Diabetes and Me

I’ve talked around the issue of me being a diabetic, and I thought I would share a little more with you all. Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). (Wikipedia)

I was diagnosed as being diabetic in the November I turned seventeen. I was drinking a lot of water and losing a lot of weight (which I thought was great, but looking back I looked in desperate need of a sandwich and a full fat coke!) and my Dad said that I may need to visit the doctor. I went and when my results were returned I had to go straight to the hospital. Unfortunately they didn’t have a bed for me so I spent the night on a casualty ward on a Friday night. You can imagine the horror; drunken people throwing up and people shouting; I was terrified and from then on insisted my dad took me home and brought me back to the hospital twice a day for shots.

It was a bit much to take in to be honest. Suddenly everything I put in my body was a danger; shop bought sauces could be hiding the little poison granules and my love, full fat coke, was banned for life. Sugar in liquid is the quickest way that sugar can hit your blood stream, so bye bye brown bubbles.

I went a bit weird. I would only eat at home, when I knew what went into the food. Having never been fussy, it was a bit odd; eating at other people’s houses and in restaurants was too much for me. It took me about six months to get used to it and it didn’t help that in the December we went on a road trip to the clothes show. I had to take a shot on the bus and a girl made a big fuss about how horrible it was. It made me really self conscious, and as a result I became nervous about injecting in public.

A few months later my first boyfriend and I were in a garden centre and I took a shot before eating; an old lady on the table beside me started tutting and talking about youngsters and drug abuse. I had to drag him out because he was threatening to cause a scene, so annoyed was he about peoples attitudes. This caused me to be more nervous about injecting in public, and as a result I became shockingly bad about remembering; I thought I would do it later in private, and then forgot.

Luckily, I have embraced it a little more now as part of my life; I was angry and sad that I had become different to everyone else and I just used to eat the same as my friends and then inject more. I know now I need to be more in control of my body or I will suffer later in life; I eat better and I try to avoid sugary things. Its super hard though. If you think about it and start looking at the sugar content in things that you don’t even imagine to be bad, you will be shocked. I can only have one type of muesli in the supermarket, I have to be careful with yoghurts, and takeaways are dicing with my levels, especially my favourite... Chinese.

However angry I used to be, I don’t let it rule me. I need to be more careful; if someone gives me a cocktail I need to make simple checks like is it sugar free lemonade? But im not going to be a food avoider. Is it Laura friendly? I frankly don’t care. Im not going to limit myself, I just have to be a little more careful than your average twenty something year old woman.

Im just me.... with enhancements.

People don’t understand diabetes and it really annoys me. no, im not being punished because I ate badly as a child. Im not obese and I don’t avoid exercise. Its not in my family, I am just simply unlucky. But im also blessed; it was caught within three weeks of my pancreas packing up and therefore I am fairly well, (touch wood) I currently suffer no complications or secondary problems and my health is my wealth. There are two levels; if my blood sugar goes low I have a hypo; I shake, I get the sweats and I make no sense. I once grilled a pizza in this state and nearly set fire to the kitchen. This is the level where people always say “I know, you’re diabetic. You need a mars bar!”The opposite, and the more damaging is the high sugar. This is when I end up in hospital; the sugar in my blood becomes acidic and life threatening. In this state I have to drink lots of water and be rigged to two drips, one insulin and one liquid to rehydrate my poorly body and balance my sugar levels.

Sorry for such a long post, I hope its been thought provoking and interesting as a bit of an insight!!