Talking Type 1: Kevin Kane

By American Diabetes Association

Think type 1 diabetes is just for kids? Think again.

Because it was thought to only strike children and teens, type 1 was known as juvenile diabetes for a long time. The truth is a growing number of adults are being diagnosed with it in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.

All week long, we will present stories from adults who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, describing the emotions and frustrations that came with their experiences. Each person defines success in different ways, but they all celebrate the triumphs that have helped them reach their goal of living well with diabetes.

Kevin after his diagnosis

Name: Kevin Kane
Age: 49 (diagnosed at 49)
Location: Sun Prairie, Wis.

I was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes Aug. 1, 2014, at age 49.

This all started in March 2014. At first I fooled myself into thinking I lost weight from eating better and drinking more water. But then I really wasn’t eating well and I kept losing weight. I was drinking a gallon of water a day but still constantly thirsty; my dry mouth was so bad I sometimes had a hard time speaking. I was getting up to urinate every 60 to 90 minutes at night. I had leg cramps at night and became horribly fatigued.

I’m not one to see a doctor, so it had to get bad before I would make an appointment. I visited my primary doctor and had blood and urine testing done. Later that afternoon, Dr. Segal called to say I should probably go to the emergency room at University of Wisconsin Hospital right away.

As it turned out, my blood glucose was 613mg/dL and my A1C was 15.6 percent. On top of that, I found out my cholesterol was 269mg/dL.

I assumed it was type 2 diabetes, because of my age. My father was diagnosed with it in his 60s, though it was thought to be connected to his long-term alcoholism. Then there was a great uncle with diabetes, but nobody knows what type, and I only learned about that after I was diagnosed. So not much family history.

But all the medical staff—Dr. Segal, the ER doctor, Laurie the diabetes specialist—thought it was more likely to be type 1 diabetes. Coincidentally, my wife and daughter were with our pediatrician that day and upon hearing the story, she immediately bet it was type 1.

In many ways being diagnosed with diabetes has been a blessing in disguise. I’m healthier than I have been in decades. The diagnosis scared me but I really tried to focus on what I could control—that’s my advice to anyone facing this.

I have always struggled with controlling my food choices and portions. Now, I am aware of proper portions and carbohydrate amounts (45-60g/meal), watching calories and eating more vegetables and proteins.

Immediately, my wife started researching recipes and helped me look for low-carb foods for meals, snacks and in restaurants. She was an incredible source of support! I am a Realtor, so my schedule changes daily. Knowing what foods to keep around the house, pack for lunch and sometimes order at restaurants is important.

Kevin crosses the finish line at a Turkey Trot with his daughter Sydney

Kevin crosses the finish line at a Turkey Trot with his daughter Sydney

Hearing that consistent exercise would be a big key in managing diabetes pushed me to start working out like I had “talked about” doing forever. My wife and I joined a gym together; we get up at 5 a.m., 4 or 5 days a week, to run and lift weights. I had been a runner in my youth but hadn’t laced up in 11 years.

On Nov. 2, just three months after my diagnosis, I did a 5-mile race with my 19-year-old daughter Sydney! A very “Proud Papa” moment!

I expect there will be many new challenges in my future. I have fantastic support and education from my medical team. I really try to do exactly what they tell me about carb intake, exercise, testing my blood glucose and taking my insulin as prescribed. I’m on Humalog and Lantus insulin shots but feeling great.

I just had my four-month follow-up labs. My A1C is down to 6.1 and my cholesterol is 121!


Chief Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah

About Chief Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah

About Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah C.B. Helping Hands Ministries Founder/Overseer / Business owner / Nurse, Friend, Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah, a small town country girl with a big heart. That big heart didn’t go unnoticed by God. At age 8; Apostle Shelia made the most important decision of her life. She decided to follow Christ. It wasn’t long before she heard the calling of God upon her life to reach the lost at any cost. To touch lives, one person at a time. By age 15 she was actively ministering to many in her community. From the young to the elderly, and even the dying; she has made it a priority to care for the souls of those in need. Today Apostle Shelia leads the C.B. Helping Hands Ministries team on a greater call. A call to reach the lost not just in our community but also around the world. C.B. Helping Hands Ministries and Apostle Shelia have become the vessel that God is using to bridge the gap between generations and touch the hearts of a lost, and dying world. Daily she ministers to the homeless, battered women, suicidal people and at risk youth among others. As a John Maxwell certified coach, and speaker she travels the world adding value to others. She is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and helping others see their true potential. With a never quit attitude and unwavering faith, she has been able to build C.B. Helping Hands Ministries and testify of God’s provisions and unfailing love. Making sure to always give God the honor and praise. She motivates young adults like none other. She has become a renown inspirational speaker like none other. She is real, she is alive, she is on fire and excited about transforming, and adding value to others.. She is new, real, and a breath of fresh air. Called, and anointed for such a time as this.
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