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Amilcar Vazquez wrote:

> Dear Lisa:
> I've been a diabetic since age 12, and started on the pump at age 34-35,
> after waiting several YEARS to get my insurance to pay for it. It's been
> a long time, but I am starting to feel more like a normal person again.
> When I was first diagnosed, there were few kids my age with the same
> problems, and there were no support groups like this one to help us
> "talk things out". My Mom and I used to counsel some of my doctor's
> other patients, as he said that we were the best-adjusted diabetic and
> family he'd ever seen. I know how your son feels about being
> "different", and the problems that come with trying to control BG's.
> As a teenager, I had a friend, a Navy doctor, who tried to get me into
> an early study for pumps. Unfortunately, I was at the end of a LONG
> list. It would have saved me from many trips to the hospital for various
> problems due to my poor control. I have tried every therapy available,
> and even the DCCT intensive therapy was of little help.
> During the early 1990's, I started getting in real dire straits; I ended
> up in the ER 3 times in 6 months. The doctors were not too optimistic
> that I was going to make it. However, I surprised them all, and pulled
> through.  It took me almost two years to really recover, but I was never
> the same, as the problems has taken some toll on me.
> I buckled down and tried even harder to look for ways to keep my
> condition under control until I could get an insulin pump. It was the
> only thing that I had not tried, and after 20-plus years, I was tired of
> being miserable.
> Then, in January of 1998, I was finally able to get on the MiniMed 507
> insulin pump. After two days, I was already able to sleep through the
> night and feel rested in the morning. After years of waking up night
> after night, it felt so good to be able to rest.
> The pump has given me a chance to live a pretty normal life. I can run
> my computer business, do yard work as needed, eat out, travel, and
> generally do the same things everyone else does. No more feeling run
> down most days, no more bouts of deperession, etc., from the wild
> fluctuations in BG's. I can skip meals if I'm busy on a project, or out
> having a good time. I can plan my day around work and fun, NOT
> injections and meals. I can sleep in, work extra hours, or whatever I
> need or want to do without a lot of worrying over possible problems.
> My family and friends all say that I look great, and seem to have a lot
> more energy, and better spirits. I surprised everone at my youngest
> brother's wedding in May 1995; when I ate wedding cake (My first piece
> of party cake in about 20 years) and danced the whole night long. They
> were so amazed, my brother asked the photographer and video people to
> make sure they got me on film. He sent copies to all of the relatives
> who could not attend, and they cannot beleive the diffrence.
> You and your son can e-mail me privately if you'd like. Tell him from me
> that a pump is NOTHING to be afraid of; he'll enjoy feeling better once
> he's on it. It takes getting used to,but in the end, it's easier to live
> with a pump that to try to live through the complications of NOT having
> it. I know that from personal experience.
> Best Wishes,
> Amil
> --
> Amilcar Vazquez Jr., 934 Hardwick Avenue, Orlando, FL 32825-6639
> mailto:email @ redacted (Off.) mailto:email @ redacted
> (Home)
> http://www.sistemas.net (Off.) http://www.vazquez.net (Pers.)
> ICQ:8907355 ICHAT:avazquez AOL AIM:AVazquez PAGOO:4078237733
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  Dear Amil,
Your story was very moving.  How could you of had problems before if you
watched what you ate?. I only have problems when I eat too much cake or
carbohydrates.  I am having a hard time deciding if I should get onto the
pump since I've spoken to some people on it who say it hasn't kept their
sugar levels down.  My A1C's are great yet I do have some very high highs
and weekly lows.
I thought having the pump would always remind me about my diabetes.  Doesn't
insulin get too warm not being refrigerated in the pump in the summer?
Lastly, does anyone know of  a special EYE test that takes a photograph of
the eye called FLORENSINE  ANGIOGRAM?  Is this a good idea for all diabetics
to routinely have?  If anyone has taken this test please tell me about it.

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