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[IP] Cry for help


My name is Ray Rahn. I am 51 and have had diabetes since I was 5. I
remember my teens and living with diabetes. It seems I was trying to run my
diabetes well, but running it well ment lots of insulin reactions in and
around school. In those days we tested urine sugars and not blood glucose.
It made it hard to know what the blood glucosw was. I remember the feelings
of helplessness living with diabetes. There was no way to get rid of it and
live a normal life. Yet, when we tried to control the diabetes it ment a
lot of diabetic reactions.

I remember the children at school making fun of me and some of them being
afraid of me. It was a different life. I think Eve may be going through
some of these same feelings.

The one thing that made a lot of this bearable was the true friends I did
have. They stood beside me and helped. I remember in Jr. High School when I
went into a reaction at school a good friend stayed at my side until I was
back out of the reaction. It seems that there was always a special friend
to help me through.

It may seem funny, but the woman I married, Joyce, went to school with me
in the second grade. She was afraid of my diabetic reactions and afraid of
me. We met in college and the feelings changed. She still is afraid of the
insulin shocks, but she is a loyal partner who has seen me through a lot of
hard times.

I want you and Eve to know that days I have been dreaming about for 45
years are just around the corner. Doctors are almost able to tie
inplantable blood glucose monitors into insulin pumps so that they will act
like artificial pancreases. What a revolution we are living in today. We
can test our blood glucose at home in a minute or less. We can wear pumps
that approximate insulin flow from a normal pancrease. It only takes a
little of our time to make it all work right. Diabetes management has
progressed a long way from when I was 13, testing my urine sugars and using
insuline from pigs and cattle instead of the new humulin insulins.

Eve should know that there is still a lot of people who will judge her
because of her diabetes. However, I think controlling the diabetes will
make a strong, independant woman out of her. She will be a leader who will
not fear what others may think. She will be setting a standard. She will
also be able to help others in their problems, because she has faced her
own and won. Remember that she is just starting on this path and stumbling
a little. I see our current Miss America who wears a pump. I see men and
women who run in track meets and marathons wearing pumps. I am proud of
these diabetics and hope I can be more like them.

I want Eve to know that we often look at others and wish we could be more
like them. However, we don't know what they are going through. She would be
surprised to know the fears that her class mates have because of home
conditions, because of financial conditions and because of illnesses that
they have and have not told others about. My daughter-in-law has two
brothers and a sister with epelipsy. Another brother is diabetic. Her
oldest brother, Charlie, is 18 and cannot drive because of seizures. I have
seen him get up to speak in front of a group and have a seisure leaving him
unable to speak clearly or know what was happening. It isn't fair, but
Charlie is learning to live with his problem. He has started college and is
in honors classes. I am proud of this young man who endures and pushes in
spite of his problem. In fact, I am amazed at the mother who has been able
to raise a family with these varied problems and help them to succeed as
well as they have.

Deborah, I pray that you will have the strength it will take to help Eve. I
pray that Eve will have the strength and fortitude  and courage to do what
she must. Many enjoyable years await her.

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