Diabetes... 6 months on.
What does diabetes look like? Its people who eat loads of sugar and loads of takeaways and are genuinely just unhealthy isn’t it? No way, diabetes looks like me, your neighbour, your 4-year-old niece. Diabetes affects anyone, of any shape, of any race, of any size, diabetes doesn’t discriminate. God it has taken me a long time to start saying that and accepting it! Diabetes looks like me, you anyone really.
I wanted to talk a little bit about my journey with Type 1 diabetes, I was diagnosed in July 2020 yes in the height of a global pandemic where I spent most of my hospital visit on intensive care with a femoral line in my groin, my own nurse, and lots and lots of tissues and tears!! Type 1 diabetes is quite different to Type 2, I can control my diet, but I still need insulin, to help with how my body and my non-working pancreas deal with the sugar levels in my body! Its all a learning journey really, I will be recording a podcast about my journey with diabetes and it might become a little series because everyone is different and well everyone has a story to tell and that is why everyone needs to hear about the signs and symptoms of diabetes!!
So, lets start right from the very beginning, 2018 I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, Coeliac disease is a condition where your immune system attacks your own tissues when you eat gluten. It stops you from taking in nutrients. I became very poorly and spent a bit of time in hospitals and at the pathology unit, I did have a needle phobia but got use to that!! In 2019 (November) I had developed a kidney infection from cystitis, a UTI and that developed into sepsis, I very nearly lost my life, and I was on all medicines under the sun, I spent a week or so in hospital recovering from this and quite a lot of time at home recovering from my lovely near death experience! Talking to my diabetic consultant he has put my diabetes down to both my Coeliac disease and my battle with Sepsis, Coeliac disease runs in the same line of auto immune disease’s as Type 1 diabetes, some Coeliac are unlucky and develop Type 1 diabetes too!
That is the back story, one year after another something else comes along… see where I am going here? 2018, 2019 and 2020…
2020 the height of a global pandemic, I can’t pinpoint where my diabetes really started but I can tell you, I began losing lots of weight, drinking loads, feeling so tired and going for a wee a lot more, almost like having a kidney infection again!
THE 4 T’s located over on Diabetes UK website, you can find the 4 T’s that you should be aware of and if you have any of or all these symptoms please phone your doctor, its better to be safe than sorry as diabetes is a life-threatening illness if left untreated or treated badly.
T- toileting, are you going to the toilet a lot more needing a wee?
T- Thirst, are you drinking more, is you thirst not going away, constant dry mouth.
T- Thinner, have you lost a lot of weight, noticing that you are losing weight?
T- Tiredness, are you feeling more tired, sleeping a lot more?
These are the 4 t’s, these symptoms have been medically identified with diabetes, please see more at www.diabetes.org.uk
Let us bring ourselves in to July 2020, first day back to work after furlough, i noticed that my heart was pounding and I could not catch my breath, I felt very uneasy like I was going to fall over all the time! In the end I went home, and we phoned 111 who advised we made our way to A&E in the height of a global pandemic, I was not allowed my mum to come in with me, i had all the necessary observations done, was handed a gown and hand a cannula put in! I ended up after spending 4 hours or so under observation from the doctors on majors… I didn’t know I was in DKA until some explained it to me the next morning, the next morning I had woken up on intensive care, where I had a femoral line in my groin, 2 or so cannulas, constant blood gasses done, and I couldn’t even go to the toilet without someone. There it was my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, I met lots of people, lots of different nurses, I cried lots, I had lots of things I needed to do like change my car insurance and inform them, let the DVLA know, learn about injecting myself and pricking my finger to check my sugars, in minutes life changed and it was crazy… as I said I cried a LOT, I had a puffy face always.
Lots happened after that, moving from ITU to a normal ward, my first insulin pens, everything I needed to help me on my journey and my first few day’s home!
6 MONTHS LATER…
It has been a journey, I don’t know how I’ve done it but I’ve done it, healthier, happier and more ready to take on the world, stronger ambitions and bigger dreams, more confidence and a strong sense of determination to prove to myself that I can do it because almost dying twice, I did that I fought that and I survived!!! So, if you take anything away please know whatever life throws at you, you can beat it…you are worthy, you are enough and you chase those dreams… also PLEASE LEARN THE 4 T’s it could save someone’s life!!!! I have a Sepsis post here www.veritypittsnofilter.co.uk/sepsis-the-silent-killer
From me and everyone in the diabetes community… if you are not diabetic please STOP using “diabetes or diabetic coma” or anything else like that when eating sweets, cakes or anything sweet… our bodies can’t process it naturally it doesn’t mean we can’t eat it... offer us sweets, don’t make us feel left out we can make a choice, even if it means we just have to give ourselves some insulin!!!!!