Profiles in Sugar Surfing - Patti Kasper

Sugar Surfer Patti Kasper has been a PWD x 51 years. Patti composed the post below to share some highlights of her journey towards Sugar Surfing. (Steve Ponder MD, CDE)

I am among a wonderful group of T1D warriors who have survived our daily battle for over 50 years, despite decades in what I call the “medical dark ages.” Home blood testing was not available until just before I went off to college as a teen. Frankly, I find it a miracle I survived the “static thinking” models of diabetes management so prevalent in my youth. I never attempted to take good control of my disease until college, when I began to see real time results of my choices.

I typically have jumped on new T1 technologies relatively soon after they become available. I have also tried to participate in T1 research whenever possible. For instance, I have been part of the EDIC study through the University of Pittsburgh since its founding and I continue to fill out follow up questionnaires and to offer myself up as a Guinea pig whenever I pass through Pittsburgh if they are doing any follow up studies. I have also had the privilege of participating in an AP trial at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. Exciting things are in our future!

But it never fails to amaze me that there remains so much ignorance and lack of training among medical professionals who seemingly don’t give diabetes much thought after completing that hour long course in med school.

I recall a bizarre encounter when a physician wanted to push cinnamon

treatments on me. I challenged him to explain how that works with

autoimmune diseases.

I think of my search for a new PCP, and his staring at my pump, exclaiming

“COOL!!!... What is it?” This was followed by me walking out

the door shortly after. LOL

I think of all the tragic deaths from misdiagnoses that would have been

understandable in the 60s when I was diagnosed but are beyond

comprehension in this day and age.

And I think of my recent stay at a major medical, world renown hospital that has a fantastic reputation for T1D. It’s why I chose to have my surgery at that facility – I wanted a vacation from D, and figured that was a safe place to take one. Boy was I wrong! None of the T1 expertise has made it from the medical floors to the surgical floors, and I had to fight tooth and nail to keep my pump and be able to use it for boluses instead of the sliding scale they were so familiar with.

They wanted to give me 8 units for a sugar in the lower 200s. I over-rode them and “compromised