Today is World Diabetes Day! Today we celebrate those that are in our lives that have Type 1 Diabetes. They are the bravest people that we know. Every day they have the daunting task of trying to keep their bodies in sync, covering every carbohydrate they take in, with the correct amount of insulin.
As a parent, or as I call myself a “pancreas manager,” we have to keep up with their ever changing bodies, due to normal growing, hormones, and other factors, their insulin needs change. This means that we have to continually tweak their insulin to carb ratio, or I/C in our world. Also if they are on a pump, we have to adjust the basal settings which tell the pump how much insulin to give the body every hour, around the clock. If we succeed in giving their bodies the right amount of insulin, at the right time, they feel great, if not, they feel like shi, um, they don’t feel so good.
Our healthy bodies release the exact amount of insulin needed to cover the carbs that we eat, it’s really amazing to me how our bodies function. An example of how miraculous our bodies are is when I started having very painful attacks in my abdomen, they were so bad that I couldn’t get comfortable, I couldn’t sit, lay down, stand up, I just wanted to curl up and cry. Joe was literally walking out the door to go to work, it was 10:30 at night, when I told him that if he didn’t get me to the hospital, I wouldn’t make it through the night. That’s how much in pain I was. I can’t even make a joke about being a drama queen, because I was in so much pain.
We got to the hospital, I started to vomit, didn’t mind that the ER was full of people, it was either a full moon, or a Saturday night, because the place was hopping! The Dr. gave me some pain medication and sent me home, because it was a weekend night they couldn’t even take an X-Ray of my abdomen to see what it was, but they thought from the location, it was a Gallbladder attack. On Monday morning I went to my Dr. that did an ultrasound and saw that my Gallbladder was so severely infected, that my body produced a sac around it, so it wouldn’t infect my other organs. I couldn’t believe it. My own body, which had an imperfect gall bladder, full of toxins, saved my body, from itself. Crazy.
That is why autoimmune diseases are so confusing. It’s hard to imagine that our body would produce abnormal antibodies that then attack our own cells and tissues. In the case of Type 1, those abnormal antibodies attack the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
We are very fortunate to live in a time when innovative products are on the forefront for this disease. There is an App for the iPhone that gives you an idea of what it’s like to live with Type 1, there are many products on the market that make life easier, like the Omnipod Pump System. After Joey started using it, a tubeless pump, his life changed for the better, it still functions based on what we humans program it to do, like insulin delivery, all he has to do is push a button and insulin is delivered to his body. Pretty amazing. And with the Artificial Pancreas in the near future, it will change everything for kids and adults alike that have Type 1 Diabetes.
So today, on World Diabetes Day, we celebrate the lives of our loved one(s) with Type 1 Diabetes, we pray for their future, as we believe a cure is on the horizon.
BELIEVE, HOPE, CURE!
Remember, Insulin isn’t A Cure, it’s Life Support.