Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Type 1 Diabetes Sucks: My Story

I'm Jenny Free and I have T1 Diabetes.
For those that know me in 'real life' already knew that.
To my new friends....there ya go. Another tidbit about me.

My dad passed away from complications of T1 diabetes when I was 6.
Yeah, my hatred for the disease started then.

Fast forward 11 years.

I'm not feeling so hot, and go to the doctor.

Low and behold...
I take after my dad too much.

I too have diabetes.


Being type 1, you have to be on insulin.
You see, my stupid body thought my pancreas was a 'bad guy', so my white blood cells attacked and killed it. Idiots.

About a year ago, my body decided my thyroid was bad too.

So, at the mature age of 17 I began my journey.
I first started with 'multiple daily injections' (3-6 shots per day)
About 3 years into it, I decided to switch to an insulin pump (only 1 needle every 3 days...much better!)

People (as a whole) have a great misunderstanding of Type 1 diabetes. There are 2 types of diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 is the most common, occurring in millions of Americans. This form is brought about by an unhealthy lifestyle, where your pancreas just cannot keep up. This form can be treated through lifestyle change, prescription pills or insulin. This form is usually preventable.
Type 1 is an auto-immune disease. This type is hereditary and is not preventable.

As I've journeyed down this sugary path for 8 years, I get some interesting comments.

Here are some of my favorites....please learn from this and don't be the one to say this to a diabetic person...
* "Oh man, you must have it bad! can't "have it bad". There is no better or worse in the Type 1 world. Yes, I'm insulin dependent....all type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent. That makes me no 'worse' than the next guy...

* " can't have children then...or it'll be like Steel Magnolias..."
Um...yes I can have kids (Lord willing) just like you. Steel Magnolias is an old movie....and it's that...a movie! Diabetic moms can have just as a safe, healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby as a non-diabetic mommy. We just have to work a lot harder!

* "So, you can't have sugar then? That stinks".
Heck yes I can have sugar! And I do!!! Here's the thing....your body processes sugar (like candy, cookies, etc.) the same as it process any other carbohydrate (like bread, potatoes, etc.). They all increase your blood sugar. But with being on insulin, I can eat anything I want...I just have to know the carbohydrates I am eating, and then make sure to give myself the appropriate amount of insulin. Just like what your pancreas does automatically. Mine is just the 'manual version'.

* "Man, I couldn't do it. I hate needles." too! This comment really bugs me... I had thought the same thing. But...if your super sick and know you're going to die without the needles, you quickly get over it.

* "Oh man, I can't watch you give yourself a shot!"
Get over're not the one right now being jabbed in the abdomen with plastic and metal. Seeing it is nothing compared to feeling it....

All in all, I'm so thankful for the treatment options available now. It truly has changed so much even in the last 10 years! I know God has a reason and plan for me to go through this in my life. I pray that I can have a good attitude about it and turn it around to glorify Him.

But it's hard. I mean, really hard.

You have no idea how much one organ (or lack there of..) affects your whole body and well being.
It is a constant struggle. I mean every moment, of every day, forever.

Insulin is not a cure.
It's a treatment.
I get no vacation from this. (But believe me....I've prayed for it!)
I'm attached to a machine 24/7.

Did I mention how expensive it is?! If I didn't have insurance, it would cost me about $1000 a month just to stay alive. $1000 a month!

Eventually, this disease may take away my vision, my legs, my kidneys and my life.
I'm doing everything I can to prevent that.
But...this disease is a killer.
It took away my dad at the age of 38.

I'm determined to not be another statistic.

If you read all this....thank you. Please say a little prayer for all those dealing with this awful disease.


On a lighter note....don't forget about the giveaway! 3 days left!!!


  1. Thank you for sharing. Say a little prayer for you my dear.. :)

  2. So, I'm not a diabetic, but I am a hemophiliac - kinda similar in the treatment (I have to give myself injections daily, and use to have a port for transfusions). I too, get the 'I couldn't do it, i hate needles' comments, as well as the people who only think the extremes - people think you can't eat sugar, people think i'll bleed to death from a papercut.


    Peoples misconceptions about diseases and the way they look at it has always frustrated me.

    Kudos for you for setting the record state! And even though you had no choice in the seem to be handling it very well, no pity party or anything (anything thing that frustrates me with people).

  3. Thanks for the encouragement ladies. I really appreciate it.
    Amy- I'll be praying for you too and the daily challenges I'm sure you face! And to set the record straight...I usually have a pity party for myself about once a year. That was last night for me...
    I'm sure you understand, it just can catch up to you at once and you realize how much it sucks...

  4. Jenny, thank you for sharing. I am happy that you described all the difficult details you have had to deal with in inheriting this disease. Like most, I did not know how it affected you (all of those with type1) You do have a wonderful attitude about it and I will pray for you indeed! You are an inspiration and I admire your strength, (I know you have to be strong, but you are nonetheless). Keep posting, I enjoy learning about you through your blog :) (Please don't take this in a stalker-creepy way :)


I love comments! Thanks for leaving me one! I read each and everyone one! xoxo Jenny Free