Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day. I will have great reason to celebrate because I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 61 years. At age 5 (1947), I was put on insulin.
To me, the most important thing, even at the age of 5, meant that I had to learn to take care of myself, how to deal with the disease, and how important it was for me to learn. One way was to go to diabetic camp for children. I found out there, I was not the only little girl in the world with diabetes.
Education was the key, even then. I realized in high school that if my friends didn’t like me because I could not eat certain things, they were not my friends anyway. Most of my adult life I was an RN.
I had difficulty having children because of the diabetes, but received a wonderful 3-day-old son via adoption. I have had three insulin pumps, each one improved over the other. The pump is now even used on young children. I feel after 61 years with diabetes on insulin, and having great doctors who really care, I have been trying to tell other diabetics, both type 1 and type 2, how very important education is in this disease.
I have received much care and support from Dr. Marshall Block in the Valley and Dr. Alan Michels here in Payson.
Joanna M. Stlottler