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[IP] Stages was Who should represent diabetes?

Hello.  I am bringing my own soapbox for this particular post, so you can't 
kick me off.   heh heh

Ellen wrote:
< [the book] describes 4  stages of diabetes:
< 1.  Nondiabetic-metabolism not affected yet
< 2.  Condition-person doing well with injections(or pump), glucose 
<  montioring, diet
< 3.  Disease-early stages of heart, kidney, eye, or nerve disease
< 4.  Disability- if blindness, amputation, dialysis occurs >>

to which DebinNH responded:
>  Stages?  This assumes everyone with diabetes will eventually reach
> #4, which, from everything I've read, is an incorrect assumption.  Even
> #3 may not occur.  How old is that book?

Doesn't matter how old the book is.  and this is not an assumption - it is 
simply a fact.  I hate to be the one to tell everyone this, but if you live 
long enough, even if you NEVER EVER have a blood sugar over what your 
particular body determines is the top number for being "normal" say 140, you 
WILL have what our medical professionals call "changes...otherwise known as 
"Stage 3 Disease."  I doubt there is any HUMAN member of this list or any 
other diabetic, who can raise their hand to being that perfection.  And while 
a few bgs over 140 are not going to have a noticeable affect on your A1C, or 
the meaningless "average" on your meter, over a period of years, they DO add 
up and will be called "changes." Of course, nowadays with pumps and easier 
monitoring systems, getting to Stage 3 takes ALOT longer for most newly 
diagnosed diabetics than it did 15 years ago.  Instead of developing 
complications after having diabetes 20 years, which is what "they" said was 
"average" when I was diagnosed in 1974, newly diagnosed patients who go right 
onto pumps or MDI and diligently control blood sugars from day one may not 
start seeing "changes" until after 35 or 40 years...

The book does not call out how many years you have at each stage...it just 
simply lists that progression that all persons with diabetes go through.  Our 
hope is that we all die while we are still in Stage 2...happy, "disease" free 
lives...but to 100% avoid changes, you would literally have to be hooked up 
to a continuous glucose monitor 24/7, that is looped into a pump that can 
automatically make minute adjustments in your insulin.  

The "stages of diabetes is similar to the stages of death outlined by 
whatsername? Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (is that it??)  Anger, denial, 
bargaining, depression and acceptance...it doesn't tell you how long you will 
be angry or in denial or bargaining or depressed about it...in fact, some of 
us have skipped the first three altogether and gone straight to 
depression...some of you parents, may go straight to bargaining with 
god..."oh please let me have it instead of my baby."  I personally think 
"most" people with diabetes (myself included) tend to get stuck in the denial 
stage for some time.   If you aren't even diagnosed until you end up in ER 
with a bg of 1292, you may never even get to the bargaining stage before you 
actually die..but the point is, IF you had unlimited time to get to all the 
stages, those are the order they WOULD come in...and same with the 4 stages 
of diabetes.

Complications, like death, can only be delayed.  Even with a cure, the damage 
has already begun to every one of us and every one of your kids that has 
diabetes.  The extent of the damage is not yet in our control because we 
DON'T have access to continuous glucose monitoring systems OR instantaneous 
reactions to high blood sugars.  All we can do now is get to ACCEPTANCE of 
diabetes as quickly as possible, and take care of ourselves or kids as best 
we can, with the most up to date tools available, so that we can stay in 
Stage 2 as long as possible...And even once we get to Stage 3, we STILL have 
to maintain our control to delay Stage 4.

With our current tools and knowledge, we can extend Stage #2 a hell of a lot 
longer than we could 10 or 15 years ago...and if you are lucky, you might 
extend it for the rest of your natural life...But SIMPLY having diabetes 
ENSURES that some damage is being done.  Those of you who are fortunate 
enough to have good genes and haven't developed severe complications after 20 
or more years might not show changes for another 10-15 years or more....but 
luck is all it is.  Diabetes RAVAGES our bodies, whether we are pictures of 
health like Miss America or pictures of tragedy like the woman in the wagon 
and Mary Tyler Moore.  

May those of you who haven't done so already, never leave Stage 2 - just 
remember, even stage 2 is not "just" a "condition."  You don't have a "touch" 
of diabetes, like you might have other conditions, like constipation or 
indigestion.  This one is forever, and it is a disease that needs to be 
cured, if not for us, then for those yet unborn.

And I am taking my soapbox with me cuz you all now how I like to get on it...

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