Living Without a Pancreas Is No Walk In The Park

I’ve been living without a Pancreas for 27 years now and let me tell you what a challenge it has been. I am known as a Type 3C Diabetic. I had a condition that attacked my  Pancreas and it ended up being surgically removed.

I was born with a super rare condition called Nesidioblastosis , which caused my Pancreas to overproduce insulin. I was having severe hypoglycemia at birth.  The doctors decided to first take out half of my Pancreas, but my body came back with a vengeance. They then decided to do a  beta cell transplant, which failed after 3 days. After the failed transplant, they went on to take out the remainder of the Pancreas. I was put on insulin and a digestive enzyme now called CREON, which helps with the other functions of the Pancreas. This was the start of my Diabetic journey.

Living without such an important organ has had its set of challenges. Since birth, I’ve been learning how to manage my Diabetes. In addition, learning how to eat without one has been an interesting journey. Since the Pancreas helps with digestion, I have to take enzymes pretty much anytime I eat, there are some exceptions though.  As amazing as these pills are, they still aren’t perfect. I feel like I struggle with digestion issues more often than my blood sugars at times. There are so many different items that trigger nausea, cramping, and a hard bloated stomach. I have had to miss life events because the pain was so intolerable from eating something “bad”.

I hope one day there is more awareness of Type 3C Diabetes. I’ve had people argue with me that it is impossible to live without a Pancreas.  My high school biology teacher told me in front of the whole class, that I was wrong, and there is no way I would be alive without one. I’ve had to switch medical providers because they didn’t fully understand my condition. I even had a GI doctor tell me that I didn’t need the enzymes. I ended up switching doctors because a month without my CREON caused the worst pain ever.

There is a silver lining to all this. My life changed once I joined the Diabetes Instagram community. I met so many Diabetics from all over the world. I  got the opportunity to learn about different Diabetic types such as, MODY & LADA. It was then, where I was able to meet others Type 3 C’s!! I was amazed by every single one of their stories.I never thought I’d meet others like me. We all have different diagnosis stories, but we all share common struggles of having our Pancreas removed.

I found strength, community, and a sense of belonging to an online Diabetes community. It really has been such a positive life change, being able to find others who can relate. Having Diabuddies is such a blessing, because it makes living with Diabetes suck a little less.

Maya Ramirez
I have been Diabetic for 27 years now and living in the Sacramento ,CA area. I received my pump on my 10th birthday. I was on injections for all those years prior. I have always lived a very active lifestyle. I was on sports teams since the age of 5 and was on my college cheer team. I’ve never let Diabetes hold me back ,from pursuing my goals. My passion is to raise more awarness of Diabetes and especially those of Type3C

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