Directing Diabetes is like Being a Airport Traffic Controller

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  • 4 Post By Hearts Jounrey
  • 2 Post By rsfletcher

Directing Diabetes is like Being a Airport Traffic Controller


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Old 03-28-2018, 06:53   #1
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Default Directing Diabetes is like Being a Airport Traffic Controller

The task of ensuring safe operations of commercial and private aircraft falls on air traffic controllers. They must coordinate the movements of thousands of aircraft, keep them at *safe distances from each other, direct them during takeoff and landing from airports, direct them around bad weather and ensure that traffic flows smoothly with minimal delays.

I can speak as a type 1 diabetic. The task of managing diabetes parallels an air traffic controller at a major airport in many ways. Coordinating the injection, timing, & types of insulin, consuming the appropriate meal by calculating the # of carbs to meet the insulin, accounting for stress levels, factoring in exercise, and maintaining glucose levels between 70 and 120.
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Old 03-28-2018, 14:12   #2
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The interesting thing with the air traffic analogy is it never used to be that way. Living with diabetes was so much easier when I was a kid (and much more affordable too).

From 1966 - 1987 I was on just one shot of Lente insulin (made from beef and pork) per day and as a child I would test my urine by dropping a tablet in a test tube and the urine would bubble like crazy like I was conducting a mad experiment. The only point of the test was to determine whether I was spilling sugar in my urine due to high BG levels.

From 1981 - 1987 I just stopped testing myself and continued giving myself the one shot a day.

It wasn't until I moved to a small tiny Island with a small population (140,000) that I found a doctor who got me on synthetic insulins - Long last and short lasting - and got me using a glucometer.

Then suddenly, managing diabetes went from real simple to something that was rather complicated LoL.

I sometimes wonder if there would be any difference if I stuck with the old school one shot a day. More out of curiosity than anything else as I'm not sure I would really want to find out.

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Old 03-29-2018, 01:47   #3
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Hearts Journey, are you an air traffic controller?

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Old 03-29-2018, 02:19   #4
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no. I wouldnt be permitted to be one as a type 1 diabetic.

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Old 03-29-2018, 19:47   #5
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I was an air traffic controller in the USAF back in 1979-80. We had some crazy times.

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Old 03-29-2018, 20:08   #6
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I was an air traffic controller in the USAF back in 1979-80. We had some crazy times.
I remember in 1976 i went to sign up for the Air Force but do to jaywalking ticket i didn't pay, they passed on me. I think back and had i entered Air Force, I would have been released within months as I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1977.

No military branch would accept a diabetic at that time. As for today, this appears to be a firm position of the military related to Type 1, Type 1.5 and Type 2 diabetes and generally all branches of the military feel this way about a person with diabetes serving in combat. The general consensus is that you will not be able to make it through tough periods of combat and that you will be a burden to others that are serving with you. If your diagnosed while already in the military you can submit waivers, but you may still get a no.

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Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Sept 12 1977
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8 grandmal seizures requiring paramedics + ER
Dx heart disease in 2000; triple bypass surgery
2 pancreas organ transplants 2001+2004 at Univ Minn & Univ Calif San Francisco med ctr
Dx with cancer twice 2007 & 2008, stage 2 & 3
Lost 2 transplanted pancreas; 6/2001 & 6/2015
Longtime advocate & member of diabetes & cancer support forums for 15 yrs. A1c 5.0
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Old 03-29-2018, 21:37   #7
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Originally Posted by Hearts Jounrey View Post
generally all branches of the military feel this way about a person with diabetes serving in combat. The general consensus is that you will not be able to make it through tough periods of combat and that you will be a burden to others that are serving with you.
Hmm. My dad served in World War II. Don't know if he was diabetic at the time, but he was diagnosed (insulin-dependent) for sure shortly after he was discharged. Of course, back then, I think they were more willing to overlook physical defects which would disqualify soldiers today.

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Old 03-29-2018, 22:39   #8
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Sometimes i think what it would have been like for those with diabetes after WW2. The story that comes to mind is Jackie Robinson. He entered MLB in 1947 at age 28. In 1952, Robinson was diagnosed with diabetes (most think it was type 2 ) I'm not sure how long he had diabetes before 1952). I've read where he was was prescribed insulin either at time of dx or shortly after he had retired in 1957.

He didn’t want to discuss his diabetes with anyone and never talked about what changes he had to make in order to keep playing. Some think that perhaps Robinson kept his diabetes quiet because he didn’t want people feeling sorry for him. He may also have felt shame or embarrassment or that he did not disclose his diabetes because others would have used it against him.

Robinson’s health problems began while he was still playing for the Dodgers. His knees and ankles chronically hurt, and his arm was often sore. He also struggled with his weight. After his rookie season, he went on a celebration tour through the Deep South and gained 25 pounds. His weight would fluctuate throughout his career. His biographies cite no examples of his speaking out on diabetes, but the disease hospitalized him on several occasions. His heart was failing, his sight was beginning to cloud, and his decline was irreversible. By 1969, he was still seen as a paragon of strength and courage, but his doctor could not discover a pulse in his legs. He told Rachel Robinson that her husband would be dead in two or three years.

The following year 1970, Robinson suffered two mild strokes that left him unsteady and with numbness on his left side. Blood vessels continued to rupture in his eyes. In 1971, he received experimental laser surgery, but the vision is his right eye was almost completely gone; and his left eye was badly impaired. By 1972, walking had become increasingly difficult, and his doctors knew that both legs, lacking sufficient blood supply, needed to be amputated. He died on Oct 24 1972 at age 53.

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Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Sept 12 1977
Developed Hypoglycemic Unawareness Dec 83
8 grandmal seizures requiring paramedics + ER
Dx heart disease in 2000; triple bypass surgery
2 pancreas organ transplants 2001+2004 at Univ Minn & Univ Calif San Francisco med ctr
Dx with cancer twice 2007 & 2008, stage 2 & 3
Lost 2 transplanted pancreas; 6/2001 & 6/2015
Longtime advocate & member of diabetes & cancer support forums for 15 yrs. A1c 5.0

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Old 04-01-2018, 21:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearts Jounrey View Post
Sometimes i think what it would have been like for those with diabetes after WW2.
I recently came across something quite startling, at least for this Type 1. When doing my Genealogy research I came across A Great Uncle who died of diabetes in 1946 at the age of 20. On his death certificate - cause of death - Diabetic Coma.

I later found out even though insulin was discovered prior to 1946 there was no real distribution network or large scale manufacturing of insulin. The infrastructure hadn't really been established yet so a lot of people continued to die of untreated diabetes because they were unable to get insulin even though by this time it existed.

Glad I didn;t live during those times as it would be unlikely I would have lived for long ..

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