Easier to be diagnosed young or older???

So, I read the blogs about having a Diabetes free day and the comments stirred another burning question I have..What is easier?? Being a T1 as a child or living more than 1/2 a life and then becoming a T1. I was recently diagnosed at 45 and I miss my old life. Everyone says you can do everything and eat everything just the same BUT it is not true!! I used to spend hours at the beach swimming, reading, relaxing, drinking pina coladas etc....Now, I am lucky to get an hour there and it's constant worries about sugar,dehydration, insulin to hot, pump with sand, on/off with pump to swim and Forget the Pina colada! The foods, I used to eat when I wanted and anything I wanted. Now, it's a constant measuring, counting and recalculating my life. Had to quit Zumba and aerobics as I can't get the food/exercise right..Don't say be patient and keep trying..I figured all this out to get to where I was prior to this dreaded disease. I liked the old me and I knew my limits.Maybe I was spoiled with how I lived BUT DAM IT I want to be me again and not some different pseudo-me!!I don't want to refigure me out!! WAH!!! Ok, I feel better!

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Comment by Tim on February 13, 2012 at 11:34am

I can't remember the old me before diagnosis in some ways. In some ways it might be asking too much to remember not taking insulin and not checking bg (it was urine for a while 30+ years ago) because I'm sure most non-diabetics don't remember themselves not doing those things either. Remembering a negative... interesting concept.

But... in other ways... the things I enjoy doing today are 100% identical to me before diagnosis. That's saying a lot, being able to see the similarities now that I'm almost AARP eligible and how I fundamentally enjoyed the exact same things when I was a little kid. Sometimes I feel like a little kid when I'm in the moment and enjoying my hobbies.

Comment by Doris D on February 13, 2012 at 12:36pm

I too was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was a kid (10 to be exact) and like Tim I don't remember the old me from then. I'm now 48 and been doing the diabetic way of life for 38 years. To me I think that getting that diagnoses when your older and have to change the way u live would be MUCH harder than it was when I was young and just learned that I couldn't eat this or that and had to watch my bs's b/c of all the things that could go wrong.

Comment by Scott E on February 13, 2012 at 1:24pm

I think it depends on how you ask. I was diagnosed at age 7.

Years 1-5 after diagnosis is certainly easier for a child (who didn't know anything else, and who had parents help with the burden) than it is for an adult (who remembers the regular life, and deals with the change by themselves).

But when you and I are 70, you'll have lived with D for 25 years and I'll have had it for 63. All other things being equal, I'll probably be more likely to be dealing with complications, strictly because of the time factor, so life will probably be easier for you than me at that point.

Comment by smileandnod on February 13, 2012 at 1:44pm

I was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 27 (25 years ago) and it was tough. I felt alot like you feel right now jujube. I felt so mad that it just wasn't fair because people my age were supposed to be out having fun and living life. It was very hard and it took me a few years to fully accept it.

I always felt sorry for those diagnosed as kids (and their parents). Growing up was tough enough without having to add diabetes to the mix.

Comment by Brunetta on February 13, 2012 at 2:03pm

No Staples "Easy" buton to push for either time diagnosis. I. like doris, was diagnosed "back in the day" when we di not have such an overload of info and procedures to learn at one time..We followed the exchange diet, shot up once a dsy.,tested our urine if you felt high or had a cold or infection... Saw the diabetes doc (the endo)2x a year; and just went on with your life. I cannot say it was easy to hsve type one in the 60's and early 70's, when I was a teern and young adult, but I do not recall feeing as overwhelmed as some of the people who have been diagnosed at older ages.adults. My parents took care of me for the first few weeks, then I gradually started soing my one injections and made my own food choices, according to thr exchange diet.I think it may hsave beena trifle easier, becuase we knew relatively little so lottle about how to manage, did have to "report" daily logs to anybody, and the A1c's were once, Maybe twice a year... You just did what you had to do, and hoped for the best...

I now follow the tighter control paradigms and procedures, using the fancy gadgetry;and it is MUCH more work..but I am not "sweating it". It is what it is...

God bless,
Brunetta

Comment by Doris D on February 13, 2012 at 2:33pm

Well said Brunetta!

Comment by Stoyan on February 13, 2012 at 4:12pm

I was diagnosed at 18, and I don't complain too much about that. I remember my time before diabetes, but I was also old enough to care of myself by myself. Of course, getting to live without diabetes would be just as nice. If not more.

Comment by Nicole on February 13, 2012 at 7:19pm

I was diagnosed at 21 months old. I don't remember life before diabetes. I feel awful for my poor mother, having to give needles to her baby, but am grateful that I grew up with it. There was no "getting used to it" or adjustment period. It's just the way it's always been. I do fear that I'll end up with complications sooner than if I'd been diagnosed later, but I can do my best now to prevent that from happening.

Comment by Hope on February 13, 2012 at 7:37pm

I have to say, I was diagnosed T1 as an adult (30) and I am very grateful it came at a time where I felt prepared to handle it. As they say growing up is hard enough. At least I never had to deal with going to the nurses' office for a shot, never had to deal with the reaction of other kids, drank without worries in college....you get the point. Now that I have kids, I can't imagine having to put them through what I have to go through, at least at their ages, and I pray I never do.

I am grateful that I was diagnosed when I was an adult, and in the era I was. When I first started I had to take NPH (which was awful, at least for me), but soon Lantus came out and then the others. I have never known diabetic life without the luxury of glucose meters, intensive management, designer insulins and food labels! Had I been diagnosed as a kid in the 1970's, I would have had to learn to survive without these things.

It's a bummer to get the D anytime, at any age. But, I am grateful for all of my non-diabetic years, and also for being in diabtetic in 2012 not 1962.

Comment by Jen on February 13, 2012 at 10:36pm

I agree with some others that, psychologically, diagnosis is possibly easier as a kid. I was diagnosed at age 9 and don't remember life before diabetes, plus when I was first diagnosed my parents were responsible for most of the management. On the flip side, my childhood memories are marred by things like severe lows, missing out on birthday cake, getting teased at school, having my mom come in the morning on slumber parties to do a shot ... the teenage and young adult years were very tough with diabetes, too. And, as others have said, I worry about complications affecting my life because I'll have lived with diabetes for so long. By the time I'm 70 I'll have had diabetes for 61 years.

So I am not sure one is "easier" than the other, they are just different types of experiences and hardship.

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