23 years, 10 months and 9 days! That's how long I've been an “insulin only” chick with type 1 diabetes. Last week, I started taking an additional medication in the form of a statin. Alas, now at age 44 and a cholesterol of 5.7 (the recommendation is 4.5 for people with type 1 diabetes) and a LDL of 3, I'm statin a new phase of diabetes.
I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 24 years. I've gone from hypodermic needles, to refillable pens, to disposable pens, to an insulin pumps and CGM. I've used a good few different types of insulins that I can’t remember the name of.
However, I was very proud of the fact that the only medication I took all this time was insulin. The mischievous side of me always got a kick out of some healthcare professionals surprise to this. Why, Yes, insulin is the only medication I take!
Now it seems those days are gone. And while I'm not ok with getting old (see here), still. I am, oddly, ok with this new phase…. now!
When my consultant first suggested a statin I was very reluctant. At that point, we didn’t have any lab results for my cholesterol but considering my age of over 40, she said it would be a sensible preventative measure. I said I would consider it.... maybe?
As the months went by, I did some research on type 1 diabetes and heart disease. I found out that heart disease in people with type 1 diabetes doesn’t present always with symptoms like it does in people who do not have diabetes. This is good to know!
Heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications cause the death of nearly 3 out of every 4 people with type 1 diabetes, compared with just 1 in 4 people in the general population, according to a Swedish study published online September 18 2015 in medical publication; Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. OK now I"m paying attention! I'm not trying to scare people. It's just that, for me, this information is being forewarned.
And it just so happened that we had a person who had recently had a heart attackat at one of our diabetes support group meetings. Then, George at Ninjabetic US wrote about his recent heart scare. Thank you George.
Yep! Frightened the bejaysus out of me. Lots of “signs” from the universe and I wasn’t going to ignore these ones. Sometimes a little fright is what I need - but mostly fear is not a good motivator!!!! (Note: for all those who try to use it as one).
I also thought about how it’s possible that only one heart attack can take me from this world. While losing my eyesight or a limb is more likely to leave me in it. And yes, the possibility of losing my sight would bring a sadness to me that would make living difficult to cope with, BUT I would still be alive.
So, I’m totally onboard with preventing my heart attack or a stroke. I started taking Rosuva (Rosuvastatin), the generic equivalent of Crestor, last week and I’m also finding one or two remaining areas in my diet where I can trim some fat off.
So take that cholesterol!
P.S. If there is anyone who would like more information and you live in the Co. Clare area. We are having an information evening on Type 1 Diabetes & A Healthy Heart with Dr. Ray O’Connor, GP When: Tuesday 21st February at 8pm Where: The Temple Gate Hotel Ennis, Co. Clare.