Hello and welcome to 'Pumptastic Scot'. We have another guest blogger today, Lin May, who is an author and diabetes advocate, dedicated to raising awareness about LADA and supporting those on their journey with Diabetes. To learn more about her work visit https://lada-diabetes.com/ and https://insulinpumplife.com/, where she blogs. Read more to learn more about her story!
Until next time,
In 2013, my life took an unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 30. The diagnosis itself was not straightforward; initially, I was misidentified as having Type 2 diabetes and prescribed Metformin, which worked at first, as I was in a honeymoon period, but over time that stopped working and other Type 2 diabetes medications also failed to work. This misdiagnosis was the beginning of my journey into the complex world of LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) – a slow-progressing form of diabetes, often considered a subtype of Type 1.
Before this personal encounter, my understanding of diabetes was limited. Type 2 diabetes was somewhat familiar, thanks to a family member who had it. However, Type 1 diabetes, with its essential insulin treatments and associated costs, was a distant concept. The revelation that insulin pumps were not invasive devices, but rather external, precision tools for insulin management, was eye-opening not just for me, but for my family as well.
The years following my diagnosis were a period of gradual acceptance and learning. Deciding to use an insulin pump marked a pivotal moment in my journey, profoundly improving my quality of life. The pump allowed for more flexibility in my diet and eliminated the need for multiple daily injections. It was not just a medical choice, but a step towards normalcy.
My experiences led me to dive deeper into understanding diabetes. I explored the history of the disease, the evolution of insulin, and the intricacies of body chemistry. This quest for knowledge culminated in my book, "Success with LADA Diabetes: Achieving Optimal Health with Diet, Exercise, and Insulin". My aim was to guide others who might be struggling, particularly those who, like me, were misdiagnosed.
Misdiagnosis can lead to a barrage of negative emotions – guilt, shame, frustration. It's crucial to understand that LADA is an autoimmune condition, where the pancreas is compromised, making insulin therapy essential. The misconception that lifestyle changes alone can control such a condition can lead to harmful self-blame. My advocacy now focuses on promoting correct diagnosis and understanding the nuances of LADA and Type 1 diabetes.
One of the most empowering aspects of my journey has been discovering the supportive community surrounding Type 1 diabetes. Technological advancements, like hybrid closed-loop insulin pumps, have revolutionized treatment, offering new hope and ease of management. Now I use the Medtronic Minimed 780G Insulin Pump which has advanced features like auto corrections, making my life easier.
My story underscores the importance of dispelling myths around diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, historically labeled juvenile diabetes, can indeed manifest in adulthood. It's imperative that we foster awareness, encourage proper testing, and support each other in seeking accurate diagnoses and effective treatments.
As I continue my advocacy, my message is one of hope and resilience. Living with LADA or Type 1 diabetes presents challenges, but with the right knowledge, support, and technology, it's entirely possible to lead a fulfilling, healthy life. Let's break the stigma and embrace the journey together.