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[IP] RE: Chiming in on Diabetes & Death Sentence- was Friends and family

Lindsey wrote:
>OK, let me chime in on this one!  Of course, diabetes is not a
>death sentence and it is really annoying and unproductive when people view
>diabetic child as doomed.  Especially for the kids today, the outlook is
good for
>a cure in time to spare them the consequences.  However, let's not forget
>how diabetes immediately puts its victims in a category that reduces their
>average life by about 15 years.  This is a fact.  I have seen diabetes RUIN
>sister-in-laws life; and by the age of tender age of 32.
>But it is a fact, that unless something else happens such as another
disease or an
>accident, diabetes will kills people before their time.  If not
>through the kidneys and all the rest, then through heart disease. If a cure
>not found, or a significantly better management technique implemented, many
of our
>diabetic children will have shortened lives and lives filled with doctors'
>appointments and disability.  We are talking about averages and groups
>...but when asked, I say "IT IS A MAJOR CHALLENGE EVERY DAY.  IT IS A
>CONSTANT FEAR OF THE FUTURE."  Advocacy is critical to a cure, and it
>involves putting yourself and to a certain extent, your kid out there.  We
need money for a
>cure. --------------<snip>--------------

I agree, Lindsey, diabetes is insidious.  It often allows a feeling of
confidence while it slowly undermines health over a relatively long period
of time.  Some are not so fortunate.  Two years ago I lost a diabetic friend
at about age 40 after he struggled with many complications during his last
few years.  He did well earlier, since diagnosis at age 9 years.  Last year
another friend succumbed.  She was about 50 years old.  It is a testament to
those who can take diabetes in stride, adapt readily, and expend enormous
effort to control their disease while feeling relatively little imposition.
I don't mean that anyone has their head in the sand, just that they/we/you
have a positive attitude that is essential for dealing with diabetes, and we
can claim victory for being able to do what everyone else does, in spite of
diabetes.  After 44 years with DM, and doing well, I keep looking over my
shoulder at what may be in store but I also like to remind everyone that I
can do whatever they can.  That's not to say that I don't feel the effects
of this disease but, again, it's adaptation and forming my own sense of what
is normal.  I thought I felt well, and had what I thought was good control,
until I began pumping.  Now I know what good control, and feeling well, is
all about.  So, it leaves me wondering; how much better would I feel if I
didn't have DM to deal with at all?  And how much more would I be able to
do?  I think that many of my bad days, attributed to things other than
diabetes is, in fact, attributable to diabetes.  I just meant to post the
following in support of your post and got
too carried away and wordy, sorry.

>From 'Diabetes 1996 Vital Statistics' published by the American Diabetes
"Since the 1950s, there has been a marked reduction in mortality in people
with IDDM (which appears to have leveled off during the 1980s).  This
probably reflects improved care for diabetes rather than decreased IDDM
incidence.  However, mortality in people with IDDM remains much higher than
in the U.S. population.  In people of all ages with IDDM, the mortality rate
is 6.5 per 1,000 male patients and 5.7 per 1,000 female patients.  More than
15% of patients die by 25 years' duration of IDDM or by age 40. ...Among
people with age at diagnosis <30 years, IDDM reduces life expectancy by at
least 15 years.  Onset of IDDM before puberty tends to be associated with a
reduced mortality rate compared with onset of IDDM after puberty.
...Glycemic control is the strongest predictor of survival."

John Kinsley
Type 1 - 1956
MM 507 - 1998
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