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 Brigitte on February 14, 2012 at 8:59am

I was diagnosed Type II at age 37. My Dr told me at the time that it was better that my D was diagnosed at an earlier age because that would give me a greater chance of changing bad habits and learning to live a healthy life. I too worry that I will suffer complications earlier due to an earlier diagnosis but then again that might not be necessarily true. Either way you slice it... Living with Diabetes SUCKS.

Comment by SamiiiG on February 14, 2012 at 10:32am

was diagnosed when I was a single year old - ONE! It has been my whole life and I know nothing else. I've always grown up saying and feeling that. What made it even easier is that my only sibling was diagnosed at the same hospital visit (she was 2, me 1 and my mom swore we had the flu!). I don't even have a taste for sweet things because they never (particularly in the old exchange days) became a part of the routine. I don't even know what regular soda or fruit juice tastes like : ) But as someone said earlier, I'm 26 and going on 25 years diabetic. I'm feeling it too; arthritis, frozen shoulder, a little retinopothy, I don't even a 28 mg/dl blood sugar anymore (and admitedly an eating disorder) but I'm pressing on.

Oh, and a side note... if you all haven't read "Secrets of the 50 longest living people with Diabetes," I would suggest that you check it out! Inspiring.

Comment by Aimee on February 14, 2012 at 12:21pm

Hi Jujube,
I would guess that the answer to this depends on the person and what their life and support system is like at the time of dignosis. My daughter was 3 years old when diagnosed, so I can tell you what it is like from my purspective.

I can tell you that giving shots to a toddler that doesn't understand why you are hurting them is pretty difficult. Also, the frequent highs and lows that children have make it extremely difficult to keep blood sugars within range (it is difficult to give extremely small amounts of insulin with any precision). The mood changes that are normal for such young children make a parent constantly on edge thinking maybe their blood sugar is off (since they are unable to tell you their blood sugar is high or low).
Now that my daughter is 7 we are facing a different set of issues. For instance, she was unable to go to her home school like the other kids in her neighborhood; she has to be bused to a school further away that can attend to 'medically fragile children'. She misses school 3 times every day to go to the nurse to check her blood sugar. She has had an ambulance at her school twice due to low blood sugars- once she actually went to the hospital in one. She has to miss out of some activities because her dad or I are unable to go with her. We try to make her life as 'normal' as possible but I can't help but wonder how all of these things affect her social and academic life.
I can't help but worry a little for the things that will hit her as a teenager and young adult; like erratic blood sugars due to hormones, the pressures to be thin and the possibility of Diabulimia, also experimenting with alcohol and how it affects blood sugars. I worry about how she will afford medicines and health insurance as a young adult as I know how hard it is for me at 38 years old.
Even though I worry about all of these things, I also like to focus on the good things about her diagnosis at a young age. She does not remember a time when she did not have diabetes so this way of life is 'normal' for her. I am hopeful that she will not have the identity issues that many teenagers have when they are diagnosed as she will hopefully have come too terms with her diagnosis by then. She never took a liking to regular soda so drinking diet soda does not bother her. I also think about the time she has with us a learning time for her diabetes. It is my job to teach her what she needs to know to care for herself when she is out on her own. We talk a bit about types of foods, blood sugars and how to work her pump. Boy, how I wish someone would have been there to take care of my diabetes for me for the first several years so I had time to learn.


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