Before I was diagnosed with diabetes I was constantly tired and very thirsty. I would wake up during the night and drink four and five glasses of water and still feel thirsty, the thirst never went away. I would get hot and bothered just sitting in the chair. After a few weeks of feeling worse each day, I went to the doctors.
The doctor did a urine check in the surgery and told me there and then I had diabetes. I hade never heard of diabetes so I did not know what to think, he told me to go to the hospital that day and they would help me and show me how to look after myself.
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I went through many different emotions, in the first few weeks I was in denial, I went through the motions, checking bloods, doing the injections, I couldn’t make sense of what had happened to me. I was fit and healthy, so why me, but it was me.
As the weeks went on the Specialist Nurse would help me with the amounts of insulin I needed. I felt out of control and frightened to do anything for myself. I was worried about everyday life i.e., going for walks, out for meals, going to the gym, how would this affect me. 4 – 5 weeks later I suddenly realised that this was for life, forever.
I spent 2 days in bed sobbing, my friends and family were very supportive. Non one in my family has or had diabetes so we were all very shocked. The specialist nurse was at the end of phone day and night to help me with any worries and concerns I may have had.
You are told you can live a normal life, but what is normal about checking bloods and sticking needles in yourself.
I was very angry for a while. I would not listen to anyone telling me I would be fine, how would they know, this went on for a few months until I gradually gained confidence and understanding in what was happening to me.
I didn’t like talking about diabetes, or telling anyone I have it. That has never changed. As the months went on I began to rely less on the diabetic nurse, thinking more for myself. However, you then start to worry about the ‘hypos’.
Hypos are very frightening at first. As time passes I became more in control of my diabetes, the hypos became less. My hypos make me feel hungry, sick and very shaky. After a hypo I am left tired and with a headache. Hypos are something that are always at the back of my mind, but then every day gives you more confidence. I began to live a normal life with diabetes.
After about 10 months, I started going out for drinks and meals this is something I found hard at first. I worried that I might have a hypo when out or have too much to drink, after a while it gets easier. I think it is harder for my friends and family they would always be asking what they have to do if I have a hypo. Even now they ask ‘should we eat now or later, have you had your insulin’.
2 years later my husband and I decided we would like to start a family. This was one the most frightening decisions I had to make. The diabetic team then advised me of the importance of good blood control before and during the pregnancy. The nurse and doctors explained about the complications that can happen during pregnancy and birth. I would have to have good control throughout the pregnancy, and be monitored closely.
There is nothing that can prepare you for the emotions you go through. When I became pregnant, I was thrilled and excited, but at the same time I was terrified, worrying about everything. I checked my blood levels constantly and phoned by diabetic nurse everyday, who was patient and understanding.
Every time I went for a scan, I was worried that something would be wrong, I worried that the baby was growing too big but I was constantly reassured that everything was fine, which it was. I went into hospital for an induced labour, everything went well and I gave birth to a beautiful boy, he was quite big, 10lb 2oz, but he was gorgeous.
After giving birth all the diabetic team were there to help me with my insulin, which had doubled while pregnant, this was frightening. I had many hypos and struggled to get my blood levels under control for weeks after the birth. The diabetic team continued to help me, after a few months, the blood levels settled down as I got used to being a mother. Everything went well and so 3 years later I did it all again. I wouldn’t say it was easier, but at least you know what to expect.
I eventually gave birth to a 9lb 12oz health girl. This time it took a lot longer to get my diabetes under control.
To gain better control I have had to change my insulin, and increase my injections daily. This helped me gain control of my blood levels again.
Diabetes had not stopped me doing anything I want to do. I go on long flights and short breaks away, I drive anywhere I want. I think the best way to do all of this is to be prepared and organised with snacks and rest times and keep a close check on your blood levels. It helps me when I can ring the diabetes nurse when I am planning to go on holiday or long drive.
I have a busy life with 2 young children. I often feel tired and sometimes can’t be bothered to check my blood. I look at my children, who inspire me to want to keep fit and well. I look at my friends and family and I know I’m normal and live a normal life. I just have diabetes, it’s a way of life for my family and me. You learn to live with it. I control my diabetes it doesn’t control me.