Diabetes and Life

Hello everyone! My name is Hannah and I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 7 years. I currently updated to the Omnipod Dash and use the Contour meter that goes along with it. I also use the FreeStyle Libre CGM, but I’ve considered the Dexcom G6. I was diagnosed when I was 16 years old and now I am 23. Type 1 Diabetes does not run in my family, however, Type 2 does! My diabetes was caused by the swine flu (worse than the actual flu) when I was struck by it in the 9th grade. I was sick for two weeks! Apparently, over the next year and a half, it attacked my pancreas. I had all the symptoms, except a coma, when they diagnosed me! How scary. Overall, for me diabetes can be a struggle, especially on days where I cannot keep my blood sugars in range, but there are good days with it too. On the bright side, when I went to the endo a month ago, my A1C was 7.5!

Some questions I’d like to ask you all to learn more how you deal with it on a daily basis are: What kind of products do y’all use for your diabetes and how long have you had this disease? Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else? What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? How old were you when diagnosed and how old are you now?

This way I can get to know each of you. It really interests me when I can connect with you all and make long lasting friendships! The answers to these questions can be short, simple, and sweet or in-depth (paragraph wise). I like all kind of answers! If you have some questions you’d like to ask me, please don’t hesitate in asking them. I’d love to chat!

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@hanstan HI Hannah, ok I’ll go first if no one minds

What kind of products an older minimed pump 5 series, a “Livongo” connected meter that my company gave me (free) with unlimited strips (free) and an online coach to complete the deal. . A guardian CGM that I don’t use, a Bayer meter as backup, and some B-D syringes in case of a DDoS attack

how long have you had this disease? 40 years

Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else? good god no. It took years to be able to use insulin so I can eat ice cream and pizza, beer and cheeseburgers. I’ve eaten unidentifiable foods in China and India, I’m a Dad, I travel, play, and work to pay for it all. I wasn’t able to get a pilot’s license… but I fly anyway when there’s an opportunity, mountain bike, build houses and make medicine & etc.

What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? I don’t care. I consider 65 to 100 mg/dl normal. My endo doesn’t get a say unless my A1c is above 7.5% that’s our contract.

How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? the WTF fairy gave me diabetes. seriously… If we could only understand the autoimmune mistake, we would likely be able to undo it. I had a virus and a 2nd degree sunburn at the time I noticed I was melting (excessive thirst & peeing). my last a1c was 6.4%, my next will be about 6.2%

How old were you when diagnosed 12-13 and how old are you now? awwww, 53. whoda thunk? they said I’d be dead or disabled before 40.

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Hi Hannah @hanstan, I like this interesting use of this Forum site; and in the three years or so since you have been posting I’ve found what you say quite interesting.

What kind of products: Foremost tool, “Common Sense”. I currently use a Tandem t-Slim x2 pump, Dexcom G5, OneTouch Verio meter and BD syringe. A Contour and two other OneTouch meters for backup.

How Long: Just began my 63rd year.

Give up food, activities, etc: No, not really. As time with diabetes has gone on, I have become more selective and cautious about eating - but I will still enjoy a nice homemade pie, pizza, good craft beer, glass or two of wine; my wife and I visit restaurants frequently where I explore the whole menu and use “best guess” insulin to cover whatever I eat.
I’ve done all that I wanted to do in life without any real restriction; worked for more than 50 years [office, construction, etc.], traveled some, played hard skiing two or three days every winter week for years, still bicycle four days a week and gym workout, raised a couple of kids and started again later raising a premature birth granddaughter.

What does the endo consider in-range BG: The endos I’ve seen recently allow me to determine ‘best’ in-range for me, however for discussions with doctors I use the 70 - 180 mg/dl for reports. At the gym and on my bike I have the CGM low alert set at 95 or 100.

How did my diabetes come about, and current A1c: I was in denial that anything was “wrong” with me for month until I was too weak to get out of bed on my 16th birthday; diabetes could have been caused by a head trauma two years before - horsing around with friends, fall and needed stitches to close the wound. My diabetes is “brittle” and a few years ago it was recommended that I raise my HbA1c to 6.5 which is equivalent to an average BG of 139 mg/dl. Last lab test was a 6.6; blood draw next week to see where I am now.

Age at diagnosis and Current age: Diagnosed at 16, currently 78.

In the last few years I’ve enjoyed talking with people affected by TypeOne and participating in discussion. In years past, I participated in several diabetes experiments some of which gave me much benefit - now I do what I can to give-back.

