I have been Type 1 for 73 years, and I like to read about other long term Type 1 people. Here is an interesting story written by Pat McAlister, describing her 71 years of T1D.
I’m coming up on 62 yrs T1D. You guys are an inspiration. I was five but still remember having to pee on a stick, boil syringes and stainless steel needles, and not varying insulin dose unless in ketoacidosis. Somehow that relatively primitive treatment worked, not without serious highs and lows. I’m trying to remember when they came out with glucose checking. Late 1970s or early '80s? What a life changer that was. Then Humalog, another life changer. now they have super fast acting insulin, Fiasp, but Medicare and the pump people won’t accept its use. The first somewhat limited closed loop pump came out 1 1/2 years ago, and Medicare STILL doesn’t pay for the associated CGM. That dinosaur needs to be brought under control.
Davyboy, I remember all of those things too, going back to 1945,
My first glucose meter was purchased in the mid 1980’s. Humalog became available in 1996.
I am a type one diabetic for 56 years. yes i certainly remember all those
things as well. boiling needles peeing on a stick etc. yes we have come a long
way, but i was told we will have a cure in 5 years. i am still waiting. i always said
in my lifetime there will be a cure, not sure about that anymore. Medicare does pay
for the CGM, and in April it will pay for the download on the CGM. Check into it. I guess it depends what state you are in.
Whoa, I feel like a “newbie” having been injecting insulin for only fifty five years now. But I do remember (fondly?) TesTape. For a while there, while in college and becoming a full time alcoholic (beer, of course), I had begun to think that TesTape turned green whenever it got wet. Several years later I learned that I was immune to beef insulin. I wasn’t allergic to it, it just didn’t work. I recall the first time that I used some regular pork insulin and had an “insulin reaction” which I had not had in a LONG time. Later it turned out that I was also immune to NPH insulin. So I began using Lente. I used an insulin pump for a few years while waiting for Lantus to be approved in the United States. That’s what I use now and with the help of a continuous glucose monitor. I’m a happy camper. So far no complications attributable to foreign insulin dependence. I’m just getting old, and that is bad enough. Who woulda thought?
Yes Type 1 for 70 years. I remember the Porcine insulins that we used, and the syringes and needles. To test we placed 2 drops of urine into a blue liquid (Benedict solution) and boiled on a paraffin flame. Depending on the color outcome we determined the historical BG value for the last 2 hours or so. The years up to age 50 were easy, however as one ages things become more difficult. The modern insulins are very potent an I suffer from a lot of lows. I do not sense the lows anymore and was involved in a car smash due to serious hypoglycemia. One must now test every hour or so. Very healthy as of now, however suffer from depression to due BG lows. I live in a small forestry town in South Africa and have always been very active and well controlled.
I have been a Type I for 59 years next month. I was diagnosed when I was 10 & remember boiling syringes & stainless steel needles, pork insulin, & always either being too high or too low. There weren’t endocrinologists back then. My doctor was a cardiologist when I was put in the hospital for 30 days every other year for “better control.” I felt very isolated for most of my life & have struggled with depression, too, but therapy & medications help with that.
I agree it’s hard aging with Type I, but I’m so thankful to be alive and healthy after struggling with management until advances like glucometers, pumps, & CGMs helped with management. It’s great to see that there are other people who have lived with Type I as long or longer than me. Yes, Medicare is slow to approve any advancements, but they eventually get there.
Looks like you need to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which will help a lot. I am in my 74th year so have experienced most all of what you have been through. I am a member of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston that honors all Type One Diabetics who have had diabetes for 50 years or longer and has some wonderful information from time-to-time. They also have a meeting in Boston (which may be a little far for you) each two years that is very interesting and they also do a lot of work with diabetics. They provide a medal for all diabetics of 50 years or longer. The next meeting is in May of 2021 when I hope to get my 75 year medal. Good luck to you for the future.
Thank you all for sharing, it is so promising to hear your stories of battling this condition for so long. I just had my 43rd anniversary, so not at long as you folks, but still a long time (my only child was diagnosed 17 years ago at age 9 1/2). It is so much easier to control our BS now due to all of the technology and info at our fingertips, but it is still a lot of hard work and at time overwhelming. Hearing your stories gives me hope that it is possible to go another 20 or 25 years…thanks again for sharing.
Hi @OShoot. I love that name, by the way! At the risk of asking the obvious, have you looked into getting a continuous glucose monitor? Some, such as Dexcom’s G6, do not require calibration; and those that do - such as Dexcom’s G5 (which I use) are only calibrated 4 time a day - much better than hourly fingersticks! Dexcom gives alerts if your numbers go above or below numbers you designate, so they can be costly depending on your insurance coverage. There is also one called Freestyle Libre. it keeps continuous track so long as you are in range, BUT you have to swipe the receiver over the transmitter periodically to get your readings, and it does not alert you if your numbers are low or high. Still, if you have the diligence to do hourly fingersticks, frequent swiping might alert you to pending lows. In the US we usually get our Dexcom via mail order although I understand arrangements can be made with some local pharmacies. The Freestyle is more readily available at pharmacies, although a prescription is still required.
I believe you said you are in S. Africa - I don’t know about availability there but I how you can find something that works for you.