“My diabetes story began when I was 13. I was only a few months into first year in a new school. But my symptoms had been ongoing for a long time. Severe fatigue, constant thirst, headaches and always having to go to the bathroom! But the high blood sugars pushed me over the edge. I had panic attacks, depression and mood swings. I was seeing a psychologist and had been to my doctor many times with my symptoms, but because I have a history of mental health issues in my family that’s all they saw. This went on for roughly a year and a half; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t suicidal at one time or another.
I became alienated from my friends, my family resented me for the constant panic attacks and sudden mood swings. In the back of my mind the thought that I had diabetes was there as I remembered reading the symptoms before. I asked to be tested one night at south doc but my bloods came back normal as I was going through the ‘honeymoon period’.
Over time I got worse and worse, until one morning I had such a severe headache my mother brought me to the doctor and I asked to be checked again. At the time the finger pricker seemed so daunting which i laugh at now! The doctor’s eyes widened when he saw the number on the glucometer 33.3mmol. He said that I definitely have it, but made me do a urine test to be sure. I started bawling my eyes out, I heard diabetes, I didn’t fully understand it but the fact that it’s called DIE-abetes added to the fear.
I was brought to CUH and immediately brought into A&E and had blood taken, I remember a male nurse struggling to find a vein as I was so dehydrated. I was given a bed in the children’s ward and went through question after question but I can honestly say the diabetes nurses are amazing, especially Norma. I spent five days in the hospital and by the end of it I felt more and more confident about it.
I’m 16 now and of course it hasn’hasn’t all been plain sailing, especially with some people’s ignorance such as “Oh you’re diabetic, but you’re not even that fat?” or the horror stories of their mothers, brothers, sisters, cousin! The strange looks when you check your blood sugar in public or a needle or insulin pen falls out of your bag. Over time I realised just to ignore it, because they are uneducated and truthfully before I was diagnosed I probably would be one of those people!”
By Anonymous, 16 years of age
Another very honest account of living with Type 1 Diabetes as a teenager.
Everyone has a story to tell and we would like to hear yours!!! Tell us your story of diabetes, the challenges you have had to overcome, the good days, the bad days, we want to hear it all! We want to hear the inside, day to day real stories from real people living with diabetes so as to help, support and inspire others out there who maybe feeling alone and isolated with their diabetes.
You don’t even have to have diabetes!! Maybe you are a family member, friend, carer, health care professional….let your voice also be heard. Maybe you have been inspired by someone with diabetes and would like to acknowledge them.
Stories must be between minimum 500-1000 words maximum. All stories will be published on both the Helena Farrell Consultancy website and its sister site www.diabetesinsight.ie . The story with the most likes/shares on our Facebook page (Diabetes Insight) and retweets/favorites on our Twitter account (HelenaFarrell77) will win a 100 euro voucher (One4All or iTunes). The ideal present in the lead up to Christmas as the winner will be announced on December 18th 2013.
All stories can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org