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What kind of products do y’all use for your diabetes? I’m on MDI (tressiba and humalog) and I’ve been using the Freestyle Libre CGM for a little over a year. I’m considering the Dexcom 6 and maybe an Omnipod 'cause I’ve been having trouble keeping my blood sugar stable at work.

How long have you had this disease? 26 years this month.

Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else? Present day: I think I’m a little less spontaneous now than I might have been otherwise, but no, as long as I can plan ahead I’m able to do whatever I set my mind to. In the past: I’m terrified of needles and it took me a really long time to learn to give myself insulin, so when I was younger I couldn’t go anywhere without my parents. I had to miss several class trips and field trips. And I wasn’t allowed to eat any of the snacks that parents brought in elementary school (like birthday cupcakes and stuff). Sometimes I was able to bring them home and have them with dinner, but I’ll never forget the day we made ice cream and mine melted before I was allowed to eat it.

What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? I was taught anything between 70 and 180 was “in range” but my current target is 120 during the day and 150 overnight.

How did you become diabetic? [shrugs] The summer before first grade I was thirsty all the time and started wetting the bed again. My mom recognized the symptoms and took me to the doctor. Sounds like you subscribe to the virus-trigger theory, so maybe it’s 'cause I had chicken pox twice? But I really don’t know for sure what triggered it. I know that I inherited it through my dad. My paternal grandpa tested positive for certain genetic markers and some of his relatives (my 2nd and 3rd cousins) have it. No other immediate family, though. Just me.

What is your A1C now? I think my latest was 7.2. Lowest I’ve ever gotten it was 6.5, but I was having a lot of low blood sugars until recently (45 lows in my first 30 days using a CGM).

How old were you when diagnosed and how old are you now? Diagnosed at 6, 32 now.

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Hey Hannah! We already know each other but I’ll answer anyway.

What kind of products: I’m on a Dexcom g6! Currently using MDIs.

How Long: About to hit my 10-year diaversary.

Give up food, activities, etc: Not really. I’ve obviously had to work harder to do certain things–like managing my bg during varsity tennis matches–but I’ve never let it stop me from doing anything I want to do.

What does the endo consider in-range BG: Anywhere in the standard range of about 70-180, though I have a fair bit of freedom to set my own range.

How did my diabetes come about, and current A1c: I had a horrible case of viral pneumonia a few months before being diagnosed… I suspect that may have triggered my condition. No one in my immediate or extended family has any history of T1D. My last A1C was 6.6!

Age at diagnosis and Current age : Diagnosed at 7, currently 17.

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What kind of products? I use a Tandem t:Slim X2 with a Dexcom G6 CGM advising it. Works quite well, my A1c a few weeks ago was 6.1, my second best. Got a 6.0 about 4 years ago when I was using a Dexcom G5 (just before I went on Medicare that wouldn’t pay for it).

How long: Looks like I’m the second one here at 63 years experience. I was dxd on April 9, 1956 at age 5. Ever since I’ve been training endos about diabetes each time we moved. I’m in a family of engineer/inventors, and success on a project meant it was time to move, and I followed in my Daddy’s footsteps for much of my adult life.
BTW, I know EXACTLY the day I was diagnosed, since even at age 5 I knew Mom’s birthday, and that’s when I was dxd.
I had some kind of flu-like bug, and diabetes developed then. Maybe it was Coxsackie B? Anyway Mom took more to the GP next door, and asked him if it might be diabetes, he said no (he’s not a fat middle-aged man, he thought).
Anyway I woke the house up screaming with belly pain. They took me to the ER, and a surgeon took my case. He said, without any tests or verification of any kind, that I had acute appendicitis. So he took out my healthy appendix, and I went into DKA coma on the table.
Dad was calling all over town and found a brand new pediatrician who had JUST started his practice, who said that he HAD heard about Juvenile Diabetes at college. Good that SOMEBODY was teaching about it 4 years after it was established as an actual disease.
So Dr. Weinstein gave me 1050 units of insulin and I stabilised but remained unconscious for 2 more days. My body had drained almost all electrolytes from my blood while flushing out sugar.
Mom and Dad were walking down the ospital hall to hold a death watch since it seemed clear I couldn’t possibly recover. In Dad’s words "the nurse stopped me in the hall and said “Talk to him, it may be his only anchor with reality, and may well save his life.”
So he did, for a long time, talk right into my ear. Then I opened my eyes, and have spent 63 years since learning how to deal with our common condition.

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What kind of products? Omnipod and Dexcom g6. Novolog is covered by my insurance.

how long have you had this disease ? 15 years in December

Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else ? Nope! I’ve been fortunate enough to get a good handle on my diabetes and figured out how certain foods spike me or make me drop and with the pump as you know it’s easy to make adjustments to accommodate for these foods. Same thing with activities. I give anything a shot if it’s interesting to me and just adjust for diabetes if needed.

