Trial And Error

I’ve had Type-1 Diabetes for almost four decades now, and during those decades I’ve seen it all, heard it all and almost tried it all. With the exception of some of the more complex procedures, such as pancreas and/or islet cell transplants, I’ve been on every kind of therapy and have tried several different diets. Some have even been rather “new age” and eclectic. I’ve also dealt with a number of conditions, such as Diabetic Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

One of the bigger issues that many if not most people fail to recognize is that not every therapy works for every person. In fact, many therapies simply won’t work for different people. For example, there have been types of insulin that simply have little or no effect on me the way my current insulin does. And for the most part, these issues have been discovered by accident, or through a change in my prescriptions or therapies.

This is one of the reasons why, as a child and a teenager, I hated going to doctor’s appointments or even changing practitioners. Every doctor or medical practitioner I’ve had, has changed my prescriptions, altered my therapies or has tried to put their own personal spin on my condition. It can make life difficult; especially when any change can upset the balance of one’s daily routines.

On the face of it, we usually have very little choice but to accept it when a doctor says, “we’re going to try this and see how it works for you.” As a child, I would usually just sit there and nod. I’d let my parents take the prescription or document the change in requirements and then I’d ride the change. More often than not, I’d find myself getting ill or suffering major complications and I’ve been in several comas, between the ages of 6 and 10.

This has led to a certain level of paranoia when trying new things, in relation to my health. But the reality is that there is no REAL way of making progress in the available therapies without some trial and error. If I hadn’t tried certain diets and prescriptions, I wouldn’t have found what’s worked for me and what hasn’t and I may well have not survived beyond my teen years, which is what my doctors at the time offered me as a life expectancy.

It’s pretty similar to trying out a specific type of diet. Let’s take something reasonably well-known, like the Paleo or Keto diet. Some people try these fad diets and lose a reasonable amount of weight and it works well for them. Others will try those same diets with no measurable results. Or worse, they’ll gain weight. The same can be said for certain Diabetic therapies. What works for one person with Diabetes may not necessarily work for someone else.

It reminds me of when I started on pump therapy. I avoided insulin pumps like the plague. Given my chosen profession and the nature of how insulin pumps operated, I honestly didn’t think it was for me. Until I tried it. After a significant amount of trial and error, pump therapy wound up being the best decision I could have made. Even recently, adding Continuous Glucose Monitoring to the mix has proven to be an exceptionally good decision.

My point is that you may have to throw caution to the wind and try a few things in order to smooth out your therapy. Diabetes is a well-known condition, albeit not always understood. But every human being is different and every person’s system is different, so one particular therapy may produce different results for different people. Makes sense, right? Don’t be afraid to branch out and try different things in order to keep yourself healthy. As long as you take ownership of those attempts and take care, you can almost be guaranteed to find something that will work for you. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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