I Chose Type 1 Diabetes and It Changed My Life for the Better
One of our Glu Ambassadors, Sandy Brooks, has been attended our in-person educational programs and been a big advocate for T1D Exchange for the past few years. Today she is sharing her very unique story of how and why she acquired type 1 diabetes.
I’m a “surgical type 1” person with diabetes (PWD). I acquired my diabetes through having my pancreas removed due to hereditary chronic pancreatitis lasting for 27 years. I had my pancreas removed and an autologous islet cell transplant on my 52nd birthday. I didn’t plan to have the surgery on my birthday, but it has worked out perfectly because it really was a rebirth in so many ways.
As a kid, I always had belly issues. My pediatrician called it a “nervous stomach.” This “nervous stomach” followed me through to high school and beyond. Things got worse as I got older. In my twenties, I decided to have this issue more thoroughly worked up. It took years to get a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (CP) because with this rare, chronic disease, there are no blood tests to definitively determine it. Also, there is a stereotype that only old alcoholics get pancreatitis, and I had never been one to drink. Plus, where I was so young, no one even considered this to be the issue.
Finally, at 27 years old, I got my diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis and the stigma associated with it ensued. I was frequently accused of drug seeking due to my primary symptom being excruciating abdominal pain. When I gave in and sought help in the local ER, besides a little anemia, my blood work came back fine. The usual suspects of a raised amyl Continue reading