24/7 is Life with Type 1 Diabetes

photoRedRiderMariI’m about to celebrate 35 years of living with type 1 diabetes. Every now and then I take a deep breath and reflect on what it’s been like to have this disease that allows for zero vacations. It’s not been an easy road. That said, there are a few bright spots.

I am pleased to report that my kidneys and liver, my eyes, my heart and my blood pressure are all doing very well. The eye doctor recently told me that there was no evidence that I’ve had diabetes for nearly 35 years! That resulted in a big happy dance for me!

My dad had type 1 for 49 years before he essentially died of old age and diabetes complications last July. He experienced kidney difficulties after a mere 20 years of life with type 1. Perhaps one big difference between my father and myself is that blood glucose testing was possible for most of my time with type 1, and early on I became obsessed with charting my blood sugar trends.

When I was training for my 400-mile bike ride across Colorado which was in June 2004, I tested my blood sugar more than 25 times in a day. Needless to say, my fingers looked pretty rough for all that blood testing. You can imagine the delight when I got my first continuous glucose monitor (cgm) in 2005! CGM’s test the glucose level in your interstitial fluid every 5 minutes and sends that number to a machine that graphs the output.

Dexcom G5 Graph on my iPhone
Dexcom G5 Graph on my iPhone

These days I wear a Dexcom G5 cgm that links to my iPhone, which then links to a Pebble watch I wear. I’m training for a 100-mile bike ride which will be the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure Twin Cities on June 4th, 2016 and having my blood sugar on my wrist as I cycle is the best thing ever! It’s profoundly freeing!!

Please consider donating to my ride to Stop Diabetes. All big and small donations make a huge difference! To see my donation page, click here!!

Big thanks!

Since there are no breaks from living with type 1 diabetes, what saves the day is excellent technology like the Dexcom G5 cgm and my Animas insulin pump, AND donations from readers, friends and family to my campaign!!!!

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2 thoughts on “24/7 is Life with Type 1 Diabetes”

  1. Mari, you are SO inspiring! Thank you for sharing this, I wish you good health and good luck with training and the ride.

    • Lisa,
      Thanks for your lovely comment! I greatly appreciate it! I’m planning to do another two hour ride today and then this Sunday a few of my team and I are riding 67 miles, longest ride to date! The key is slow and steady!!

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