Stories: Celebrating 40 Years

Trials and tribulations

When I was diagnosed in 1960 I didn't understand how food was related to insulin. I was given an 8 1/2" x 14" sheet of paper with my diet. I didn't like many of the foods on the sheet. I was supposed to eat at 8 am, noon and 5 pm, and drink 6 oz of milk at 10 am and 3 pm every day.

My dad sharpened my needle once a week, and we'd boil my syringe to sterilize it. At first, I just took one injection of beef and pork insulin in the morning. A bottle of U40 insulin cost 70 cents.

One time my doctor called the school nurse to notify her that my blood sugar was low. This was based on blood work that had been drawn about two weeks earlier!

I wore an insulin pump in 1980 for about a year. The insulin had to be diluted with distilled water. Finger stick testing at home started about the same time. The meter was large and had to be plugged into the wall outlet. The machine worked by reading the colour on the strip. 

I started counting carbohydrates when I tried a pump again in 2008. Now I can eat and take insulin whenever I want and my control is good.

Submitted by:
Keith Patterson

Last updated: Tue, 2013-11-12 15:32