Joslin Diabetes Center 50-Year Medalist
Lynn Wickwire's dLife began a month before Thanksgiving in 1944, when he was 4 1/2 years old. With a supportive mother and father, diabetes just became another part of his growing process just like brushing his teeth. A very knowledgeable doctor recommended that he attend the Elliott P. Joslin Camp for boys, a diabetes camping program run by Joslin Diabetes Center. This is where Lynn learned about tight control insulin dosages, counting calories and the importance of regular exercise. In those days, he only had two needles and when they became dull, he sharpened them, like a knife, on a stone, thus allowing them to puncture the skin without a lot of force.
A key lesson from Camp Joslin was the equation diet, exercise and insulin that a person needed to constantly balance in order to produce good control. Lynn felt that good control meant having one low blood sugar a day. What Joslin and his parents also instilled in him was the belief that he could do anything. He and his wife Barbara have traveled considerably. He has run one marathon and the Mt. Washington, NH Road Race half a dozen times a race known for its slogan, There is only one hill (it is 7.6 miles long).
Lynn and Barbara have been married since 1963 with a son and daughter and two granddaughters. They reside in Concord, MA in a barn that was featured on public televisions This Old House in 1989.
Since switching to an insulin pump in 1997, Lynn has been very pleased with the freedom and better control that it provides. He tests his blood sugar at least six times a day, continues to exercise vigorously four to five times per week, and has a rule of always testing his blood sugar before he gets in the car to drive anywhere.
Although it requires effort to control ones diabetes, Lynn realizes that it is a necessity and definitely can be done resulting in a better quality of life. Lynn has had diabetes for 60 years (2005) and is looking forward to receiving the 75-Year Medal from Joslin while continuing to lead a full, happy and active life.
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...