I chose diabetes...well, sort of.

Thursday, 6 June, 2014

On Sunday I'll be sixteen months post total pancreatectomy and autologus islet cell transplant. Hard to believe it's been that long but it has. It's been a long road physically & emotionally but one I'm glad I chose! I've had my share of bumps along the road which I'll detail in another post, but I'm most effected by the new onset of my diabetes. It has taken me a long time to call it my diabetes because I was in denial I even had it for a long time. It never occurred to me to even consider the chance that my autologus (meaning my own cells from my body) islet cell transplant would fail!! Why would I consider such a thing?? I was relatively young, 51 yrs old, had never had a problem with my blood sugars despite having had three quarters of my pancreas removed in 1994 & was in fairly good health if you didn't count the chronic pancreatitis and all that it had done to my body over almost 26 yrs. I'm usually not one to overlook obvious possible outcomes, especially when it comes to my medical life, but I seriously missed the boat on this one!!

Long story short, immediately after the surgery it seemed my little islet cells were loving their new home in my right kidney & began to function as they had in my pancreas, but then I got a high fever. Over the next 24 hours, my once happy islet cells stopped producing insulin & my insulin requirements sharply increased well above what I had initially been requiring. By the time I went home, I was requiring more insulin than had been predicted. I still held out hope though. "Maybe the islets just needed to wake up & then they would start to work." was what I told myself on a daily basis as I injected my insulin. I was told it could take a few months for them to fully function. This surely was my case I told myself.

I finally had to face the truth that my transplant had not taken when my c-peptide (a direct measure of how much insulin your body is producing) was basically zero & had not moved since the fever. I was still in denial. "They're still asleep!" is what I continued to tell myself even though my endo(crinologist) told me there was little chance of the islets starting to function at that point but I refused to believe him! After all, he was only the expert in this department! What did he know??!!

I finally had to accept the fact that I had type 1 diabetes when I started to tolerate eating regular food and stopped my tube feedings. A typical post meal blood sugar was in the range of 400 & I was requiring more & more insulin. I had a tough time accepting it but eventually had to. I've come to believe there must be a reason for my having this disease. I'm still looking for that reason but I have to believe that some good has to come from my struggles with this. So, I chose diabetes over chronic pancreatitis & unlike many other living with this disease, I can say I chose diabetes. It didn't choose me!!

Views: 102

Tags: 1, cell, denial, diabetes, iselt, pancreatectomy, transplant, type

Comment by shoshana27 on June 6, 2014 at 1:48am

some things we have no control over but accepting it is good
i've had t1 since 1936 & on the minimed pump
let's just enjoy life
hugs

Comment by rick the "Blogabetic" on June 6, 2014 at 2:49am
We never get to totally choose or unchoose this path. You know before insulin, it was routine that families would allow their loved ones to perish rather than treat the disease that would always win. I am reminded of that when I consider how fortunate I am to be born in a time when choice was an option.

I can never say diabetes is good, or that I would ever wish it on another. It is way to harsh a consequence. But in a way we all choose every day to live our best, get along, to have our struggles, loves, happiness and yes sorrow. We choose life. You have also chosen life May you live it large, and show the world the fruit of your being. Yes we chose life and living. All the messiness and upset, and disappointments are tempered with the joy and love and warmth of living.

No we did not want the choice, but then again we have a choice and that is the celebration of our age. Bravo for trying to keep those little islets plugging away. Bravo for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing it here. rick
Comment by Sandy on June 7, 2014 at 5:59pm

I definitely did chose life, Rich. And I have a great one. I too am glad I have diabetes now when the technology, although not perfect, is certainly better than in the past. I admire all those that lived thru the archaic days of diabetes.

Comment by shoshana27 on June 7, 2014 at 6:45pm

like me
i did not know any better
i made it
;)

Comment by Sandy on June 8, 2014 at 8:18pm

Shoshana; did you have your pancreas removed too??

Comment by shoshana27 on June 9, 2014 at 1:51am

no
but my pancreas sleeps
haha

Comment

You need to be a member of Diabetes community by Diabetes Hands Foundation: TuDiabetes to add comments!

Join Diabetes community by Diabetes Hands Foundation: TuDiabetes

Advertisement



REsources

From the Diabetes Hands Foundation blog...

A Snapshot: Diabetes In The United States

An infographic explaining the most recent CDC diabetes figures, released in June 2014.

Will you Stand Hand in Hand in support of the Diabetes Hands Foundation?

  Facing Diabetes Together Will you Stand Hand in Hand in support of  the Diabetes Hands Foundation? When you make a gift to the Diabetes Hands Foundation you help people with diabetes make positive changes in their lives. We believe that no Read on! →

Diabetes Hands Foundation Team

DHF TEAM

Manny Hernandez
(Co-Founder, Editor, has LADA)

Emily Coles
(Head of Communities, has type 1)

Mila Ferrer
(EsTuDiabetes Community Manager, mother of a child with type 1)

Mike Lawson
(Head of Experience, has type 1)

Corinna Cornejo
(Development Manager, has type 2)

Desiree Johnson  (Administrative and Programs Assistant, has type 1)


DHF VOLUNTEERS


Lead Administrator

Bradford (has type 1)


Administrators

Lorraine (mother of type 1)
Marie B (has type 1)

Brian (bsc) (has type 2)

Gary (has type 2)

David (dns) (type 2)

 

LIKE us on Facebook

Spread the word

Loading…

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

© 2014   A community of people touched by diabetes, run by the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

Badges  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Service