Diabetes, 17 ways

It’s World Diabetes Day today! And it’s also almost exactly 17 years since I was diagnosed with type 1. I’ve reached the tipping point – I’ve now lived more of my life with diabetes than without!

Although aspects of managing this condition have become second nature to me, I’m still sometimes stopped in my tracks by the curveballs it throws. Carb counting and checking my blood sugar have become almost instinctive, but there are some realities of life with diabetes I will never get used to. Some days, I barely notice it; on others, the prospect of having diabetes forever feels utterly overwhelming.

So in honour of World Diabetes Day and my 17 years’ ‘service’, here are 17 ways you may not realise diabetes affects me, and the millions of others who live with Type 1, every day. There’s much more to it than taking a bit of insulin with your biccies!

  1. I have to check I can legally drive every time I get in the car
  2. I never leave the house without a full bag check
  3. Sleeping can be a bit scary – letting your body get on with it unchecked for a few hours can go badly
  4. My insulin demands change pretty much daily – there is no ‘normal’
  5. Stress can make my blood sugars plummet or sky-rocket. I never know which to expect
  6. I can eat cake. I’m allowed, honest!
  7. I am in awe of the technology I have access to. My insulin pump and the Libre make me feel like a cyborg, but they have been life-changing
  8. Quinoa is problematic
  9. Hypos (low blood sugar) can either pass without much impact or wipe me out for the whole day
  10. Keeping up with appointments and medical admin sometimes feels like a full-time job
  11. My consultant feels like an old friend and I look forward to seeing her 🙂
  12. Deciding on an appropriate insulin dose for a Friday night takeaway is a game of roulette!
  13. Airports make me very stressed
  14. I’m annoyed that Lucozade now contains less sugar
  15. Cheese is always the answer (toast gives you high BGs? Put some cheese on it!)
  16. Gardening and ironing always make my blood sugar drop, so they must be really good exercise
  17. Diabetes has made me more resilient, patient and hopefully, compassionate. It’s not all bad!

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