“A great way to sum up my disease that is type 1 diabetes……”It’s difficult. It’s upsetting. It’s life-threatening. It never goes away”.

We have this disease hanging over us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Absolutely everything effects it which can be very hard to cope with. We can’t relax about food, taking our blood sugars, injecting insulin…too much, too little and then there is stress, illness or exercise and the list goes on!!

I remember when I was first diagnosed on the 2nd of April 2012, my life changed forever…not all bad though. My initial reaction was shock and denial, I couldn’t believe me a healthy, fit 21 year old was diabetic!! Only unfit, overweight or the elderly get this disease so how can I have it!? Well I’m different to those diabetics I’m type 1 and it’s in my genetics that I was born with this disease. My body has has turned on my insulin producing cells and destroyed them so I’m now insulin dependant for LIFE!! It’s also important to know that insulin doesn’t cure me, it just keeps me alive.

I’ve recently done a course called DAFNE which specialises in matching carbohydrates and insulin. I can only describe the course as amazing and can honestly say it’s changed my life for the better. I’ve now gained control over my disease instead of it controlling me. I’m not 100% certain on my facts but there are around 8000 type 1’s in and only 48 people this year including myself with be a DAFNE graduate(not sure if this is just Beaumont alone). This in my opinion is an absolute disgrace. I now look back now on my diabetes before DAFNE and wonder how I got by because it was all guesswork and there was no concrete method behind my insulin giving. If there’s one thing that doesn’t go well with diabetes it’s guesswork, it could easily have serious repercussions. I now can sleep sound at night now my blood sugar levels will stay steady or can have that bar of chocolate and be able to cover it with an injection to not cause a harmful blood sugar spike. Things like exercise and alcohol are covered in depth which so I can now safely manage my insulin doses in relation to certain situations. I’m now 100% more confident and comfortable as a diabetic and looking forward to my future with it.

So FEAR was/is a big word for me when it comes to diabetes, I’m really scared of it. If you don’t control diabetes it will seriously damage you…blindness, kidney failure, loss of limbs, a coma or death. As I was saying earlier I can now sleep easy knowing my blood sugar levels will remain steady. Prior to DAFNE I had some of the worst nights of my life. I use to run the risk of going hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar for the people who haven’t heard of it which can be very dangerous and in rare cases be fatal) during the night when asleep. Any diabetic will have this fear and when it happens it’s a horrible feeling. I will never forget one of my night time hypo’s,  I was actually lucky to wake to it so I could treat it with some quick acting glucose…..but I didn’t I rolled over and when back to sleep, I might as well of gone out and played Russian roulette that night!!! It’s took me about 2 days to fully recover from that hypo and is something I will never ever even contemplate doing again….it still scares me to this day!! Type1 can be very hard and have a detrimental   effect on the brain and it’s no wonder why diabetes and depression run side by side. Luckily for me when I’m feeling down about my disease which I do a lot I can pick myself up very quickly with the help of family and friends too very quickly.

On a more positive note I use that fear a fuel to succeed with my life and diabetes, I don’t want to these thing to happen to me so I control it very well and give it the time and effort it demands. Their are big positives I’ve taken out of my life as a diabetic. I’m now as fit and healthy as I’ve ever been and continuing to improve on that week by week. For the rest of my life I will always have regular health checks so providing my diabetes is well managed I’ll be healthier than the general population and live a long and healthy life. Diabetes never gives me a break so it always keeps me grounded as a person and make me aspire to keep improving my knowledge and control of it. My sport has improved thanks to diabetes which was and always will be a massive part of my life. In fact I sometimes in a roundabout way I see being type1 as a good thing that happened to me although I wouldn’t hesitate in getting the choice not to have it.

Every day I’ll be racing for a cure and doing my bit for type1″

Submitted by Conor, Dublin, living with Type 1 Diabetes. Find him on Twitter @Flasher19

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 hfarrell77@gmail.com



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