Stories: Celebrating 40 Years

A challenging journey 

In the early 1970s I developed a condition called Graves' Disease (Graves exopathalmopathy-hypo thyroid variety).This condition was treated by the head of endocrinology at St. Joseph's over approximately three years, ultimately resulting in my thyroid function being destroyed. My Graves symptoms gradually improved but by 1980 my pancreas abruptly stopped producing insulin and I was hospitalized for over a one week being treated with insulin therapy. I was advised that there is a relationship between Graves and diabetes. I eventually was declared a full, type 1 diabetic and have been so for the past 33 years.

Originally I injected insulin by syringe twice daily. It was referred to as regular 'Toronto beef & pork'. I advanced to synthetic insulin over the past 12 years to Humalog and Lantus Glargine, using the pen injection system, currently taking four injections daily.

Metal syringe with cleaning wire

Above: Metal syringe with cleaning wire.

In the past 10 to 15 years, I developed some of the more classic symptoms of a long-term type 1 diabetic, primarily that of neuropathy and retinopathy affecting my legs and eyes. Yet another medical challenge evolved approximately one year ago requiring a daily dose of prednisone to control, which dramatically increased my blood sugar. It is referred to as polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR). This prednisone dosage is gradually being reduced and my average blood sugar slowly returning to more controllable levels.

I am currently 73 and the past 33 years as a type 1 diabetic has had significant health challenges. If it wasn't for the doctors and staff of the endocrine and diabetes clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital I may not have been able to record this journey.

Submitted by:
D.W. Grieve,
London, Ontario.

Last updated: Thu, 2013-11-21 11:40