Age: 27 Year diagnosed: 2002Location: London, UK
"'Will you be OK when the show starts?' It's Fashion Week. Seconds before the lights dim and the 1st model walks the runway. (I'm not a model. HA! I'm just at work). "Won't the strobe lights affect your diabetes?" an intern asks. I smile politely through gritted teeth. "You're thinking of epilepsy pal".
When people share their tales of diabetes.. it's a nice gesture *eye roll*. But. Funnily enough, I can't relate to your Uncle Alan, who had his leg removed before going blind. He's T2. Very different to my T1 experiences- ah thankyou. I'm always quick to shout TYPE ONE before they finish the word diab-. I despise being categorised under the umbrella term 'diabetic' when people don't understand the differences within the condition, and are confused I'm not overweight & unhealthy (the way in which the media has taught them to assume). Quite the contrary. My pancreas just broke. My type is not self-inflicted.
I have it. Get on with it" is my mantra. How incredibly British of me. Many people would be shocked to learn I have T1 diabetes, as it's only close friends/colleagues that I disclose this secret part of my life to. I'm not embarrassed, and happily talk about it. I'm not saying it's easy and there aren't times I feel alone. But it certainly doesn't define me, my lifestyle, or achievements.
Weight fluctuation has been my bug bear. It fascinates me how insulin as a hormone can so instantly affect the body. Like most adolescents, I had a phase of being silly with food. But also became silly with insulin when I learnt it can cause rapid weight loss. Not something I'm proud of. The DAFNE carb/insulin ratio counting system helped me manage this, and I would recommend it to anyone struggling. ADDED BONUS: it's also made me a secret wizard at maths/biology in relation to T1 diabetes!"