In 1959, I was 8 years old and became ill. For several months, I continued to get sicker and sicker and they didn’t know what was wrong. Finally, they discovered it was diabetes. At that time, diabetes was not well known or well managed and my life expectancy was less than 20 years of age. Since my regular doctor didn’t yet know about diabetes, he went with me to the University of Iowa Hospitals, where we met Dr. Charles Reed. Dr Reed, who understood diabetes, provided me with insulin and a constant carbohydrate diet.
I am extremely grateful to Dr. Reed, my parents and family, and the researchers who have brought diabetes treatment so far in the 53 years that I have had it. From the first day I was diagnosed, my family was very involved, with sisters who learned how to give me shots to parents and teachers who tried to make me feel normal.
I graduated from high school, went to college and became a physical education teacher, then worked as a recreation therapist and a social worker in a mental health facility. During my life, I have managed my diabetes by keeping active and sticking to a constant carbohydrate diet. I continue to exercise and encourage diabetics that I come across in my work to manage diet and exercise and test frequently.
In my lifetime, I have gone from sharpening and boiling my own glass syringes to using an insulin pump and checking blood sugar. I go regularly to my doctor and to diabetic workshops to continue to learn more and am amazed at the progress that has been made.
I still have low blood sugars occasionally and tried Transcend Foods at the behest of my niece. It helps level the blood sugar, without giving me blood sugar as high as so many other things do — like orange juice and sugar products. I have been very impressed withTranscend Foods because it has helped with some of my lows and quickly brought me back to normal. I keep it by my bed so it is easily accessible. I don’t have to keep it refrigerated; it can just be there when I need it. I now carry it in my purse as well. It really works fast which is great because I don’t have the discomfort of coming out of a low and waiting to feel normal again.
– Gayle Easton