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I feel compelled to tell my story in an abbreviated fashion. I was diagnosed with type 1 in 1970. I was nine years old. As most of you have heard there wasn't at home bg testing or A1c's. I must have been constantly in dka without knowing it. My family didn't make a big deal about it. I rode my horse & bike, swam in rivers, etc. Basically I could do what I want. In my late 20's, while married I got pregnant by accident. My kidney's went from 100% function to 50% before I knew that I was pregnant. I went to the doctor because I was gaining so much weight quickly. It ends up that it was water retention from the kidneys. Fast forward to 1999 and my function reached 20%. That is the marker to get listed for a transplant. I'm in Southern California and UCLA medical center was doing simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants. In January 2000 I was officially on the transplant list. Fortunately I never require dialysis. On July 30, 2000 I had my double organ transplant. It was a huge success. It felt incredible to be, "non-diabetic ". My kidney is still functioning perfectly. In January 2008 my pancreas had a rupture. Basically, it was a bowel obstruction at a point where the pancreas was connected to my small intestines. I was at deaths door. It's a very long and convoluted story. There were numerous attempts to save my pancreas, but it just didn't work out. I was in and out of the hospital for two years from bowel obstruction's from scar tissue. It also took me about two years to mourn the loss of my pancreas. I'm sure that all of you can understand how upsetting that would be. Yes, I was fortunate to experience eight years insulin free, but going back to diabetes was much harder the second time around. Before my transplant I wasn't on an insulin pump or CGM. I didn't count carbs, etc. Old school was just looking at a meal and knowing how much to take and it worked fairly well. Complications? My main other complication is severe sensory motor peripheral neuropathy. I'm used to it. I live a very active life with my husband who is still with me through all of this. Thank goodness for him.😇 I ride my bike almost every day and this summer have been swimming also. I do volunteer work. I guess my point is that we can go through quite a bit of crap and still stay strong. It doesn't mean we don't cry, I do. But, the will to be self sufficient has driven me to good health. I guess good health is all relevant. (Ha, ha, ha) If anyone has questions about transplants please private message me. I haven't had any questions, please private message me Below is a picture of my husband and I. I shared this to show you newbies that diabetes doesn't have to destroy you. Remember, I was diagnosed in 1970! Best wishes to everyone!
Living with type 1 diabetes since 1970. | Fountain Valley, CA

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