Insulin pump a saviour
Earlier this year, MaryAnna’s diabetes nurse told her about the Novo Nordisk half-century award. Novo Nordisk is the world leader in insulin production and distribution and diabetes care. The award recognizes Canadians who have been on insulin for more than 50 years.
MaryAnna wondered if she even wanted this award, telling herself, “ What about people who’ve survived other things?”
Long story short, her nurse set the wheels in motion and, on Aug. 12, MaryAnna went to a medical clinic in St. John’s and was presented with the award. The ceremony was beyond her fondest dreams. Her nurses were there. Her family doctor had even closed his clinic to be present. The province’s Novo Nordisk representative was also in attendance.
“I felt so overwhelmed that I was being recognized for something I went through,” MaryAnna says. “Personally, I didn’t feel it was that big of a deal, but they thought it was a big deal.”
Again, the tears flow as she recalls that special moment: “I thought about my Mom and Dad, who would have been so proud of me getting this award.”
The framed print MaryAnna received at the ceremony is the Banting House Museum in London, Ont. Frederick G. Banting (1891-1941) was one of the main discoverers of insulin.
A death sentence?
Don’t tell MaryAnna diabetes is a death sentence. Nothing could be further from the truth, she retorts. The watchword is “moderation in all things,” she says.
“It has to be controlled. You always got to remember that you’re the one in control. Don’t think you carry the burden alone, because you’re not.
“Remember you’re going to have bad days, but don’t let the bad days get you down, because tomorrow is going to be a perfect day.”
Because she was a child diabetic, she has a soft spot in her heart for other children with the disease.
“I’d like to say to all the children that ... no matter what happens in your day, never get discouraged,” she says. “Never let this bring you down. It’s work, but the benefits are tremendous.”
• More than 9 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes;
• Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin;
• Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced;
• Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy;
• If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in heart, kidney and eye disease; impotence and nerve damage;
• Signs and symptoms include unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight change, extreme fatigue or lack of energy, blurred vision, frequent or recurring infections, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and trouble getting or maintaining an erection;
• Diabetes is treated by education, physical activity, nutrition, weight management, medication, lifestyle management and blood pressur.