I saw an awards show last night with Mary Tyler Moore on it. It has finally dawned on me why I always stop what I am doing when I see her on tv:
As a child, (diagnosed at age 7) I always saw adult diabetics with a lot of health issues in our diabetes classes. Because of this, I think I have always believed that I would never get old. I told my mom as a young adult that quality of life was better than quantity. I felt at that time that taking care of my diabetes was a hassle, that doing blood sugers was not quality time. I never took good care of myself. But in the last couple of years, I have started getting complications like my hands going numb and the eye doctor saw slight retinopathy in my eyes last year. So, I have begun a journey. I have changed my diet, started exercising and got back on the pump. My A1C has gone from 10 to 8.3 (a fantastic number for me).

So my aha moment last night was that seeing Mary now (at 75 years old) is a great reminder that I can get old. I never thought I would get old. I never thought I would live to see my 40th birthday. But it will be here in a couple of months. And now I am excited. I am excited to grow old. I finally see that diabetes cannot stop me, that I can do anything.....ANYTHING I want to do in life.

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Comment by Michelle Forsman on January 30, 2012 at 11:18pm

Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed before the 70s. It was more like early 60s. I was diagnosed in 1971 and was so sick so often. Of course no meters and taking 1 shot a day, so my blood sugars weren't controlled well at all. My doctors actually told my parents that I would probably not live 'til age 18 and if I did live long enough to graduated from high school or college, I could never have children. I am 50 with an 18 year old daughter. There were 5 miscarriages but I chalk those up more to my undiagnosed celiac at that time than my diabetes. In fact, much of my illness as a child was undiagnosed celiac disease. I do have neuropathy and have had thousands of laser blasts in both eyes to treat retinopathy, but my vision is corrected with glasses to 20/30 so the doc did a great job in the mid 80s. I have been on insulin pump therapy for 17 1/2 years and was on multiple daily injections for a period of time before that. The advances they have made in diabetes treatment over the past 40 years are wonderful, but are still far from the promise of a cure for as long as I can remember. I do look forward to living much longer to see our daughter graduate from college, grad school and with her doctorate, as those are her goals She is currently a junior Physics major with Astronomy and Mathematics minors. 30 years ago, I would never have dreamed this could be a reality. I celebrate each birthday as 18 plus however many since I wasn't supposed to live past 18. Last birthday, I was 18+32. :-)

Comment by Brian (bsc) on January 31, 2012 at 5:01am

Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) recently released an autobiography "Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes." I am sure many of us would really appreciate her story. She is not a model diabetic, she hid her diabetes for some time, struggled with taking care of herself, went through alcohol. And although at 75, she is stuggling with complications, she is admired for her life accomplishments and advocacy for diabetes.

I think it would make MTM happy to know that she has inspired others to take care of their diabetes and to aspire to do great things in their lives.

ps. Do read her book.

Comment by MeganJ on January 31, 2012 at 8:18am

Good for you Sam I am! There's nothing more empowering than embracing your diabetes and striving to gain good BG control. I admire all of you who have been living with this disease for so long. I can't imagine what it was like to grow up with the D and no meter. As much as I hate testing sometimes, I hate not knowing worse! And you _can_ do anything!

Comment by Sam I am on January 31, 2012 at 6:43pm
I had not heard she had written a book. I had not heard of her struggles either. I will have to check it out.

Congrats Michelle on 18 + 32!

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