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[IP] veterans

I probably qualify as a veteran, being diagnosed in 1964 at age 6.  My dad
became insulin dependent in 1945 as a teenager.  It's spooky when I think how
close he was to the time of the discovery of insulin.  It was a total crap
shoot then, and not much better for me.  Before they knew I was diabetic, my
mother tested my urine with my dad's Clinitest when she heard me get up 4
times one night to go to the bathroom.  It was 4+ (very high level of sugar in
the urine.)  She called my physician, who said to wait and watch me for 2
weeks (???!!).  Fortunately, my parents were sophisticated patients, and
called dad's specialist in Philadelphia (we were in a small town in Wyoming),
who said to get me to a hospital immediately.

I had fasting glucoses drawn every 6 months, and my insulin dosage was based
on that.  At some point, the doc got the bright idea to also test me at 4:00
the same day to get two readings.  I had a severe insulin reaction once during
the night when I was 8, and that scared the doc so much he lowered my insulin
to the point that I was always ketotic, and periodically in ketoacidosis.

When I was about 16, my diabetic camp had a prototype home blood glucose
monitor.  I could see the benefits immediately, even as a kid.  The idea that
I could find out my blood sugar at any moment was incredible.  I was furious
later to hear that physicians weren't promoting these to their patients
because they figured the patients would never stick themselves.  I didn't
start on the Chemstrips (without a meter) until I was 22, when I had an
enlightened physician.

I've now been on the pump for 10 years, and am in really good shape for my 39
years of diabetes.  Now top on my want list is an artificial pancreas!
Barbara Ziegler
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