimations.

The first meters I had did not provide digital readout, but rather assisted in reading color change in a reaction strip; a fingertip would be lanced and a drop of blood put on reaction paper, timed for EXACTLY 30 seconds then placed in the machine. The machine said whether the amount of sugar was low, medium or high. “Low” could be anywhere between 20 and 120 mg/dl. Oh YES, I love the progress.

I can’t imagine it. What would even be the point in taking that test? Even if the reading showed that you were in decent range who said you were still in decent range when you got the results?

I wasn’t around then but I could imagine people in the 50’s and 60’s thinking they were at the height of technology with rockets and satellites and depictions of flying cars etc, and they were truly in their infancy.

In thirty years people will be saying the same thing about today, and I will be the senior guy here saying how we used to have to prick our fingers and insert devices into our abdomen…

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@blaziansong I turn 33 in 2 months, and have had diabetes since I was 11 years old. I have a really great endocrinologist and we have discussed some of the things you mention. I am having hand issues, mainly trigger finger and tendonitis. My doctor said she sees this with her type I diabetics that are female and in their 30s. I also work in an office setting so that doesn’t help. I try to do hand exercises and use a tennis ball for massage type exercises.

Hi I’m 43 and a t1d for 32 yrs. I too was gaining weight and my endocrinologist explained that it was due to insulin resistance. He prescribed Trulicity to me and the weight and horrible hunger I was feeling is slowly going away. Maybe you can have a talk with your Endo. about insulin resistance

type one since October 1958, I had just turned 3, I remember the test tube pee guess, my dr at the time said it was best to go on how your feeling, so it was by the seat of my pants for many years till I turned about 30 and I got a real tester ( still%-!)% off ) I’ve had my blood sugar come in at 0 wile talking to a dr in the er and been over what my meter can read as my control is a little goofy. gastrparisis for 20 years, was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago, Alzheimer’s and dementia 2 years ago, and ruminoid and ostio arthritis 30 years ago, it all in my genes all these thing have shown up in my heredity, you get what you get I am just glad to still be waking up so I can be here to see it, all the things that have happened to me are all blessings as you are here to see it, you take care and realize god is with all of us.

Replying almost 1 yr later but I’m 51 now and diagnosed w T1D at 10, so most of my life. My 30’s were fabulous but 40 plus now my body is now like a classic car. I still look pretty good on the outside but I’ve been through some repairs. 2 cataracts removed. Frozen shoulder and aches and pains in all my joints. Now I’m preparing myself for menopause and dreading it. I’ve already had some of the symptoms like excessive weight gain, crows feet, sagging skin, and irregular periods. Havent had the hot flashes yet and hoping I don’t get them. I am being referred to a rheumatologist for possible RA.

Here’s me. 61 and T1 since I was 13, so what, 48 years?

I did the pee/tablet/tube tests for urine sugars until I was in high school. The fun thing was that the reaction was highly exothermic, and sometimes shattered the test tube.

Then I quit, and really didn’t start testing again until I was married with a kid, more than ten years later.

Now I’m on a pump and CBG monitor (the first one was good, this one I kind of hate). I feel most of the aches and pains that I expect to feel as a 61-year-old, who has gained 25-30 pounds since high school, but for all that I manage to feel pretty good. My ability to tell when I’m having hypoglycemia is significantly reduced, my toes are not as sensitive as they once were, and I have had a couple of trigger finger things, but I think how we age is largely a combination of idiosyncratic things and genetics. Diabetes likely plays a role, but it may be a greater/lesser role depending on your genes, location, and lifestyle. And luck.

I wish you a good deal of the last–feel good to be alive!