I’m Joanne and I’ve had Type 1 diabetes (what we used to call juvenile diabetes) for over 48 years. It’s been quite a journey … lots of ups and downs, in every way you can imagine.
I do consider myself lucky though. When I was diagnosed at the age of 11 (just after my birthday), the tools available to manage and control my health were minimum. Urine testing, no glucose meters, animal insulin (not the like purified human insulins of today), no insulin pumps, no HbA1c testing and certainly no CGMS. While I remember weighing my food for portion size, not much was known (or at least taught) about carb counting.
And my endocrinologist, considered one of the “experts”, believed it was good to allow your sugars to run high, as he thought lows were too dangerous. Thank god, my parents did a lot of reading and didn’t think that philosophy made sense … and took me to the Joslin Clinic in Boston. I did better there … but I’ll bet my A1c’s were well above 12 throughout my teen years. That’s a scary thought but it was what it was then.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with some complications but nothing disastrous. But enough to make me work hard to try to maintain better control.
My last 5 years have been bumpy. I’ve been hospitalized several times, mostly not related to diabetes. But being in a hospital was quite an eye opener. So I’m writing a book about surviving the system, just to share what I learned.
I also participate in a wonderful group of T1 diabetics … we meet about quarterly and it has been an amazing resource for medical information as well as friendships.
Overall, I think so much of living well (or as well as possible) with diabetes has to do with attitude and awareness and being proactive. It’s not always easy but I’m hoping to create a blog space for all of us to share what works and what doesn’t work … and maybe just find a bright spot in our days.
I also have an amazing husband, Richard, who is very involved and caring. Plus I have 2 very adorable dogs, who bring me joy daily. Hey Buddy is my Westie (his middle name is I’m Busy) and I believe he is an old soul … wise and very hands-on (or is that paws-on). Bon Bon is my Lhasa Apso … she redefines cute and sweetness every day … makes me laugh daily.
Over that past 17 years, Joanne and her team have raised over $200,000 for diabetes research towards finding THE CURE. Click Here to view some photos of Joanne’s JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Shooting Stars team.