By Claire Lynch
Perry Rushing was 28 years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He told his mother about the symptoms he was having – constantly thirsty, blurry vision, frequent urination, was very tired and had a massive weight loss. Perry had lost 50 lbs. in four months’ time.
He went to his doctor who said that his blood sugar level was 840. Perry was admitted to the hospital for four days while they started him on insulin shots and got him stabilized.
Now 54, Perry has been using the Medtronic 670G pump along with Novolog for almost two years. “What’s great about the pump is there’s no guessing,” Perry explains. “The amount of basal insulin dispensed adjusts according to my blood sugar levels and I am happy about that. Now my A1C averages 6.5.”
Perry has been married to Karen who’s a nurse and before using the pump he says that on more than one occasion she saved his life because of his low blood sugar episodes. “That hasn’t happened recently because of the advanced technology,” he adds.
“For new diabetics, I suggest you get a pump if you can, learn how to count carbohydrates, don’t drink alcohol and avoid processed sugar. Avoiding sweets such as cakes, pies or candy is strongly suggested. Doing these things is pretty simple but it took a wakeup call and a change in mindset for me to want to do them. Living a healthy life was critically important to me.”
Perry, a lifelong Texan, works full-time as a forester. He and Karen have a daughter and on weekends on vacations they enjoy maintaining their home and going to the beach.
Perry also likes fishing and following the local high school sports teams.
He says, “When my doctor told me that I was Type 1 I was shocked even though my mother was Type 1 for many years. You can’t take time to feel sorry for yourself with this disease. It also is so helpful when other diabetics support each other. The main thing is to just get on with living. There’s joy to be found every day.”