Who am I?
(Updated July 10, 2012, because the previous page was really outdated and irrelevant.)
Hello. My name is Scott. I’m in my late thirties and have had Type 1 (formerly known as Juvenile) diabetes for over 31 years. I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons (born in 2007 and 2011).
No one in my family has diabetes but me. My family supports me with it, but I’m convinced there’s no way to really, truly understand what it’s like to live with diabetes than to actually experience it. Not that I recommend it; if you don’t have diabetes, be thankful. But if you do have it, particularly Type 1, you understand where I’m coming from. It’s tough, but completely manageable. This blog is about how I manage, how diabetes affects my life, and how life goes on with or without diabetes.
I use an insulin pump. I started pumping in 2006 when my wife and I decided to start a family, because I wanted to get better control of my health, and to make sure that I could care for my kids for as long as possible, before they had to care for me. At the time, I automatically selected the Medtronic Minimed product line without doing any research. If you asked me six years later, with much more knowledge of pumps than I had at the time, I’d still select Medtronic. It’s a fine product.
I put Novolog in my insulin pump. The pump puts Novolog through a tube and then into my body. The tubing doesn’t bother me at all. I also take Synthroid pills, because my thyroid seems to be following the lead of my pancreas. I’ve had my share of hospitalizations due to hypoglycemia, but never went into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). I have no complications, that I know of, other than the thyroid thing. Knock on wood.
I don’t know much about my diagnosis. It was in
April of 1981 (UPDATE: I now know more about it, and it was in May, not April), and I remember peeing a lot, so my mother decided to take me to the doctor. Then I was taken for a ride in an ambulance to the hospital, which was fun for a seven year old. Since I was getting over Chicken Pox, they put me in my own room in the adult wing of the hospital, not in pediatrics. The nurses loved me since they usually saw grumpy old people, not little kids. In the hospital, I played with the buttons on the bed that make the head and feet go up and down. Eventually, I broke it, so they brought be a bed with a manual crank which I couldn’t operate. That wasn’t fun.
Only recently, since becoming a parent myself, I’ve grown to appreciate how much my parents did for me when I was younger. I also am a bit apologetic at not taking care of myself in those years, despite their efforts to get me to do better. But I can’t change the past, I can only look at today and tomorrow.
Not only did my parents have to deal with me and diabetes, but also with my younger brother, Daniel. He’s got a neurological disorder called Angelman Syndrome, which happened because of a flukey genetic mutation. Sometimes I write about him. He’s two and a half years younger than me, but his mental abilities are those of an infant. I’ve watched my own kids grow and surpass my brother, and it’s awkward to see that happen. But he’s been a huge motivator to me, demonstrating to me that I can do things that I never thought possible (Seriously. As gross as it sounds, once you’ve changed the dirty diaper of a 30-year old man who’s kicking and screaming and fighting back, you realize that you can accomplish just about anything. Though I never want to do that again).
My parents are incredible people for raising two kids with their own special needs. Even though I don’t consider myself a “special needs kid”, from a parent’s perspective, I suppose I was. I never tell them that, though. I’m not good at speaking emotionally, from the heart.
I am good, however, at writing from the heart. And that’s what I plan to do here: write from the heart, relying on emotion, observation, and compassion, because that’s just what I do and who I am.
But enough about me, I’d love to hear from you. Please add your comments and feedback to my blog posts, because I’d really like to get to know my readers. The feedback is what I crave, and it keeps me going.