I wrote this post two years ago and still have people with diabetes write to tell me how much it has meant to them. How they printed it off and showed it to their family and friends. How people seemed to finally understand the difficulty of what they live with.
I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes for forty-four years. In a good way, I have little to show for it. While diabetes tends to be progressive for most people, I have no major complications. No heart disease, amputations, kidney disease or eye disease. I have a few conditions that may have been brought on a bit sooner by having diabetes.
There are 30 million Americans today with diabetes and 86 million Americans with pre-diabetes. An estimated thirty percent of them will go on to get Type 2 diabetes. Yet few physicians send their patients who can benefit from diabetes education to diabetes educators – those specifically trained to help people manage diabetes.
Two weeks ago I had the pure pleasure to interview Zoe Heineman. While Zoe is an acquaintance of mine and I’ve met her several times, I had no idea she had run two marathons and was about to run her third. While that’s impressive enough, Zoe runs with Type 1 diabetes. No easy feat.
Living with Type 1 diabetes is neither a fire walk nor a piece of cake. Pardon the pun. But often it feels like a fire walk. Every day and night watching your blood sugar to keep it in a safe place. Calculating and guessing all day long how everything you do will affect your immediate and long-term survival.