A voice for living well with Type 1 Diabetes

Gratitude

January 9, 1963 … that’s my D Day. I was three years old and I don’t remember much, other than a nurse next to the hospital bed demonstrating how to give an injection. What a first memory!  

Living with diabetes during the 60’s and 70’s was tough. By today’s standards, it was primitive. Looking back, every day was a challenge. Insulin had been discovered 40 years earlier and kept me alive. Since then, I’ve been blessed with blood meters, insulin pens & pumps, better insulin, sensors that provide continuous glucose data, access to medical care and a mind to absorb it all.  Friends and family were there for me every step of the way.

Looking back my thoughts are a mixture of accomplishment, good fortune, loss, curiosity and optimism. At the top of my list is a thank you to those who helped along the way.  

With humility and appreciation, here are those who have helped my journey with type 1.

 

The Grammys

I watched The Grammy’s last weekend and was amazed at the talent and creativity present in the room.  The music and energy created in Las Vegas made their way into homes across the world, including ours. As I watched, I thought about how artists make and perform their...

Joslin 50th Medalist Visit

As my 50th milestone with type 1 neared, I mentioned it to my endocrinologist. He smiled and said, “That’s a great start!” My sister shared it with the pediatric endo (he’s a friend) that treats her son. His response was more in line with mine, “Oh wow… what a...

Me

After leaving both the family nest and college cocoon, I entered the real world. It was 1981 and I had a good job with a public accounting firm in Kansas City.  Now on my own and single, I was experiencing way too many lows amidst the erratic way I was living. I...

Blood Meters

Two years after graduating from college, I became frustrated with the number of  hypoglycemic episodes and the impact they had on my exercise, work and relationships.  So, in 1983 I sought help from a specialist and set up an appointment with an endocrinologist....

Gratitude – Dave Scott

I met Dave in the Spring semester of my freshman year at Kansas State University. During his senior year of high school, he was a Kansas City All Metro football player and chose to play at a small college during his freshman year of college. A semester of that was...

Gratitude – Vocation Rehab Bill of 1973

The U.S. government has a history of helping and protecting disadvantaged and disabled citizens. Legislation dates back to 1917 and the benefits continue today. As I prepared for college in 1977, the Vocational Rehabilitation Bill of 1973 offered help – because I had...

Gratitude – Chris Rossie

I met Chris Rossie in high school at Shawnee Mission South after his dad was transferred from Dallas to Kansas City.  Chris was an unusually talented guy – bountiful in academic and athletic prowess. And he excelled at both.  He became our starting shortstop in his...

Gratitude – Baseball

Growing up, games and sports help fill our days and dreams.  My game? Baseball. My Dad started it by playing catch when I was 4 or 5. That led to fifteen year of progressively competitive baseball.  I developed a love for the game because friends played it and God...

Gratitude – Teachers

Teachers help us learn and achieve in the classroom.  Their experience and knowledge shape our minds. Some teachers go the extra mile with their students. They get to know us. They encourage while serving as examples.  Their selfless ways help us become more...

Gratitude – Diet Sodas

Theme parks sprung up across America in the early 1970s.  So when Worlds of Fun opened in my hometown of Kansas City, I was eager to explore.  As an early teenager, the park was a blast and included constant walking while taking in the rides that were bigger and...

Gratitude – Athletes of 60s & 70s

My childhood was all about being outside and active.  Kicking a ball onto the front face of our home’s roof and running to the backyard to catch the ball before it hit the ground.  Did that over and over.  Day after day. Elementary school graduated to recess with...

Gratitude – Tullis Hall Ice Cream

Candy such as jelly beans, sugar babies, lifesavers, and tootsie pops.  Candy bars including Snickers, Butterfingers, and Baby Ruths.  Soda drinks like Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola, and Dr. Pepper.  Sugared cereals like Captain Crunch, Sugar Pops and Smacks. These were the...

Gratitude – Insulin

In 1920-1921, a Toronto laboratory dog’s pancreas was removed; a hormone from the displaced organ was isolated and then injected back into the dog.  The results were amazing … the symptoms of the dog’s diabetes went away within days of injections.  This hormone was...

Gratitude – Dr. Jack Burr

My diagnosis was similar to most. I had been sluggish for weeks, lost weight and was making frequent visits to the bathroom. My Mother called our family pediatric practice. A young, recent medical school graduate had become part of the practice. His name was Jack...

Gratitude – Jennifer

My one sibling, Jennifer, is two years younger than me and was 18 months old when I was diagnosed.  Growing up, we were a tight family and did things together.  So it’s fair to say that she also lived with my diabetes. This included observing my morning insulin...

Gratitude – Mom

Reflecting back on the first 20 years of my diabetes, I sometimes wonder how I made it. Much of the credit goes to my Mother. In many ways, she lived diabetes with me. There’s not much a three-year-old can do to manage diabetes. So, that’s where my Mother stepped in....

Gratitude – Dad

Both my Mom and Dad were there for me as I grew up living with diabetes. This was the 1960’s and 70’s and my Mom mostly stayed home with my sister and I, while my Father worked. My Dads work didn’t require much travel, so he was there for us every day. He encouraged...