Monday, 5 September 2016

Being Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes At 30

My broken pancreas is now two years old.

Rewind back to 5th September 2014 and my world got turned upside down at the age of thirty. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

So now enters my new lifelong friends Novorapid and Tresiba. Along with glucose tests, visits to my consultant every six months, HBA1C tests, yearly eye and foot screenings and worst of all injections.

How did I get here?

The truth is that I didn't do anything, and eating copious amounts of sugar didn't really make my pancreas pack in which some people are led to believe.

How did it all start?

About two/three weeks prior to be diagnosed my thirst intake shot through the roof. I was peeing like a race horse, I constantly had a mouth like Ghandi's flip flops and was losing a fair bit of weight but not thinking to much about it, I just figured my body tricked itself into being thirsty all the time. Naive I know. 

The day before I got admitted to hospital I was at at my mother in-laws for dinner, and I ended up chatting to my father in-law about his type 2 diabetes and how he manages his through diet alone. After quickly mentioning a few of the symptoms I was dealing with, he was back downstairs with his glucose meter quicker than you could say "suck on a lollipop." My sugar levels were 29mmol/L, now for a 'normal' person, sugar levels should be anywhere between 4-7mmol/L. Fast forward to the morning and my father in-law once again tested me and still being extremely high he suggested I seek medical help ASAP. That morning I managed to see my GP and after testing my urine, I was shoved with admission papers and was told to go to A&E promptly.

I stayed in hospital over the weekend to get my sugar levels stabilised and learned just how poorly I truly was. Turns out my body was hours away of shutting down because my blood had become so acidic. The doctors were rather surprised at how well I was feeling and how my body actually coped for so long.

What now?

Well, since September 2014 I've been doing four/five injections of insulin a day with the odd adjustment here and there and I've done my fare share of glucose tests. Over 4380 of them to be precise. But who's counting? I've met my consultant and diabetic nurse numerous of times, completed my DAFNE course and on top of all that, I've had to deal with those dreaded hypos.

For those of you that don't know what hypos are, it's when your blood sugar level drops below 4mmol/L. When it's low like that I usually stuff my face with some jelly babies, take a couple of swigs of orange juice or have whatever else I can get my hands on that will raise it quick. Hypos are a bitch. They can come on really quickly and when I see anything below 4mmol/L on my meter I tut, and feel annoyed and sad. I then spend the next couple of minutes stressing about how it happened, how it can be avoided and with firm awareness to myself, try and not make that mistake again.

Diabetes is a lot of numbers and math that can sometimes lead to rather infuriating outcomes that can in turn, affect my long term health. However I'm extremely happy that we live in this day and age where diabetes isn't a death sentence anymore. Over these past two years I've learnt so much and I've learnt to not let my diabetes define me as a person, although it does form the foundations of how I live my life now.

But, for the moment I'm going to have my cake and eat it. Today I am happy. Here's to two great years of being T1D!