Ten years ago, at the age of twenty-eight, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) without any family history of the disease. At that time, I worked for the Worcester Tornadoes baseball team where I was the “crazy guy” who had had all the energy in the world running around the stadium throwing t-shirts into the stands and emceeing the pie eating contest. It wasn’t until later in the summer of 2008 that I noticed a progression of changes. I was dying of thirst and needed a drink every fifteen minutes, but still constantly dehydrated resulting in severe cramps in my calf muscles. It wasn’t until Columbus Day weekend when I went to finish mowing my lawn that I noticed something was wrong. I had lost 25 pounds up until this point, and wasn’t able to even push my lawn mower due to lack of energy. Following this I went to a free clinic where I was immediately sent to the hospital being diagnosed with T1D with a blood sugar level of 760. This was described to me as an extreme case since a healthy blood sugar is between the levels of 80-120.
Ever since then I have had to learn how to manage and live with this disease. This disease is mentally draining, as it requires maintenance at all hours of the day. Counting carbs, managing five or six different prescriptions, remembering to pack those trusty glucose tablets…that’s our lives.
To this day, I have not let T1D stand in my way. I work for a baseball team, the Worcester Bravehearts, as the General Manager. When we go out on the field every day, it is our job to win. Personally, that is the same exact approach I take at my life with T1D. When waking up every morning, I have to win, I have to beat diabetes. It’s all about remaining on top with a steady balance. Ask me anything and I will surely tell you how my insulin pump and CGM are critical to remaining on top of my health as I give my Fitbit a run for the money after a day full of running around and managing the stadium. It’s tough now that food has a big impact on my life, and it is imperative to keeping my energy and health in check. Here’s a short take on balancing my diet while dealing with T1D at the ballpark: https://massfoodies.com/a-quick-bite-with/dave-peterson/.
It starts right here in this fine city, in this fine state, in the fine region where we some of the greatest researchers in the entire world are working on curing this disease.