About Brenda

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 18 years old. In 1973, diabetes management was in the stone ages. Blood glucose monitors had not been invented. Very few products were sugar-free. Nutrition facts on food labels were non-existent and dietitians really didn’t know how foods impacted blood sugar. Looking back, I can see that much of the treatment was ‘trial and error’.

I’ve had a wonderful life and most people don’t know I have type 1 diabetes.  I never let it slow me down. However, living with this disease is not easy. I developed retinopathy in my early 40’s. Under the steady hand of Dr. Carol Schwartz at Sunnybrook Hospital, I maintained my vision. An out of control wrist infection landed me in the ICU in a diabetic coma. Nerve conduction tests say I have pronounced neuropathy from the knees down. Yet, I have no nerve pain or foot problems. I’ve had the trigger fingers, carpal tunnel and frozen shoulders (and the scars to prove it!). Any kind of illness puts us on the blood glucose roller coaster. Summer heat can drop blood sugar to dangerous levels in short order. There are no words to describe the bad feeling of low blood sugar and most of us experience that almost every day. I can’t sleep unless I see the juice box on the night table. Then there are times when this disease just does what it wants. As my endo says ‘it has a mind of its own’ especially when we are under stress. Diabetes has weaved its way into the fabric of my life. However, it is a rare hour in the day when I am not doing something related to the disease.

The cost for a person living with diabetes is daunting. A very conservative estimate is approx. $500/mth. It is much higher for pumpers. Many don’t have medical plans and put their health at risk by using needles more than once and not testing blood glucose as often as they should. They are setting themselves up for serious complications like blindness, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. No one living with diabetes should be forced to put their life at risk because they cannot ‘afford’ this disease.

If you are not getting the Disability Tax Credit under the ‘Life Sustaining Therapy’ option or you have been declined, please contact me. A 40-year career at IBM allowed me to develop excellent business skills and to strive for excellence. This has served me well as the founder of CRM Blue Group. I am passionate about assisting other people living with T1D.  We are sharing the same experience. Please review New DTC Rules.