What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? my range is 70-120.

How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? I’m not exactly sure. I’d say it was a variety of factors. It runs in my family (yay genetics) and appears to have been set up by a string of strep throat cases. Oh! Last A1c was 7.2

Age at diagnosis and now: I was diagnosed at 11 and am now 26.

Woah, this is so weird. I was reading your post thinking “did I write this…?!”. Your diagnosis story is scarily similar to mine. I am now 25 years old but was diagnosed at age 16 just like you. AND my diagnosis came a short time after being sick with… (you guessed it) the swine flu. How crazy! I’ve never heard of someone else experiencing the same initial symptoms/causes as me. At the hospital when I was taken in, the doctors told me I was 12 hours MAX away from slipping into a diabetic coma & I’d just made it in time. The doctors also initially tried telling me I may have Type 2 Diabetes when we arrived that day… only because Type 2 diabetes runs in my family for generations; my father, paternal grandmother, paternal great grandfather and mother, etc. But I was the very first to eventually be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes instead - completely unrelated to my family’s history with Type 2. Extremely similar to the story you’re telling it sounds like. I was also just recently diagnosed with autoimmune disease #2 : Celiac Disease, age 25. It all takes a bit of change and an open mind, but adjusting well now.
Anyway, just thought I’d share with you! I’m glad you’ve adjusted to T1D so far and are taking control of your health. Keep it up!

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Good use of forum I’m glad there are people out there like me that have no idea how they developed Type 1, and how most of us have similarities in how we think the onset occurred!

What kind of products? I use a TSlim pump with the Dexcom G6 CGM.
how long have you had this disease ? 11 years
Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else? Yes, unfortunately but I think it was more of the onset more than diabetes. I played baseball in college before I was diagnosed and I had to step away from it after being diagnosed.
What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? 70-140
How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? Similar to almost everyone just a different illness. After my freshman year at college I ruptured my spleen because of mono, during the triage portion of my two week hospital stay the doctors asked me how long I had type 1 diabetes. I said I didn’t, they said well now you do! My A1C now is 8.2!
How old were you when diagnosed? 19 how old are you now? 30

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Hi Hannah!

I’ll admit it, I hadn’t heard of such a thing with the swine flu…that’s remarkable! Wow, it’s amazing what can happen in our bodies. OK, on to the questions!

What kind of products do y’all use for your diabetes : I take Fiasp and Tresiba as my primary insulins. I use a Freestyle Libre as well and I LOVE IT. I have been super happy with the Libre (it helps that my insurance covers sensors completely) and it has helped me move my A1C into the 6.5 range for the last year.

How long have you had this disease? 18.5 years…strange to even say that as I can’t believe it has been that long. Diagnosed at 20 years old.

Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else?: Sure, it has definitely made me change my diet, but I definitely have not given up any regular activities. I eat healthier (sometimes I wonder how my diet would have been had I not been diabetic…my assumption is probably much worse so maybe this has helped me think more about what I eat as I get older) and really watch my calorie intake as to stay a healthy weight.

What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? My goal is to stay within 70-180…that’s my target range. We focus a lot on time-in-target and I try to get 70-80% in that range over a 3 month period with a focus on avoiding anything over 250. It’s tough and I have yet to reach 80%, but I have been in the 70s with most of my out of target being lows more than highs.

How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? I was in college and simply noticed I was constantly thirsty and going to the bathroom repeatedly. Scheduled an appointment with my doctor and they referred me to an endo…ta-da, you diabetic! I was never super ill, but I did lose a massive amount of weight upon initial diagnosis (probably lost 30 lbs) until I got things squared away with my sugars. I’m currently sitting on a 6.6 A1C at my last appointment 3 weeks ago, but as I said above, my focus isn’t the A1C as much as my time-in-target anymore.

How old were you when diagnosed and how old are you now? Diagnosed at 20…and 38 now.

Cheers!

