What’s going on? After more than 50 years with Type 1 diabetes, I am not only still here; thus far I have none of the dire complications I’ve been hearing about since I was a little kid. By ticking off all the things that aren’t wrong with me, I don’t mean to brag, but to convey a sense of astonishment:
People with diabetes (PWDs) are at least twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as people without it. The odds against me are stacked even higher because of family history: my father died suddenly of a heart attack when he was only 40. His father died of a heart attack at the age of 53 (it was his third). I’m 59. My body shows no traces of cardiovascular problems. Why am I here at all?!
My kidneys are normal. My eyes are fine, there is no trace of diabetic retinopathy, one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. There is no diabetic neuropathy in my feet or anywhere else. I can still make love. Wounds in my toes sometimes don’t heal as quickly as I think they should, and that might have something to do with diabetes, but it’s unclear.
Yes, I’ve wrestled with lifelong depression, and there is strong evidence that depression is also a complication of what I used to call My Shitty Condition when I was a teenager, but it is also a complication of the human condition.
Why have I beaten the odds and remained intact? [Read more…] about Why Am I Still Alive and Intact?