It was more than two decades ago, and Penny Hildreth was already feeling overwhelmed by life when she learned that she had type 1 diabetes. She was pregnant with her second child and worried about the baby’s safety after a car accident that had left Hildreth with a broken collarbone, a broken rib, and a punctured spleen. It was the spleen injury that ultimately led to her diagnosis of diabetes, but she was more concerned about the baby, a little girl who was born healthy despite the automobile accident. “I always say that she’s my miracle,” says the 46-year-old Portland resident.
As a little girl, I was scared at night that something evil might be under the bed. If I had to get up to go to the bathroom, I made sure to leap as far away from the bed as possible. As an adult, I'm still afraid that something will get me at night, but it's no longer a monster: It's the life-saving insulin that I take.
Author’s note: Throughout this series, I will inject my own opinion, which frequently differs from that of the medical establishment in this field. Having had diabetes for more than 66 years, I place my emphasis on the well-being of fellow patients.
If you are among the readers who commented on this article (“Why Care Under the Affordable Care Act Will Be Unaffordable”), thank you very much for your response. The politics of healthcare can be a volatile issue. As the publisher and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Health, I don’t always agree with my writers, but I believe that it’s my duty to show the full spectrum of thought. Exposing a particular point of view does not mean that we are compromising our values. Instead, I see it as offering valuable information as to how we are different. Please remember as you read our articles that publishing an opinion does not equate to endorsing that opinion. Diabetes Health is well respected for offering all contributors an opportunity to discuss their perspective, even at the cost of frustrating our readers at times.
Recently, a Finnish study evaluated nearly 2,800 nondiabetic individuals, close to 500 of whom were using statins, after they had participated in a year of lifestyle interventions intended to improve their glucose metabolism. (Statins are lipid-lowering drugs that inhibit an enzyme crucial to the production of serum cholesterol; high cholesterol is associated with hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular problems.) The study was conducted by Dr. Nina Rautio and colleagues at Pirkanmaa Hospital in Tampere, Finland.
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