michael burke

Battling the Complications: An Interview with Diabetes Patient Michael Burke (Part II)

Last week, in Part I of this interview, PatientsLikeMe member and blogger Michael Burke shared his sister Linda’s struggle with type 1 diabetes.  Today, we learn about his own type 1 diabetes journey, including his June 2011 kidney transplant as a result of diabetes-induced kidney failure. 1.  What diabetes complications have you faced? Diabetes is a disease that appears to be misunderstood by most people, in that the consequences of the disease can lead to many different complications.  As I mentioned earlier, both Linda and I suffered from diabetic retinopathy…essentially, you can go blind from diabetes.  Another complication is nephropathy, or kidney disease.  For me, this led to kidney failure and the eventual need for a kidney transplant this past June. Heart disease is another major complication.  Personally, I never knew that I had any heart disease until one day my primary care physician sent me for a routine stress test.  During the stress test, the cardiologist felt it necessary to immediately admit me to the hospital and do a cardiac catheterization the next morning.  When he did, he found two blockages in my right coronary artery – one was a 90% blockage and the other was an 85% blockage.  …

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Remembering My Sister Linda: An Interview with Diabetes Patient Michael Burke (Part I)

As we’ve discussed in recent blog posts, November is American Diabetes Month.  To help you learn about diabetes from a patient’s point of view, we interviewed Michael Burke, a PatientsLikeMe member who writes “Life on the T List”, a blog about his life as a diabetic before and after a kidney transplant. But as you’ll soon see, Michael’s life as a diabetic was first influenced by that of another diabetic – his older sister Linda. (He himself was not diagnosed until he was a teenager, more than 10 years after Linda’s diagnosis.)  Below is Michael’s chronicle of her lifelong struggle with type 1 diabetes, and next week we’ll share his own journey, including his June 2011 kidney transplant. Don’t miss this moving story of a family profoundly affected by diabetes. Tell us about your older sister Linda. Where do I begin?  Linda was someone who I looked up to my whole life when we were growing up, and even though she is no longer here, I still look up to her.  Linda was diagnosed with [type 1] diabetes when she was six years old, which made me three when she was diagnosed.  So, to say that I grew up with diabetes …

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