Charles V's Story- Diagnosed with Type 1 at age 9
Growing up with diabetes was frustrating. As a kid, trying to remember when and what to eat, when to test and how much insulin to take was extremely confusing. It was so difficult feeling like your body was a chemistry experiment gone wrong...Imagine trying to control glucose levels for your long term health, and at the same time fighting with the horrible short-term symptoms of elevated or below-normal blood glucose!
As a young child, it was difficult for me to understand why I suddenly felt nauseated and tired or why I suddenly became lost, confused, sweaty, and shaky.
The medical community struggled with education for treatment of a disease that was not fully understood by science in these days. It horrifies me to think of what it was like living with diabetes 30 or 40 years before me. I am certain life was short. Those struggles are not gone, but they have become much easier. Medical technology, new insulin, better monitoring systems, and better dietetic knowledge and research have made diabetes a little more manageable.
I still fight the battle for long term health constantly, and endure the symptoms of poor control occasionally. Every day of my life I deal with a disease that not many understand. Anyone temporarily placed in my body and asked to cope with the stresses and frustrations of diabetes would not believe how one could go on with any kind of a normal life.
It seems that those affected by diabetes are so brave and strong in the management of their condition that those around them don't even notice how difficult it is, and how severely it can affect their health. I fear that this contributes to the reasons why diabetes is often overlooked as a disease that many are at such high risk for!
Diabetes is affecting more people than it ever has before. A disease that no one knew about or understood is now becoming more common...and this is frightening. The world is learning more about diabetes, its causes and possible cures daily...but there is so much more to be done! Those with little understanding will assume that synthetic insulin is the cure for diabetes. The truth is that insulin is merely a very makeshift treatment.
Education of the general public will be the strongest force in the fight for the cure. If more people understand how millions of people's health and daily lives are affected by this disease, it will be much easier to find a cure. If everyone could stand up and be as strong as some of the people that live with this condition, an overall positive outcome is certain for all. Some of the greatest minds in history lived with diabetes in the worst possible time! Yet, these diabetics went on to make great discoveries that benefit all of mankind! If Thomas Edison had not been able to live with his condition, the world might not know of a phonograph or incandescent light bulb. Who knows what else he could have discovered had his health not been compromised by diabetes!?