Coming Out

So, after 40 years of following the first rule of T1D Club: Don’t talk about T1D, and disseminating the information that I live with this condition on a need-to-know basis only, this has been an emotionally challenging week for me.  ‘Coming out’ as a person living with T1D in a very public way, using my August 14 gig as a vehicle to end the secrecy and raise awareness feels terrifying. What will people think of me now? What will the reaction be?  The reason I went underground in the first place was to avoid dealing with people’s adverse reactions to finding out: The uneducated, unsophisticated, unsolicited and dangerous healthcare advice (“Don’t eat anything with gluten”; “Stop eating any carbohydrates”; “Take (choose one: garlic/vitamin E/Omega 3/ St. John’s Wort) supplements and you won’t need insulin”; “You aren’t allowed to have sugar, so I’m not going to give you that orange juice you just asked me for, even if you say you are having an insulin reaction”; and so on, ad nauseum); The fear and exclusion: (“Lynda can’t come to the sleepover because she might die in the night and spoil the party”; “I (teacher) can’t possibly take Lynda on the field trip; I have [...] continue the story

Still Standing on my Original Two Feet

August 29 – My Coma Day August 29, 2013, is the 40th anniversary of my Coma Day — the day I spent in a coma while my doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  Turned out it was Type 1 Diabetes, and they were able to bring me back to consciousness the next day.  Every year on that day, I celebrate another year of surviving and thriving in spite of all the dire predictions I was given by the medical community during my slow, painful progress back to a point where I could be released from hospital (I think it was a few months, but it was so long ago, and I was so young, I think I have skipped over that in my memory to a great degree).  In a nutshell, it went something like this: You will never:             live past 40             have kids             be able to participate in sports             be healthy             be normal             be able to manage a challenging job You will:.             have your feet and legs amputated             lose kidney function and need transplants and dialysis             have heart disease and multiple heart attacks             go blind             spend a lot of time in hospital             die young …and so on…. As this milestone [...] continue the story

Diabetes is easier with a great team :)

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 12, 2010 at 20 years old. I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes when I was diagnosed and looking back at the past 3 years amazes me at how far I have come. I’ve had some rough patches especially with the medical professionals in diabetes ‘care’ units. My first experience with a nurse who was supposed to help me was very unpleasant and I had to file a complaint with the hospital. I left her room crying because of the hurtful words she said to me. I had a crap endocrinologist who couldn’t even look me in the eye. I learned about insulin pumps through a friend and asked him about it. He laughed and said its a stupid device don’t do that and waste your time. I was so shocked because I had never heard a doctor speak like that. I decided there and then that I was done with him, the nurse and multiple injections. The only good thing he ever did was to refer me to my present diabetes team.

This team deserves a shout out.  I have a wonderful, understanding endo, a great nurse, and amazing dietician. I also [...] continue the story

Ethan’s Story: Hockey, Guts and Diabetes

Published on Sep 14, 2012

Ethan tells us what its like to grow up with Type 1 diabetes from a very young age. Great and powerful insights for people living with diabetes, their families and health care professionals. This film has been used as curriculum for the University Of Toronto medical program. Funded by The York University Nursing Academy. Directed by Robert Hawke.

Grief, A Necessary Part of Accepting Diabetes

Michelle Sorensen | December 18, 2012

I don’t remember the first time I had to inject myself with a needle. I don’t remember being taught how to test my blood sugar. But I have many memories of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In retrospect, the day of my diagnosis was the beginning of a long process of grieving my diabetes. At the time, however, I had no idea that being diagnosed with a chronic illness would involve a grieving process.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously outlined the stages of grief in her 1969 book called On Death and Dying. She described five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) that describe a process by which people deal with grief and tragedy. Many people think of the stages of grief as just relating to loss of a loved one. These stages, however, apply to many types of loss, including divorce, job loss, dealing with terminal illness, or the diagnosis of a life-changing and life-threatening disease like diabetes. The stages are not in a consistent order and people may go back and forth between different stages. Also, not everyone experiences all the stages. The way each person experiences grief is unique.

On the day I was [...] continue the story