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It's been many years since my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. I was eleven years old in 1977 and already a skinny small kid for my age. I had been unbearably thirsty for a few weeks and I had been struggling with stomach pain as well. My Mom was always attentive and while none of us knew anything about T1D or what was known as Juvenile Diabetes at the time, she scheduled an appointment with our Family Physician in Wichita Kansas. I am certain that he knew what was happening and I remember that he gave me something like "Glucola" or some glucose tolerance beverage and told us to come back in an hour. We went to a nearby breakfast place called Sambo's Pancake House (it's no longer around for obvious reasons). I ordered French Toast that day. I always remember that meal as the last one prior to officially being a diabetic. Yes, the diagnosis was Type 1 and yes, I ended up in the hospital for two weeks most of which was learning how to do the basics. I do celebrate my "diaversary" every year. Good and/or bad, it represents a pivotal point in my life. I do that by eating French Toast per tradition, and I'm thankful that managing glucose today is a much more precise process than it was in 1977.
If you were diagnosed before human insulins were available and, more importantly, the fast-acting analogs then you remember that our treatment was essentially static. Take the same amount of insulin (some mix of Regular and NPH) in the morning and an amount in the evening then eat at the same times and basically the same stuff every day. That meant restrictions on sweets and impromptu snacks. It's amazing how much has changed since then. I remember operating on “feeling” for the most part early in my journey and my HbA1c tests reflected that reality. Today’s tools and options are a lot more time consuming and involved but the results are undeniable. While I do have some complications from decades of T1D, I don’t expect to lose 20 years from my life as the doctors suggested when I was diagnosed. In fact, I am already past that mark. I participate in a number of physical activities that many of my age-appropriate peers won’t including amateur bicycle racing. Diabetes doesn’t slow me down period. I may have several details I have to manage along the way but none of those things are insurmountable.