Well where to start…
I was Dx at the end of October 1983.
I never realised I was different until school, using the 2 injections a day 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening before tea.
I also clearly remember having the first injection in my arm, not sure why, maybe site rotation dunno but it was traumatic because it hurt, and my mum cried because I did and my dad looked terribly sad.
There were moments throughout my childhood like that, like at a pantomime when I was offered a sweet on stage having been invited up and I turned around and shouted to mummy "can I have one mummy?’ ha ha precious eh?. I was at the Stoke Manderville specialist centre in Oxford with Dr Abbot and Dr Brown lovely men, and then when we moved away and I met Dr Baumer. IMHO one of the greatest paediatric diabetologists ever! In fact I stayed in his care until I was 17 nearly 18 as he was concerned that I was depressed after having been so ill with pneumonia at 15. But as I graduated to adultcare, all support disappeared, I felt let down and useless after my first appointment and it didn’t improve.
Ahhhh the teens what a joy!! Hormones, girly hormones, exams, pneumonia, exams, self-consciousness, self-image, oh the list goes on, I was so tall too and quite ‘developed’ just to add that into the mix, and all the while the big D was impacting on all of it gradually wearing me away. I used to lie in my result book about bgs i hadn’t done, or improved the result because it was ‘bad’ and I thought I might be told off or disappoint… that sounds wierd, I was ashamed.
I felt like a failure especially after the pneumonia, I don’t know why, but I did know my body kept failing me.
At 18 I just fell through the gap completely. I could rant for hours at the years of being pushed from registrar to registrar, I didn’t even see the specialist (who wasn’t very special), the hellish depression, the miscarriages, blamed directly by my DSN on me, I missed 1 appt due to being in hospital losing my baby and they knocked me off the register completely.
So an already high risk 20 year old got abandoned (I struggled to get an appointment for 3 years). In that time I was dosed up on anti depressants, I did see a psychologist who was great, but left abruptly and was never replaced, it was all beyond me, I couldn’t cope and I didn’t know what to do, I was angry and sad and felt I wasn’t worth anything, I drank, I smoked I developed funny(er) habits with food and I harmed myself. My partner at the time wore me away too.
Then I met a new man and though I was still depressed, he effected a change in me, I wanted a family with him and knew I needed to be well and in control. It helped that unbeknown to me he was a T1 too (funny eh?) A mule like stubbornness came over to me to make them help me and I wanted to get better. Though I pushed and pushed for more appointments they repeatedly let me down and I faltered I almost went back to that mindset of I am worthless But I changed my Dr and went from 0 - 100 at the first meeting.
He diagnosed me with PCOS which is one of the fertility issues I have, and basically gave me permission not to have a perfect A1c, explained alot to me, and didn’t make me feel like I was giving a report card full of 'f’s to my parents.
It’s gone from strength to strength really, despite the potential of bad news. And I freely admit I am lucky all things considered, that my complications are few after having this condition for 26 years this October.
They planted the seed of thought in my head about a pump. TBH it frightened me, and I wasn’t emotionally ready, I wasn’t sure I wanted to give my self a reminder attached to me al the time, I likened it to giving yourself an unsightly scar on your arm or face deliberately, thats how it felt in my head. But I eventually bit the bullet it’s a lengthy process in the area I’m in, though it’s provided on the NHS, you have to prove a commitment and sign contract, and go to carb-counting courses specifically designed for pumps it too 9 months in all and I have been pumping for 3 months and it would break my heart if I had to go back, but I don’t think that will happen now as I have gradually dropped my A1c to 8.7 from 9.8 over the last 3 months.
Here’s to the future, surely it has to get better