Hearts and Houseshoes

T1D Insulin Is Life Support

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Everybody needs insulin to survive. When you’re a t1d insulin is life support. Injecting yourself with insulin is not a cure, it literally is life support. By giving yourself insulin, your keeping your body alive. That’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. We need to raise awareness and help others understand more about this disease. So, if your interested let’s move on.

T1D

Let me just start off by saying that type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease. It’s also considered an autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as t1d. That’s a term I use a lot. I’m sure you’ve noticed.

There are millions of people who suffer from this disease. Everyone knows the term diabetes. But, what most people refer to is type 2. This is the one that’s most common. But, every day more and more people are becoming diagnosed with type 1.

Now, type 1 used to be referred to as juvenile diabetes. You may have also heard of that term. That’s because it used to be found more in children. But, it is not just a children’s disease. Sadly, anyone can become a type 1 diabetic at any time. It doesn’t matter your age, weight, or race.

If you don’t know much about it, you can check out this post Understanding Type 1 Diabetes.

Your Pancreas and Insulin

Now, when you get t1d your pancreas quits working. This is a slow process. while there are symptoms, they usually happen too late. By the time you start to recognize these symptoms, your blood sugar has been out of control for a while. In the beginning, your pancreas will work sometimes, whenever it wants to. What your pancreas does is produce insulin for your body. Nothing like a pancreas that has a mind of its own. Your injecting insulin, then your pancreas decides to shoot out a little on its own. And BAM! You’re low. But, over time, it will eventually quit working completely.

What actually happens is that your body will attack your pancreas. That’s what an autoimmune disease does. Your immune system is supposed to attack germs and ignore healthy cells. But, for some reason, it will mistakenly start to attack your good cells. And in this case, it destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Once this happens, it cannot be repaired. So, eventually, a t1d is just left with a useless pancreas.

There is no known cause of this disease. No rhyme or reason. That’s the thing, it just happens. It’s irreversible and incurable. Even if you catch it early, they cannot stop it from happening. It’s best to catch it early though, so you can start getting treatment. Diabetes left untreated can cause many serious issues.

Now, here you are, left with a pancreas that won’t produce insulin. You need insulin to break down the carbohydrates that you eat. It’s what allows it to get from the bloodstream into your cells. And in turn, gives you the energy that we get from food. Now, a regular person may not even realize just how many carbs, or carbohydrates, that you eat in a day. I had never before paid attention to how many carbs I eat. Some people may, but some people don’t. And let me tell you, it’s a LOT.

Insulin Is Life Support

Now your body cannot live without insulin. So, what do you do? Well, you have to inject it into your body. This is your only option. It’s not a cure, insulin is life support for your body. You are left counting carbs and using needles to inject insulin into your body for survival. Every single time you eat anything with carbs, you need an injection. And there is only a handful of things that don’t have carbs.

You may be thinking well that sounds easy enough though. At least you can live. Now I do agree with the “at least you can live” part. I am so so grateful that they at least found a way for a t1d to survive. But, it’s sooo not easy. Not easy at all. Now, I don’t even have this disease, but my daughter and niece do. And let me tell you that it’s just a life-changing thing to have to deal with. Plus, being a mom of a t1d has a ton of struggles of its own. Because while you can break it down and put into simple terms, there is nothing simple about it.

Whether your a child or an adult dealing with this issue it’s still a struggle. There is so many things that you have to learn just to try and manage. And it gets old dealing with these problems day after day. A t1d needs a lot of positive reinforcement. It’s very easy to become depressed and want to just give up. They get tired of it. I mean imagine stabbing yourself with a needle countless times every single day of your life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget everything they are dealing with and what’s going on in their head. Check out this post on Dealing with newly diagnosed t1d.

T1D Training

When you become a diabetic, you have so much to learn. I had to go through days of training before my daughter could even leave the hospital. I will never forget sitting in that room and having that instructor tell us “you no longer have a normal healthy child”. We now have a sick child who will have ever-changing challenges. But, it is manageable, and we just have to learn how to take care of her.

Let me tell you though, I am extremely grateful for this training. Because, when my niece was diagnosed she wasn’t taught much about it. Like I was. She was an adult when she found out. Now, I’m not sure if that was the reason or not. But, she really struggled to figure out exactly what she needed to do. Luckily, my daughter was diagnosed only 3 weeks after her, so we all kind of learned together. The instructors at Riley hospital even let her and my sister attend the training classes with me. They were awesome. So, like I said I’m not sure if this is the case for every adult diagnosed, but it’s not a good thing. Every diabetic should be taught everything they need to know as soon as possible. It’s important to know as much as you can about something so crucial, this can be life-threatening.

Insulin Guessing Games

Now, one of the things you need to learn is how much insulin you need. You must check your blood several times a day. Especially when eating. You have to add more insulin if your blood sugar is higher than it should be. Everyone is different, so how much insulin you need will vary. It will vary anyway, you need to keep adjusting the amount you get. And many things can factor into this. So, it’s a lifetime of insulin adjustment. It’s a guessing game. At times you may be getting too much, other times not enough. Then factor in that your pancreas may just decide it wants to give you a little extra. And that’s never good.

And back to the blood checking. A diabetic will use a lancet, lancing device, and a meter to check their blood. The lancing device is what holds the lancet, or the needle, and injects it into your skin. Then, you need a meter and a test strip to put your blood on to find out your blood sugar. Now a normal range for my daughter is 70-150. Anything within that range is considered a good blood sugar. I know the range is different for smaller children, but I can’t remember what it is right off hand. But, normal for a non-diabetic is below 100. When my daughter was diagnosed, her blood sugar was over 1000. We were very very lucky.

Raising Awareness of T1D

High blood sugar left untreated will cause serious issues. You can go into what’s called ketoacidosis. This is also known as DKA. It’s a very serious condition and can lead to coma or even death. As I said, we were very lucky. I didn’t know the severity of this disease at the time. My niece wasn’t taught much about it, and I knew nothing. That’s the issue and one reason I am trying to help raise awareness. Because most of us don’t know anything about it until we have to.

But, I did know the symptoms because of my niece. And I did recognize them in my daughter. It was one of those things where I was noticing them, but I didn’t want to admit it. She had lost weight, she was always thirsty. And I mean really thirsty, she could drink a 42-ounce fountain drink in no time. I finally faced the fact and had my niece check her blood.

I just knew something was not right, and could almost guarantee she had the exact same thing as my niece. Too many symptoms added up. She wasn’t feeling good and we needed to know. Well, when we checked it, the meter would not even read. It only goes up to 600. But, it just said HIGH, We made her go wash her hands and try again. It still said HIGH. So, of course, I freaked out, and we took her to the hospital. I eventually found out that it was over 1000.

The bottom line is that I’m very thankful that I was capable of learning as much as I did about this disease. I wish it was under other circumstances, but that was the hand we were dealt. Now, we must face each day and the struggles that come with it, and make it the best that we can. All we can do is help make others aware and pray for a cure.

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2 thoughts on “T1D Insulin Is Life Support

  1. Hi, Very Good Article. I really appreciate it. Now you got one regular visitor to your website for new topics. Keep up the Good Work Thanks for always sharing. Nicole Graham

    1. Well, Thank you. Happy to have you here. I am glad that you enjoyed reading it. And I appreciate you leaving a comment.

Your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.

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