It pains me to make that comment. I’ve had diabetes for so long it is easy to see it as ancient history. 40 years is not all that long in reality. According to science the earth formed millions of years ago and the sun is what? 4 billion years old? My 40 measly years are nothing. To me on the other hand, it is eternity. 40 years of getting at least two shots a day. Now even more than that. A now there are pumps that you only get jabbed once every 2-3 days. Oh how life as a diabetic has changed. I read a blog from a fellow diabetic who wrote about this same subject and reading it made me think. She has been diabetic for 20 years I believe. I’ve got twice that under my belt now.
Where to begin, how about insulins? Back then in the beginning, I took two different types like I do now but in just two shots. One in the morning for breakfast and lunch and another in the evening before supper for that meal and overnight. In fact I have recently started taking the same intermediate (12 hour) insulin again. The other was know as simply regular. Back then, in Fred Flintstone’s day, they were no DNA synthetic human insulins but pork and beef insulins. I actually do like the modern ones better. You can still develop antibodies but back then if that happened you were just screwed. Now you can switch to another type and press on with life.
Testing? Wow what a change. Back then I had to pee in a cup and use a dropper and two test tubes to get just a ball park guess as to how high I was. These test only told you if your kidneys were pulling excess sugar out your blood stream. The one test generated so much heat I was burned by it several times and had the tube crack more than once because of that tremendous heat. The only “blood sugars” were done with a lab appointment at the doctor’s office. I knew them well. Twice a week for the first year, then down to once a week for a few years after that, and finally it dropped down to once every 2 weeks, before getting to visit just once a month after I graduated high school. One draw in the morning and another in the afternoon at roughly 2 pm. I was to eat at noon and it had to be checked 2 hours later. That little fact has not changed. To verify that the insulin dose is right your sugar need to be checked 2 hours after you eat. Now we just have to use a finger, well I use the forearm, poke to check blood sugars. On top of that I wear a Dexcom G5 sensor to constantly read and chart my sugar levels. Oh how far we have come.
Per say, not much has changed as far as eating and food. The biggest change I can think of is the ability to check carbs counts online with a smart phone. That helps but for me, who doesn’t vary far off a set menu, it isn’t necessary. I know a piece of bread is 15 grams. I know to read the Hamburger helper box to find this one is 36 grams per serving. I have opened the menu a bit as back in the beginning I tried to follow the bible for diabetics and cut most candy and sweets out. Now it does not matter as you simply calculate the amount of insulin per carb ratio and shoot up.
My biggest pet peeve is still alive today. People telling me how to live or worse yet that I did this to myself by overeating on sweets. I finally got over that one after only about 15 years. The “you’re going to loose a foot or leg if you don’t keep your sugar level in check” or that I’ll have a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and a whole host of other maladies if I didn’t keep my sugars lowered I still get today. At this point I’m sure I’ll more likely to go blind from excessive internet porn than high blood sugars. I’m healthier than I probably should be with all the high blood sugars over the last 40 years according to all the doctor’s scolding. Although there is still hope, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for those comments to die off.
Well that was my stroll down memory lane. I think my brain has callouses now, 40 years was a long walk. Remembering the good old days and hoping they never come back. I like my life now. It is confusing at times and never to plan, EVER, but I still like it. Yes there are a few things I may change if given a time machine but all in all I would leave it alone. Anyone else want to take a walk?