Thank you for coming to my page and reading my story.
THIS. IS why I ride:
I ride because I can.
I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 48 years. When I was diagnosed at age 7, in 1973, my family doctor was a smart man. He knew I could still do just about anything I wanted, but it wasn't going to be easy. My family and I were going to have to learn a lot, and be in constant watch of diabetes. I don't recall if he said it, but I never planned on a cure as a kid. Or as an adult most of my life. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks when I was diagnosed. That was standard treatment at the time. You had to learn how to be diabetic, and your body had to get leveled out with your blood sugar. I learned how to give my own insulin shots in the hospital and I have been doing it ever since. I have let people give my shot, if they wanted to learn. My parents taught me how to be smart about my diabetes. They also taught me I could not use it as an excuse. Being diabetic, you could get out of a lot of things. I didn't. I am very glad for my parents and the things they taught me. I can take care of myself.
I have seen a lot of changes during my diabetic life. First, I was a juvenile diabetic. I started on 2 shots a day, and eventually was up to 4 shots a day. All for better control. Testing wasn't a 3 second blood poke. It was urine testing. You had to void once, and then within 30 minutes go again, and then in a test tube, mix 5 drops of urine, and 10 drops of water and drop in a tablet that will bubble and get very hot. Then you compared the color of the stuff in the tube to a chart with 5 colors. Negative, trace, +1, +2, +3, or +4. These were the amounts of sugar in your urine. Most meals were determined by the insulin you gave many hours before. If I wasn't eating dinner at 6 pm, I was found asleep in the living room at 6:15 because my blood sugar was dropping. There was no A1c test. Eventually I went to Camp Needlepoint for diabetics. That was fun and I learned other people had this disease. A lot of people. I actually knew a few people that had it. One kid in my class was diagnosed 2 months prior to me. Rumors went around our school that diabetes was contagious. And, one of my teachers was diagnosed during my time there. Eventually, I was told I am a Type1 diabetic, or Person with diabetes, PWT1d. A1c test was created. Blood sugar testers were created. Different types of insulin was created. Insulin pumps were created. Continuous glucose monitors were created. Smart insulin pumps and CGMs were created. But, still, I am up most nights because my Medtronic pump doesn't trust that my blood sugar has been 90-100 for several hours, and beeps and wants a blood sugar test.
It would seem my pump would like my life to sit on the couch and not be active. But that isn't me. I put up with the drop in blood sugar while riding, the blood sugar spikes when finishing, and the continuous drop in blood sugar 12 hours later during the night to be active, to be better prepared for issues a diabetic body endures.
Diabetes is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, disease. It may be silent, as if you don't know I am diabetic, you might not know my struggles. Even if you know I am diabetic, you probably don't know my struggles. It would be wonderful to sleep through a night, and have a good blood sugar level all night and in the morning. It would be neat not to have to check your level before driving a car, going for a bike ride, running on the treadmill, mowing the lawn, or going for a walk. It would be cool to not always have to plan for things, always bringing snacks. It would be so much easier to travel without having to bring a ton of diabetic supplies, worry about weather if it will be too hot or cold for those supplies. It would be pleasant to walk through security at the airport and not have to stop and take tests when walking thru TSA. It would be relaxing not have to always have to have pockets, because you need a place for diabetic things. It would be awesome to roll over in bed, and not have to adjust where my pump is located. It would be nice to be able to sleep in any side of my body, and not worry about where my CGM is currently attached. It would be grand to be able to swim, or bike, or floating in a lake on a floaty, and not have to worry if the adhesive holding on my insulin or CGM site is going to come loose, and do I have supplies to re-install. And, it would be so much easier for my wife, my parents, my friends, to not have to wonder what is wrong with me, is my blood sugar going low, and the worry that I cause them, if I wasn't diabetic. Life is better with a pump, as I can now eat anything I want, whenever I want, I just have to give the correct amount of insulin for it first.
I now believe diabetes could be cured.
This is why I ride. Because I can. I am still able.
Help Make a Difference!
Pedal power works!
I truly appreciate your donations and understand how hard it is to find money to donate.
Each mile I ride, each dollar I raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people
affected by diabetes.
No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of the more than 24 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this
disease. Together, we can all make a difference!
Thank you for making a generous contribution to this cause that is so
important to me!