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I was seventeen years old when the doctor told me I had diabetes. In the weeks that followed I heard many strange things about my new disease. Friends, neighbors and relatives had plenty to say about my diabetes and very little of it was positive.
Things People Told Me
One of my least favorite aspects of discussing my new disease was people's insistence on telling me horror stories of their friends and relatives with diabetes. Looking back, I guess they might have just been trying to relate. Still, if hearing stories of peoples aunts and uncles losing feet and going blind from their diabetes was the only way to relate, I would have been happy to face diabetes alone.
Another favorite was the questions that we have all heard. "Are you allowed to eat that?" People always stressed the word allowed, as if there was a "food cop" lurking around every corner who would arrest me if I got caught eating forbidden foods.
Looking for a 'Cure'
I set out to rid myself of this unwelcome intruder and started asking around to see if anyone knew about a remedy for diabetes. I tried a spiritual approach first.
I heard that Kathryn Kulman, a well known faith healer was coming to town and was told by friends at my church that this woman was known to have cured diabetes. I decided to give it a shot, after all, I couldn't imagine the good Lord really meant for me to get diabetes. There must have been some mistake, and I thought it only fair to give the man up stairs a chance to fix his mistake.
While singing in the choir at the service I heard Ms. Kulman say, "I feel someone in the choir with diabetes has just been healed."
I was ecstatic! I knew that God had seen the error in his ways and decided to heal me. I threw down my syringes and went home a very happy man.
Everything was wonderful until I felt the symptoms of high blood sugar setting in. I was visiting the bathroom every 10 minutes, felt sick and was terribly thirsty. Because glucose meters were not available in those days, it took a day for me to realize I hadn't been cured. Discouraged, I resumed taking my insulin and looked for another way out of this disease.
I started browsing health food stores, looking for books and information on diabetes. Sometimes I would even ask the clerk if they had heard of anything. I ended up trying what now seems like hundreds of foul smelling teas and "unique" tasting foods all to no avail.
I continued to turn over all the stones, looking for something to take my diabetes away. I found a lot of interesting people, read a lot of interesting books and learned a lot about diet. I also started to get jaded about ever finding a cure. This whole process showed me that I could get many different views on the topic of diabetes. I could also find doctors that would at least tell me what I wanted to hear.
The biggest problem was that I wasn't seeing an endocrinologist and I wasn't able to test my own blood sugar. In fact, for the first ten years that I had diabetes, I had never heard of an endocrinologist.
Finally, Testing at Home
In 1983 I bought one of the first home blood glucose monitors. At last I could test myself at home and it changed my life forever. I was the proud owner of an AMES Dextrometer. Until this meter entered my life, I had no idea how high my blood sugars really were - often in the 300-400 mg/dl range.
I knew that these readings were too high and I set out to get the information I needed to make some changes. At that point I started looking into professional diabetes medical publications. I was astounded by the wealth of material I found. So much had been published on how to calculate a correct dose of insulin for multiple injections regimens. I learned many things my doctors had never told me.
Information is the Key
I found that the information to prevent many of the complications of diabetes was out there, but it wasn't widely distributed. I began to feel not only that this information had to be disseminated, but that I could do something about it.
We started DIABETES HEALTH to help inform people about the latest developments in the diabetes community, be it research, new products or developments in the search for a cure. There is a large amount of useful information written by innovative physicians and researchers. We strive to better the lives of people with diabetes by presenting this practical information in an interesting and easy to read format.
DIABETES HEALTH is now in its seventh year. We are growing stronger each month - with paid subscribers and advertiser support.
Thank you all for your support.
0 comments - Feb 1, 1998
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.