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Anyone out there over 50 with Type 1 or LADA (or Type 1.5 as I knew it!)?

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Sounds like a lot of younger people out there that I can relate to but can't keep up with.  I am 62 years old & diagnosed with Type 1.5 when I was 36.  Life was very hectic - 2 children, 2 husbands, full time job, etc.

I did not spend much time taking care of me or my diabetes.  I am lucky that I haven't any severe complications, Stage 3 kidney disease, mild retinopathy, mild neuropathy.  I also have a lot of other physical issues such as multiple surgeries on hip due to arthritis and infections, a GIST tumor, osteoporosis.  Add all that to bi-polar II and life can get very complicated.

Is there anyone out there that can relate?  And how do you handle it all?  I would love some feedback & encouragement.

posted Mar 17, 2017 in Conversation by ME (130 points)
retagged Jun 30, 2017 by KarenG

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8 replies

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Hiya! I'm the same age, diagnosed about 3 years ago. In hindsight, I realized I'd been sick a while but just didn't recognize what was happening to me...and then went DKA. The diagnosis was a HUGE shock and my recovery was pretty slow. Even though my family and friends have been very supportive, I have often felt all alone with this disease and sometimes feel pretty depressed about having D and dealing with it all the time. There is no support group in my area so I really appreciate being able to participate in the online forums.

Are you on a pump? I am considering pumping but it seems like so many things can go wrong with them. So I am still doing MDIs (Lantus, Humalog) and now use a Dexcom CGM. I also got the chance to try samples of Afrezza (the inhaled insulin). That stuff is awesome: rapidly brings down highs while avoiding lows, lets you eat more carby foods like Thai. Sure wish my insurance covered it!

Do you use a CGM? That has made a big difference, too, both in figuring out what I can eat and in helping me do more normal activities again ('cos I experienced horrible exercise lows). Also, the new PA I see referred me to I a CDE recently who is herself Type 1. They both have really helped me out a lot.

Like I said, the online forums are a great source of support so I am glad you found your way here. TuDiabetes is another friendly and helpful site you might like. That's all for now--stay in touch!
answered Mar 18, 2017 by TortieGirl (3,950 points)

i can relate.  i've only had t1 for about 7 years, diagnosed at age 48!  very difficult transition, learning a whole new life as an adult and needing to balance my T1 life with my non-T1 life.  there isn't a day that goes by that i don't feel like getting out of bed - but i do.  i push myself everyday to be active and take care of myself.  my way of coping is by making sure i exercise and move my body somehow every day.  getting outdoors is the best medicine you can ask for, and it's FREE!  i also belong to a gym and take classes which helps too.  if you're able and not already active, i would encourage you to at least move your body somehow every day.  start with baby steps and increase your activity level as you feel better.  hope that helps!
answered Mar 21, 2017 by socalgirl (200 points)
Yes, I can certainly relate.  I am 64 yrs old, diagnosed at 42, and didn't even test for the first 13 years.  It was all too much.  Now I also have stage 3 CKD and twisted hands (dupychene's syndrome).  Life is not easy, but I'm trying to do better.  I exercise fairly regularly and try to eat a healthful diet (more a goal than an achievement).  I have three adopted special needs kids, which has been a huge stressor.  I cope the best I can but I feel pretty alone in my struggles.
answered Mar 22, 2017 by slg1953 (230 points)
I was diagnosed at 57 with Type 1.5 and went on insulin a week later.  Just like you, I chose not to care for myself as I should have.  I found if I took a walk for 15 minutes a couple of times a day and concentrated on myself during that time, it became easier. Yes, I had to force myself in the beginning.  What really made me determined to take care of myself was not being able to care for  your grandchildren because my BG was out of control then the ultimate insult was not being able to drive.  I live in the mountains 40 miles from a town.  Quilting became my savior, walking as much as I can helps.  Find a hobby, a walking partner.  I have learned type1.5 is the elephant in the closet not the dragon under the bed.  After 10 years,  I have decided  to continue on to the best of my abilily.  My family has become major  support.
answered Mar 22, 2017 by mknicks (480 points)
+1 like
I also was diagnosed Type 1 at 36 and am now 60 and have 2 boys, now men.  Life certainly was very hectic in the begining with a new diagnoses and raising a family.  I will have to say though that I was much more on top of things then.  Lately (in the last 6 month) I have been experiencing some burn out.  

