Recently we asked our Facebook community to tell us about people who have lived long and well with diabetes – people who have lived 20, 30 or even 40 years or more with the disease. Having received a lot of great responses, we’re privileged to present these favorites on the blog this week. We’re hope you’re as inspired by these personal stories as we are!
Name: Alison Scheef
Age: 52 (diagnosed at 18)
Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
I have had type 1 diabetes for 34 years. I was diagnosed at 18 and I just turned 52. It is not an easy path, and sometimes controlling blood glucose is a challenge.
I have found that saying and thinking positive things to yourself when you checking your blood glucose can really make a difference. There is no perfection with this disease. Do what you can to control it and your diet, and see your endocrinologist every three to six months. I feel good, my A1C is always normal for organ functions and I am an advocate to help others. There IS a cure. Faith, hope, believe.
The most important improvement with diabetes management: insulin, of course! The insulin pump has made significant improvements in my quality of life as well.
My motivation 24/7 is: I want to stay as healthy as possible. I have a 24-year-old daughter and I want to be a grandma one day. My daughter is healthy and gets checked for diabetes once a year. She only has a 2 percent risk of developing type 1 diabetes, according to my endo.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, work closely with a dietician who specializes in diabetes. Learn to carb count.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. If your doctor isn’t receptive to questions, find a new one and interview them at the first appointment. The American Diabetes Association was very helpful for me in finding doctors and getting information. They also have a fantastic website!
Don’t allow this disease to control you. You can control it.