I had started in secondary school in September 1989. There were lots of adjustments; changes with my body, family issues, bereavement to name but a few.

Christmas came and went. The next holiday was Easter. This is were I noticed a big change in my body. April 1990, I had taken a very keen interest in home baking. It was almost an obsession. I was craving a lot of sugar. I couldn’t get any satisfaction and kept going. I was drinking water like it was going out of fashion, again a thirst I couldn’t quench. I felt my body was becoming addicted, nobody knew what was happening or pin point the symptoms.

Easter passed and there is a photo of me with my family about to dig in to a homemade Black Forest Gateaux which my mum had baked. I was painfully thin, pale and looked unwell but still had no idea what was happening.
On the Tuesday after the Bank Holiday I felt VERY unwell. I was bed bound for a week. The family GP tried her best to stop the sickness and replenish fluids before I became very dehydrated. I wasn’t getting any better. The weekend was approaching and I was getting weaker and weaker as the hours passed. Of course my whole family were fraught with worry.

The Saturday after the Easter it got to the stage I was too weak to sit up to drink anything. Even water wasn’t staying down. We didn’t have a car at the time, so my mum called a cousin whom lived nearby to bring me to A&E. I was in a state of being semi-comatose.

The doctor on duty saw me. She was clearly over worked. She checked me and diagnosed me with glandular fever. She gave gave my Mum sachets to give my body the electrolytes I had lost. She also gave other her more advise to help me on the road to recovery.

I was still very frail as I was wheeled back out to my cousins car to be brought home.

The next day I had become unresponsive. I was rushed to the same A&E and the doctor I saw was still on duty. The consultant was urgently called and took my case. It was then he asked if there were diabetes in my family. There were two other members in my extended family whom were diagnosed (one only 3 weeks before I was diagnosed). He took bloods and checked my levels. I had a record Blood Sugar of 87.5mmol. With this staggering level the consultant sent my to ICU. I was put on 2 I.V. drips of  fluids and regular high dosage of insulin injections. He told my family he would give me 6 hours for my levels to drop to 42mmol. Unbekonwnst to everything that was happening to me, it was a crucial time of my body to respond to the treatment.

While lots of blood test were taken my levels successfully dropped but I was still in a coma.

Three days later I awoke. My levels were so high they didn’t know if there was any damage to my organs. I couldn’t speak for a day but my motor skills were fine. I got the full check and everything was in full working order. My speech returned the day after I woke up from the coma and the new lifestyle began for rest of my life.

The transition wasn’t easy at first but I embraced it and moved forwards knowing this was the only way of life for my survival. My levels are always tight and I’m forever thankful for the help, support, guidance and understanding of my Diabetic team on my 6 monthly visits.


Thanks to Emma for sharing her story, who is another wonderful Twitter friend on @yoga_with_emma 

Diabetes Stories Competition

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 . 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

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