I live in Western Pennsylvania and have been a Type 1 diabetic since January, 1984. I have peripheral neuropathy and have to use a walker because of drop foot and balance problems related to the neuropathy. I also have autonomic neuropathy, which includes gastroparesis and blood pressure problems. Gastroparesis makes trying to balance food and insulin fun – NOT! In 2005-2007, I went thru a bad foot infection and almost lost my leg – it was a 2 year battle that included MRSA, several surgeries, several hospital stays and hyperbaric oxygen treatments. This blog is about some of my trials and tribulations as a diabetic.
Besides Type 1 diabetes, I also have Hashimoto’s. I suspect I have Celiacs but have not been officially tested for that. I “accidentally” figured it out on my own but at the time, did not have a doctor that would run the tests for me. Since that was a problem I could fix without a doctor, I decided to quit eating gluten on my own. I have since then been told I most likely have it. I can’t have the official testing done because you won’t show positive for it once you remove gluten from your diet. In 2011, I did have a doctor do some gene testing for Celiacs. Although I do not have the most common genes found in Celiacs, I do have HLA-DQB1*0202, which is found in a small percentage of people that have Celiacs without having the most common genes.
Even with all the challenges, I have worked very hard to keep my A1c below 6 the last couple years. I used to be an accountant and am now on disability because of the complications from diabetes. I would like to share some of what I have learned and what I have been thru so people know even when things look really bad, there really is light at the end of the tunnel.
In January, 2011, I was asked to be an advocate for People For Quality Care after I wrote an article on the new Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. PFQC is working to bring awareness to people with disabilities and on Medicare about health care policies that affect their choices.
In April, 2011, I was approved to be a member of Diabetes Advocates. I am very honored to be a part of this group. Diabetes Advocates is a non-profit program to help coordinate the efforts of diabetes advocates. Diabetes Advocates was founded by David Edelman of Diabetes Daily and Manny Hernandez of TuDiabetes.