What I am trying to do is start small - luckily I have a dog that needs to be walked every day so I do get an hour of exercise.  But the mid afternoon carb snack to keep me going is my downfall - so just one day at a time trying to choose more wisely and not beat myself up for high or low blood sugar level.  The number on the meter is just information not judgement.

My husband is bi-polar so I can not imagine how challenging that makes things.  I know when I experience stress it makes my blood sugar so much harder to control.  The mood swings I am sure add their own dimension to everything.

That is the thing with Diabetes it is just an additional layer on whatever else you are going through.  Each of us young or old have challenges, stresses, illnesses, and disappointments that will come into our lives time to time......then there are periods of life that are exciting, rewarding, and where life just seems good.  I try to remember to be grateful each day for the blessings I do have (even if it is just a quiet moment to have a cup of tea) and remember I am not alone and that I am strong and capable - and so are you!
answered Apr 5, 2017 by JaniceB (240 points)
I am 61. A year ago today I was diagnosed with a genetic mutation for pancreatic cancer (hereditary). This gene also carries a 90% risk for breast by the age of 70. I had a double mastectomy in late June of 2016, 3 weeks later I had an MRI of my pancreas which showed multiple cysts on my pancreas, upon biopsy these proved to be premalignant. In September on my 61st birthday I had a whipple procedure (removal of my spleen, gallbladder, part of my stomach, part of my small bowel, and in my case my entire pancreas) becoming a surgically induced type 1 diabetic. I have to take pancreatic enzymes to help me digest my food, and I have GI issues, ugh... I went from an athletic 128 pounds down to a scrawny 103 in 3 months. I am now up to 108 almost 8 months later. My glucose fluctuates wildly at times for no apparent reason, which is very frustrating for this control freak. LOL While I am not sure if I can continue to do cross country ski marathons ( I did 5 in 2015, longest one 56 miles) I would like to ski short races of about 18 miles. If anyone has any advice on how to gain weight, control glucose during exercising and after it would be greatly appreciated.
answered Apr 30, 2017 by anonymous
I think there are way TOO MANY of us over 50 to be honest.  lol  I am 58 years old and have had type 1 for 34+ years.  Life IS hard with this disease, but I am learning that I am still healthy and can live a terrific life in spite of something I have to monitor 24/7.  Feel free to connect with me any time, ok?  It's nice to know we aren't in this alone!  <3
answered May 3, 2017 by bndtnana (460 points)
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51 years old as of yesterday. :) I've had type 1 for 10 years. Blah! No diabetic complications so far. Yay! I've been pretty good about testing my bg, perhaps too much so. I test about 10-12 x in a 24 hour period. I was diagnosed wrongly at first, and lost a lot of weight until they tested to see if I was T1 instead of T2. Started on insulin and felt so much better other then gaining too much weight back. lol

 I've been using the OmniPod Insulin Pump since 2012 and love it! I've also used the Medtronic pump which I didn't love so much; just not a fan of tubing. I am super lucky to have excellent insurance or I couldn't afford to pump.

Dexcom users, anyone else have trouble with transmitters not sending signals properly? I've have 3 that were wonky. Dexcom replaced 2 of them but after the 3 one, I gave up. It was driving me crazy. It would be constantly going off saying it was out of signal range when it was sitting 6 inches from me. This would happen on and off, like it would work then stop and 10 minutes later start working and in 5 minutes stop working again. Talk about beeping! UGH!

I so agree it is quite hard to manage everything that comes with being T1 especially when it thrust upon you during a time when you have work, children etc...

I've recently started seeing a diabetic educator and have been setting goals, one of which is keeping a food diary to track my carbs. UGH! This is harder than I thought it would be but I'm trying. Anyone else doing this?

Diabetes is life handing you lemons, I will make lemonade, might be a tart no-sugar lemonade but it's still lemonade!
answered May 3, 2017 by Charsosweet (850 points)