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A day in the life of a teenage type 1 diabetic

courtneywilson August 22, 2018
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Hi there, now this is probably going to be really long and you might not want to read it but I an almost guarantee it will be something that will interest people all over the place.

Ive been a type 1 diabetic now for 11 years, diagnosed at 6 and currently 18. And I must say its been rough. I feel like diabetes is something that can be brushed under the carpet. Quite a few people who know im a diabetic have said to me “oh its not that hard” or “it isn’t that bad”… well, they are wrong. At the age of 6, giving yourself injections is probably something you don’t want to do, myself? ive never had a problem with needles, I was that kind of kid who thought they were cool. My mam on the other hand? terrified. With her being a single parent it must have not only been hard for me, but for her aswell. So I took the lead, I decided that independence was key at that moment, I learned to inject myself and give myself the right amount of insulin and how to carbohydrate count and everything. I often see other diabetics who have been diagnosed at ages such as 3 and 4 and it just kinda fills me with joy to see them react so calmly towards it. . Unfortunately for me, this diabetes hasn’t really been an easy journey.

When I started to get older ( typical teenager) I decided to reject my diabetes, I often thought to myself, why should I have to look after it if I didn’t ask for it. Being thrown in therapy was something I hated, I didn’t want help I wanted to achieve it on my own but I just couldn’t do it, going to therapy definitely opened my eyes about it, my therapist gave me a reason, a reason to fight it even though complications were happening he made it feel like it was okay, so its definitely something id do again if I slipped up. im well aware that there are people out there who are a lot worse off than I am however I just went through many bumps in the road with my diabetes which is something I will always regret because at 18 im already starting with complications because I was stupid and I stopped caring. I didn’t test my blood sugars or give myself insulin for 6/8 days at a time, I stopped changing my cannulas, I didn’t help my high blood sugars, and quite frankly I didn’t care. I developed retinopathy in both of my eyes. This is the burst blood vessels in the backs of your eyes mainly caused by bad diabetes control. And now im on tablets, probably for the rest of my life because I have a leak in my kidneys, they leak protein. My HBA1C levels should be around 45 however mine is currently 104 (in the danger zone) yet I felt so alone, like nobody understood what it felt like to have to prick my finger everyday. change cannulas, take tablets all the time, check insulin levels and change basal rates. I just thought why me? what did I do to make me have to deal with this.

At 15, I experienced something that scared me so much, I got food poisoning, (id say what from but it makes me feel ill thinking about it haha ) because I was vomiting so much, I couldn’t keep down any water to help my high blood sugars and I couldn’t keep down any sugary drinks for my low blood sugars either, I ended up with ketones which soon developed into ketoacidosis. I had to be rushed to hospital at midnight and kept on 2 drips, heart monitors, I had to have my bloods checked every half hour, the doctor came in and told my mam I was going into hypovolemic shock and my organs were beginning to shut down. It was basically fight for my life, or I die.

Luckily, im on the up now, there will be more type 1 diabetics who will also have complications with bad diabetes control, I just think its so important to look after it, it seems easy but it isn’t and your not alone, im the same, stress knocks my diabetes out the window but its important to pick yourself up, if I don’t look after this retinopathy I lose my sight, if I don’t look after my diabetes I can lose control of my kidneys, lose my limbs and I don’t want that, I don’t think anyone does

I just thought it could be nice to share my story incase anyone else feels the same way, like they want to give in, or they are going through a rough patch with diabetes control, it is something that must be looked after because these complications can be life threatening. There is no cure for diabetes yet, but that doesn’t mean we have to give in trying. If we do only get one life then we cant waste it on bad health, there are always ways to be helped, no matter how bad it seems 🙂


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  1. James Warren August 23, 2018

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! We appreciate you opening up and letting others understand they’re not alone in this journey.


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