-Adam

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I was diagnosed back in March of this year, not even a week after my 29th birthday, which was on the 19th. I was dealing with what I thought was a sinus infection and had been to 3 doctors over the course of 3 days–one visit before my birthday on the 7th, and then one on my birthday, followed by another on the 21st–who came to that conclusion as well. They gave me antibiotics, a steroid shot, and then a course of steroid pills. Strep and the Flu were both ruled out via rapid tests, but no blood work or other tests were done. I kept getting worse however and had an appointment to go back to the doctor that following Monday. I didn’t make it through the weekend–I was rushed to the hospital in DKA Sunday the 24th and spent 3 days in a medically induced coma following surgery to remove a large abscess in my throat. I apparently had a huge retro-pharyngeal abscess near my vocal cords that was filled with Strep A infection. The doctors think that I had been developing T1 for a few months prior to this despite not having any of the classic symptoms, and the stress caused by my body fighting the infection combined with all the steroids the doctors gave me pushed my immune system into overdrive and it attacked my pancreas. I spent a total of 3.5 weeks in the hospital and had 2 surgeries/4 procedures as the first surgery did not get all of the abscess and it re-filled with Strep which then started draining into the lining around my heart and lungs. T1 doesn’t run in my family either, but T2 does so I kind of new I had a risk for that and had been making a lot of changes to my diet and exercise routine before all of this happened. Honestly, it’s been harder to accept the illness that put me in the hospital than accepting that I have T1. It’s really been a struggle to regain a sense of normalcy after being in the hospital for so long and then all of the doctors appointments that followed. But I can say without a doubt that I know T1 saved my life because if I hadn’t gone into DKA who knows how long it would have taken to discover the abscess…it could have ruptured before it was found and caused me to go septic. So, I thank God everyday for letting me live through this ordeal, even if I now have to live with an illness I never knew could happen to me and is a 24/7 chore. But my dexcom G6 and Tslim pump make managing it a lot easier. I pretty much bullied my endo into writing the scripts for them as it’s apparently not common practice for an individual to get a CGM or pump so early after being diagnosed. But I had my phone while I was in the hospital and devoured any and all information I could find on T1 management and what options were out there because I did not want to live my life constantly pricking my fingers and giving MDIs. Having T1 hasn’t really stopped me from doing things I did before diagnosis…but recovering from being so sick has. I was running half marathons last year and now it’s like the reset button has been pushed and I’m back to where I was before I started losing weight and walking everyday. And it’s been a struggle to get back to my exercise routine to be hones. I’ve given up a lot of processed foods and switched to more using fresh produce/meat and whole grains. Now that I have my pump I feel more comfortable eating out occasionally or indulging when someone brings in a treat for the office at my workplace. My A1C when I was diagnosed was 10 and now it’s 6.7 and my endo says I’m doing really well for only being T1 for a few months. My goal is to find a routine or regimen that is flexible enough to let me roll with the bad days of T1 and enjoy the good days. I know it’s going to take time to find that balance and that it will more than likely need to be tweaked and fine tuned many times over, but I feel confident that I can and will accomplish this. It’s absolutely amazing to have a support system like this forum and the ones I’ve found on social media; the love and support I’ve found in this community makes this journey less daunting and less lonely and I’m so blessed to be a part of it :slight_smile:

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What kind of products? OmniPod w/ Humalog Insulin, Dexcom G6, and Victoza; I’m going to start using Loop with RileyLink soon
How long have you had this disease? Ten years
Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else? No. I was sent home from a sleepaway camp as a kid because the nurse couldn’t handle insulin, but that’s it. In terms of diet, I might think twice before ordering Chinese these days. Perhaps I should avoid Italian food more than I do! I have traveled a lot by myself, which I wouldn’t have thought was possible at diagnosis, and I try to get exercise.
What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar? 80-180 mg/dL
How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now? I will echo @joe and say that the WTF fairy gave me diabetes. have no idea how I became a type 1 diabetic. No family history except for one grandparent with type 2. My mom noticed the constant drinking and weight loss and took me to get a blood test before anything life-threatening occurred. My last A1C was 7.6%. I am trying really hard to get it below 7 for the first time since my honeymoon period - if I succeed, I can guarantee that I will cry!
Age at diagnosis 10
Current age 20

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The info on how TIs were diagnosed is quite interesting. The various theories are intriguing. I don’t know why or how, but, it happened suddenly that I was thirsty, losing weight, blurry vision, constant urination, etc. What’s so odd to me, is that Autoimmune disorders (TID, Lupus, arthritis, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, etc.) are common on my dad’s side of the family. AND, there are a couple of Type I’s on my mom’s side of the family. I got TI and some other autoimmune disorders too. Just lucky, I guess. lol This was about 20 years ago.

I am new to Medtronic 670G system. It has helped bring my A1C to most recently 6.8. My Endo is ecstatic, though, I think I can get to 6.2 by next appointment.

I do pretty much what I want, but, I am always planning with my diabetes in mind, especially, my pump. It’s great, but, it’s a huge pain, imo. It’s very temperamental, so, it requires a lot of thought and planning, backups, etc.

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What kind of products do y’all use for your diabetes?

