In­sulin pump a saviour

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Half-cen­tury award

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.

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