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Long-Term Effects

Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Long-Term Effects

Scott Benner

Hi again.  For those of you who have read through the site and thought, “this is horrible but it could be worse”.  If I’ve some how made type I seem like it’s just counting carbs, giving shots and testing BG with the off chance of a seizure that’s fixed by a sip of soda...  I’ve failed.  See, I’ve spoken to a few of you and I can tell from some of the responses I get that the true weight of Arden’s disease may not be reaching everyone with the same intensity. 

Let me try to boil this down even further... 

Straight away the following is true of Arden’s life.  On average, the current life expectancy of a child with type 1 diabetes is shortened by 7-10 years”.

I watch and record every speck of food and liquid that Arden consumes. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and that will never stop.  After I’m done she will be saddled with this chore for the rest of her already shortened life if a cure isn’t found.  If we mis-count or she exercises too little, too much, has a stressful day, her period or any number of the countless variables we’ve discussed, her BG may go too low.  If that happens she has a seizure.  And if no one is around to stop it she will eventually die for the want of a glass of juice.

The is the other side of the equation...

If Arden gets too little insulin...  She is at serious risk for,  Heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, constant pain and/or weakness, loss of feeling and loss of vision to mention just a few.  Even if I control Arden’s diabetes perfectly... these horrible things still could happen.  Just by being diabetic Arden has a 20 to 30 percent chance of loosing a significant portion of her vision by the time she is 22 years old.  See complete facts at the end.

If you go back to the beginning of this blog you’ll see a statement similar to this: I spend my every moment trying desperately not to give Arden too much or too little insulin.  I watch her every move and try to anticipate her hunger, activity and moods.  If I do a good job she won’t have a seizure today.  If I do a less then good job her elevated blood sugar makes her irritable, achy and sluggish, ruining her day.  If I do a poor job she’ll go blind, lose a limb, have a stroke and struggle with life long illnesses on top of the diabetes that will further cripple her life.  She may even die before me.  

Type I or juvenile diabetes can strike anyone until they are 30 years old.  13,000 children every year in the U.S. are diagnosed with type I, that’s 35 kids a day.  Of them 90 percent do not have a relative with diabetes.  It can happen to anyone...

A year ago I had dreams.  There were things I wanted to do.  Places I wanted to see and experience I’d yet to behold.  Today, I just don’t want Arden to go blind.  Please try to imagine that and then donate to the JDRF in any way you can.  Thank you for listening, Scott 

Facts:

Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease, a range of blood vessel system diseases that includes both stroke and heart attack, is the major cause of death in people with diabetes. The two most common types of cardiovascular disease are coronary heart disease, caused by fatty deposits in the arteries that feed the heart, and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Research shows that people with diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol and hypertension, both of which cause damage to the cells lining the artery walls. Researchers think high blood glucose contributes to both of these conditions. 

Nephropathy
Diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic nephropathy, is one of the most common and most devastating complications of diabetes. It is a slow deterioration of the kidneys and kidney function which, in severe cases, can eventually result in kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease, or ESRD. About one third of people with type 1 diabetes develop nephropathy.

Neuropathy
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, affects more than 60 percent of people with type 1 diabetes.  The impact of nerve damage can range from slight inconvenience to major disability and even death. Diabetic neuropathy leads to loss of feeling and sometimes pain and weakness in the feet, legs, hands, and arms, and is the most common cause of  amputations not caused by accident in the United States. In one type of neuropathy, known as autonomic neuropathy, high glucose levels injure the autonomic nervous system, which controls bodily functions such as breathing, circulation, urination, sexual function, temperature regulation, and digestion. Autonomic neuropathy may result in various types of digestive problems, diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, a rapid heartbeat, and low blood pressure. 

Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common and serious eye-related complication of diabetes. It is a progressive disease that destroys small blood vessels in the retina, eventually causing vision problems. In its most advanced form (known as "proliferative retinopathy") it can cause blindness. Nearly all people with type 1 diabetes show some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, usually after about 20 years of living with diabetes; approximately 20 to 30 percent of them develop the advanced form.

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The following are archived comments from this post. You can post new comments below.

 

Anonymous

Hi Scott-This is a great write-up on the side effects of diabetes-it's good to see that you're trying to educate people, as you know this is far more than just "keeping within the normal BG range", as many think it is.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 07:40 AM