I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in my early 50’s . I was 4 stone lighter and I fully acknowledge that this was at a time when I was extremely sick, and before the words (Basel / Bolus) first landed in my earshot.
The thoughts of now being able to “eat normally” and feel ok, was the only thing in my opinion that was going to be good about this, because in my mind injecting every time I eat would certainly be no good thing.
I had already been diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease years earlier, but it was in remission. I had Graves Disease (an overactive Thyroid) which in turn led to a heart problem (SVT) or to give it its full title, Super Ventricular Tachycardia.
I had to have an AV node ablation (Surgery) to fix this and once again I felt well, for a while anyway. When I began to feel really sick again I presumed my Graves Disease was out of remission so I went for my yearly blood test earlier than scheduled.
My GP said the word Diabetes, and did a fasting blood glucose test, A bottle of lucozade and 2 hours later, the blood glucose test was repeated and the rest is history……..
Let me just say that tissues were not substantial enough for the crying I did for the following weeks, it took tea towels to mop up the flood. No, this was not depression, this was grieving hard for life as I once knew it.
On foot of all this I had no choice but to get to grips with a new lifestyle, so lots of tears and several tea towels later, I started to accept that planning, time watching, maths and food was what the rest of my life would be dominated by, ” if I wanted to live that is “……….
I was on MDI (multiple daily injections) and finger prick blood glucose tests, and I was ok with that until my fingers were losing the feeling in the tips of them. I then requested a CGM (continuos glucose meter) a medtronic Guadian and it made life just so much easier.
Now I’m using a Medtronic 640G insulin pump and CGM combined, something I thought I would never do but as my new status 4 years ago was to be Grandmother, I thought life would be easier with an insulin pump and I was right.
If I have a small tad of wisdom I’d like to share with newly diagnosed people, it would be this:
Type 1 Diabetes has no hard and fast rules, yes we have the basics, and our own person dosing amounts but every one of us are different. It’s not a matter of “do this and this is what will happen”.
You can get all the advice in the world, but unless you’re living with it, you really have no idea, so remember this when listening to advice.
The people you think will support you, don‘t always, and you can be left feeling let down and hurt. It’s not you with the problem, it’s them.
You will encounter people (family, friends & acquaintances ) who will all feel they should advise you. Remember “It‘s your Diabetes” & “It’s your Life” unless they‘re living a Diabetes life then with all due respect they know nothing, they’re just making noise.
Those who don’t want to know, simply don’t want to know” and you won’t change that so don’t waste your energy.
Make sure to mix with others who have, or care for those who have, Type 1 Diabetes, because when it comes to Diabetes, experience is very important.
Co-Founding Diabetes T One and A Diabetes Life.com gave me the ability to be in constant touch with others who had Type 1 Diabetes, in turn it gave me access to information, and experience of technology and appliances that can be used to help in the management of Type 1 Diabetes. Then I can share my experience with our community.
I have become a Diabetes Advocate for better awareness, and services for people with Type 1 Diabetes. I get to work with a community to help facilitate a better lifestyle while living with this disease.
I get to meet an awful lot of wonderful people.