Jim Turner's Mail Bag
Jim's Mail Bag
Q: Hello Jim:
First off let me start off by saying I love you aw an actor and was shocked to find out you had diabetes and have had it for over 30 years. I was just wondering after having the disease for so long, do you have any major complications? Thanks – Donyue
A: Well, thank you Donyue.
Yes, I've had type 1 diabetes for 36 years, 8 months and 3 days, but who's counting? And I've been very lucky to have NO long-term complications. My eyesight hasn't changed in 15 years. I show no signs of glaucoma, or any eye damage, no neuropathy in my feet, no kidney damage, nothing really.
But I have to say I am a VERY proactive person when it comes to my diabetes. I exercise several times a week. I've found things that keep my interest. That's important when it comes to exercise. If you get bored doing stuff, you just won't do it. I play basketball and golf. I love both. I test CONSTANTLY – about 10 times a day, more if something feels off.
And I do whatever I can to keep my blood sugars as close to the normal range as I can. Most days I go up and down but if I'm up I do whatever I can to bring it down. The biggest danger I face is from low blood sugar. That's something I deal with every day. And not anything I enjoy. But who does?
Thanks for writing.
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Occasionally my mailbox or follow-the-link browsing will come up with something discussing whether (and if so, when) to ease the restrictions on treatment goals when the patient is elderly, arguing either to favor a higher quality of remaining life (lifestyle choices less limited by chronic illness) or to take into consideration geriatric cognitive decline (aka "senility") and simplify, as much as possible, the regimen. While the goal of medicine is, obviously, not to...