Talking Type 1: Rebecca Horn Messner

Think type 1 diabetes is just for kids? Think again.

Because it was thought to only strike children and teens, type 1 was known as juvenile diabetes for a long time. The truth is a growing number of adults are being diagnosed with it in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.

All week long, we will present stories from adults who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, describing the emotions and frustrations that came with their experiences. Each person defines success in different ways, but they all celebrate the triumphs that have helped them reach their goal of living well with diabetes.


Rebecca and her father, Terry

Rebecca and her father, Terry

Name: Rebecca Horn Messner
Age: 35 (diagnosed at age 33)
Location: Nashville, Tenn.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year at age 33. I just knew something wasn’t right, though it took a couple of months to come to that conclusion.

My father has type 1 as well and was diagnosed in 1977 at the age of 33, right before I was born. Ironic, right? It’s been a rocky road for him and I grew up fast, having to know what to do when Dad begin to “crash.” In 1996 we almost lost him due to diabetes-related complications. That was the hardest period of my life.

Remarkably, my dad is in great health, is still working and stays busier than myself. It’s given us something to share that’s just ours, and I am so thankful for him. We compare A1Cs, treatment plans and so on. I have been fortunate enough to learn from his ups and downs. I just take it one day at a time, and Dad does the same.

I have two boys and I get them checked regularly, because of the strong family history. I would say diabetes is a curse, but it has had its blessings. It’s been a major life change, but much more positive than I ever imagined. A lot if that has to do with my great doctors and the fact that I have a great person to share this journey with.

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2 Responses to Talking Type 1: Rebecca Horn Messner

  1. Maria Chaney says:

    I too was diagnosed with Type 1 2 months ago with insulin, at age 49. I was pre-diabetic for 17 years (gestational with my son with a over 600 sugar – insulin the last 2 weeks of pregnancy). My parents are both on-set type 2 with the pill. My sugar went over 1000…I was taking steroids off and on all year due to another health issue. They believe that is what triggered it. I take it one day at a time, adjusting to this new life with my new “toys”! I have a great support system with my family. It is a major adjustment, but it can be done! I feel blessed because it could have gone another way with a sugar that high…the doctors were looking at me with disbelief because I was not in a coma! Again, one day at a time! Take care and thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Julie Johnston-Manuel says:

    I was diagnosed at 33 as well. Went directly onto a pump and have been doing well since.

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