  • Tandem t:Slim x2 pump and Dexcom G6 sensor with Basal IQ
  • Novolog insulin
  • Grifgrips adhesives to keep sensors on
  • Verio meters for the rare occasions I actually need to test

How long have you had this disease?

  • It will be 24 years on 9/19/19

Has having diabetes caused you to give up certain activities, foods, or anything else?

  • I made a personal choice in January 2016 to stop eating a high-carb diet and have been rewarded by losing 55 pounds and reducing my A1c to 5.9%. As for other activities, I don’t let it hold me back. I ski, hike, rock climb, travel, and do whatever else I want to do!

What does your endo consider an in-range blood sugar?

  • My endo has my target at 100 mg/dL on my pump, and I think it would be great to be stable between 83 and 115.

How did you become diabetic and what is your A1C now?

  • My parents think I was predisposed (despite no family history) and that a vaccine was the environmental trigger that caused it. We don’t know for certain, though.
  • Throughout most of my childhood and young adult years my A1c was over 8%. It’s now 5.9%.

How old were you when diagnosed and how old are you now?

  • I was diagnosed at age 2, and I’m now 26. (Bye, dad’s insurance! :sob:)
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My daughter, who has an intellectual disability, was diagnosed with T1D when she was 21. (She’s now 33). My ears “perked up” when I read your post saying you were diagnosed after having had the swine flu. Both my daughter and I got the swine flu, after which I got well but my daughter just wouldn’t bounce back. Three weeks later she was diagnosed with Type 1 . I had assumed that she may have had T1D prior to the swine flu episode (although wasn’t aware of any symptoms)… but now I’m wondering if there’s some kind of connection to that particular flu.
Did your physician make that connection?

My daughter uses the Tandem x2 t slim with humalog. She has the Dexcom G5. Because of her disability, I’m in charge of her food choices (and often feel like the “food police”).
Her A1c is currently 7 but she goes for blood work this coming week so who knows? She’s had a few big highs during the last 2 months so it could go higher this time. I try to keep her between 70 and 180 but that’s often a challenge. When she gets excited or nervous—which is often— her number can really shoot up.

Hi!!! Thanks y’all for sharing your stories!! They are all so interesting to read about!!

I have surgical type 1. I had my pancreas removed on my 52nd bday due to 34 yrs of congenital chronic pancreatitis. It’s been 6.5 yrs I’ve been living w this.

I used a tandem X2 w Basal IQ ( & seriously can’t wait until Control IQ has been approved and made available!!) I also upgraded to Dexcom G6 last October & I’m LOVING it!!! What’s not to love about no finger sticks!!! I do check w a fingerstick when I’m marinating or if I feel differently than dex is reporting.

I have a few GI issues from having had the pancreatitis for so long, so my belly likes carbs more than protein & fat so I’m still trying to adjust my diet to something D friendly while keeping my belly happy.

I like to keep my range from 80-180 & my last A1C was 8.0. I had been sick for a while so I’m higher than I would like but my endo likes time in range better so I’ve been trying to work up from 55% in range. Lower than I would like but better than it could be.

Was first presented w this disease at 52 & I’m 58 now!!!

Great questions!! Thanks again y’all for sharing!!!

I wonder if you still would have developed diabetes if the first doctor wouldn’t have taken out your appendix? Like if you were soon to be diagnosed with it, that the diabetes could have came later on and not at that very moment of having that healthy organ come out. OR not came at all, but that’s what might have caused diabetes.

Seems my story got confused a bit here. I was nearly in coma when the appendix was removed by the Second doctor that saw me ii the ER. The first doctor there never really did anything to or for me, he was called away before he got any real idea what was happening. There WAS a GP that tried to treat it several days before the ER visit, but he only prescribed antibiotics and gave some cautious about getting too much sunlight, since I COULDN’T have diabetes, since I wasn’t an older overweight man at the time.

He was partially right, since I was apparently suffering from an unknown virus THEN, perhaps Coxsackie B or such.
In any case the diabetes onset was several days or a week before the ER visit.

Another thing that seems to be missing from several people in this discussion… For quite a few years now doctors have believed that Type 1 Diabetes is caused by various viruses, the first one recognized for this is called “Coxsackie B” since it was found in abundance in a newly diagnosed 7 year old (IIRC) in a hospital in Coxsackie.
After that a fairly large number of viruses where found in the same relationship with creating diabetes, and it was thought that these viruses bear a striking resemblance to pancreatic Beta cells (the ones that make insulin) so when the body develops antibodies to the virus the Beta cells are mistaken for the same thing and subsequently killed off too.
That’s why it’s called an auto-immune disease.

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That’s quite interesting. I seem to learn new things everyday!