As I celebrate my birthday this month, I also recognize the anniversary of my diabetes. If it were a person, it would be legally old enough to move out. Oh, how I wish it would! I was diagnosed at eighteen years old with type 1 diabetes, so this makes eighteen long years that the two of us have been living together. I have so many mixed emotions about it. On one hand, I feel stronger and more certain of my decisions with diabetes than ever before. On the other hand, I feel pretty depressed that it's been so long and that, no matter how I try to push away the thought, complications could be looming around the bend.
When it comes to diabetes, people often blame the patient instead of the disease. I cannot think of another chronic illness for which this is the case. Much of the public seems to believe that we bring diabetes on ourselves. When people with diabetes are diagnosed with complications, uninformed observers often insist that it happened because they were "bad diabetics." Comments like "She didn't take care of herself" make me instantly defensive and angry. How can anyone know what that person went through on a day-to-day basis with her diabetes?
Dear DH, I'm a 47-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008. For two years, I haven't been interested in sex. I have a demanding retail job and two teenage children. I can still perform, but I am usually so tired that I fall asleep after dinner. I don't miss sex much, but my wife does, and I don't want to lose her. By the way, my A1C usually runs around 6.8%.
Having diabetes means attending medical appointments regularly. It's entirely possible that at some point, you experienced an incident in which a medical professional hurt your feelings, made a mistake, or told you something completely incorrect. Medical mistakes do happen. While most doctors and nurses are amazing and professional, they are also human. Errors and inappropriate comments can occur. Some simply don't understand all aspects of diabetes.
Dear David and Aisha, I am a 39-year-old married man who has had type 1 diabetes for 22 years. My A1C levels run around 7.5%. About six years ago, I started having trouble with erections. Now they are very rare, even with ED pills. I know you say that there is more to sex than intercourse, and my wife and I still enjoy ourselves however we can. But we both miss the erections.
"If you weren't having this conversation with me, who, other than your wife, would you be having it with?" That question, in response to something I'd said about treating my nine-year-old daughter's diabetes, was posed to me over the phone by a friend I had made less than six months earlier. She has a daughter too, the same age as mine, who also has type 1. Their diagnosis came a couple of years before ours, so I respect her experience and opinion, and so does my wife, Franca.
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