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Sep 16, 2016

A letter from a DiabetesPowerShow listener...

Hello Diabetes Power Show,

A quick note to say thank you for the time you take to educate the diabetic community. My wife and I have learned so much from your pod cast and guests over the past six months. I am a type 1 diabetic who uses an Omnipod insulin pump and CGM. I developed pancreatitis five years ago and was required to go into the hospital every three weeks to have stents placed into my pancreatic ducts to move forward with simple life activities. After eighteen months, my doctor at the University of Colorado linked me to an excellent team at the University of Minnesota to perform a Total Pancreatectomy and Auto Islet Transplantation. The surgery was 17 hours and my islet cells were transplanted into my liver. I had a 40% chance the cells would take and I would not need insulin or be diabetic. I was also informed before the surgery that I had tested positive for a GAD antibody and there was an increased chance that my system would attack the transplanted Islet cells and I would become diabetic.

As you can see, my cells did not survive and I am now a type one diabetic. However, I fully accepted the outcome and entered into the surgery expecting to come out being a diabetic. I am glad to say that the pain is gone and that is half the battle. In addition to being type 1, I will have to take enzymes for digestion for the rest of my life.
I started out taking injections but quickly found that it was impossible to stop some of the lows and 12 months later, I switched to an insulin pump. My lows tend to be a bit different then a normal diabetic. I do not have the same ability to take sugar and recover from a low within 15 or 30 minutes. At times, it may take 30-50 carbs to move my BG up 30-40 points. The recovery process from my lows are different every time. My CGM has saved my life a minimum of 6 times and I am thankful to have the technology. I am also thankful to have an insulin pump that can be suspended to stop the lows.

My A1C has ranged from 6.9 - 9.8 and is now at 7.2.  I eat close to the same food each day and my diet is low fat and low carb due to my impaired ability to digest certain foods. I live off of Quest nutrition Shakes (link below) and Quest Nutrition bars. The bars are low sugar, low net carbs and high in fiber and protein (and they are good). The shakes are low sugar, low carb, low fat and high in protein. Even non diabetics who like to eat healthy enjoy the bars and shakes! I have also recently discovered Paleo bars (Sunflower butter) and the bars are also low sugar, low net carbs and taste good.

My success is due to the love and support of my wife. I would not be where I am today without her continuous care and concern for my well being. She has been with me every step of the way and has never given up on me or my health. I see the stress the disease causes her and she worries about my overall health and longevity of life. We have been married for 24 years and we hope the future blesses us with many, many more.
I have been fortunate enough to have excellent doctors who respond to e-mail, phone calls and are experts in their professions. At some point, they may add value to your show and have the ability to help others who listen to your POD cast.. After all they have been successful keeping me alive and when you consider I have no pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, appendix, no pain and am a type 1 diabetic… That is no small feat…
Through the process, I have found that no one is the same and we all have different struggles with the same goals in mind. To live a normal life, love our families and contribute to society. 

Thanks again for providing such amazing insight into the ever changing world of diabetes. You are helping the diabetic community in more ways than you will ever know!

Steve and Christy Ewing