Diabetes and Me

31 Mar

I’ve talked around the issue of me being a diabetic, and I thought I would share a little more with you all.

Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). (Wikipedia)

I was diagnosed as being diabetic in the November I turned seventeen. I was drinking a lot of water and losing a lot of weight (which I thought was great, but looking back I looked in desperate need of a sandwich and a full fat coke!) and my Dad said that I may need to visit the doctor. I went and when my results were returned I had to go straight to the hospital. Unfortunately they didn’t have a bed for me so I spent the night on a casualty ward on a Friday night. You can imagine the horror; drunken people throwing up and people shouting; I was terrified and from then on insisted my dad took me home and brought me back to the hospital twice a day for shots.

It was a bit much to take in to be honest. Suddenly everything I put in my body was a danger; shop bought sauces could be hiding the little poison granules and my love, full fat coke, was banned for life. Sugar in liquid is the quickest way that sugar can hit your blood stream, so bye bye brown bubbles.

I went a bit weird. I would only eat at home, when I knew what went into the food. Having never been fussy, it was a bit odd; eating at other people’s houses and in restaurants was too much for me. It took me about six months to get used to it and it didn’t help that in the December we went on a road trip to the clothes show. I had to take a shot on the bus and a girl made a big fuss about how horrible it was. It made me really self conscious, and as a result I became nervous about injecting in public.

A few months later my first boyfriend and I were in a garden centre and I took a shot before eating; an old lady on the table beside me started tutting and talking about youngsters and drug abuse. I had to drag him out because he was threatening to cause a scene, so annoyed was he about peoples attitudes. This caused me to be more nervous about injecting in public, and as a result I became shockingly bad about remembering; I thought I would do it later in private, and then forgot.

Luckily, I have embraced it a little more now as part of my life; I was angry and sad that I had become different to everyone else and I just used to eat the same as my friends and then inject more. I know now I need to be more in control of my body or I will suffer later in life; I eat better and I try to avoid sugary things. Its super hard though. If you think about it and start looking at the sugar content in things that you don’t even imagine to be bad, you will be shocked. I can only have one type of muesli in the supermarket, I have to be careful with yoghurts, and takeaways are dicing with my levels, especially my favourite… Chinese.

However angry I used to be, I don’t let it rule me. I need to be more careful; if someone gives me a cocktail I need to make simple checks like is it sugar free lemonade? But im not going to be a food avoider. Is it Laura friendly? I frankly don’t care. Im not going to limit myself, I just have to be a little more careful than your average twenty something year old woman.

Im just me…. with enhancements.

People don’t understand diabetes and it really annoys me. no, im not being punished because I ate badly as a child. Im not obese and I don’t avoid exercise. Its not in my family, I am just simply unlucky. But im also blessed; it was caught within three weeks of my pancreas packing up and therefore I am fairly well, (touch wood) I currently suffer no complications or secondary problems and my health is my wealth. There are two levels; if my blood sugar goes low I have a hypo; I shake, I get the sweats and I make no sense. I once grilled a pizza in this state and nearly set fire to the kitchen. This is the level where people always say “I know, you’re diabetic. You need a mars bar!”The opposite, and the more damaging is the high sugar. This is when I end up in hospital; the sugar in my blood becomes acidic and life threatening. In this state I have to drink lots of water and be rigged to two drips, one insulin and one liquid to rehydrate my poorly body and balance my sugar levels.

Sorry for such a long post, I hope its been thought provoking and interesting as a bit of an insight!!


28 Responses to “Diabetes and Me”

  1. Katie March 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Thank you for explaining. I understood diabetes had something to do with blood sugar, but little else. Now I will at least be somewhat educated when someone tells me he/she is diabetic.

  2. Mahi March 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Dont worry, I understand you fully…
    I’m in a worser situation than you are…

  3. egills March 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    At a guess I’d say type 1? Such a hard thing to come to terms with at a time in your life when everything is so upside down anyway!
    As a child one of my closest friends was type 1 and I used to have to pin her down sometimes. She’s now virtually blind and has a few digits missing from abuse of the old sweets.
    Glad you’ve settled down and stopped rebelling against it… It can be fatal you know, and cause considerable organ damage if you don’t look after yourself.
    As for the whole eating out bit, I can kind of relate being allergic to nuts. You have to check everything and there are some places I just can’t eat in. Never mind once being kissed by someone who’d just had a snickers bar and me ending up going into anaphylactic shock..

    • tinkerbelle86 March 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

      oh god, horror stories. im lucky. they caught me early and on the whole im not bad 🙂

  4. Jules March 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    great post! I know three people with diabetes (they’re taking tablets to control it, not injecting themselves), and it’s something that should be highlighted more!


  5. Reggie March 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    That was a very interesting and well-written personal account – thank you for sharing it. It’s given me some more insight into diabetes. I tend to get hypoglycemia, when I don’t eat small regular meals, and I’ve noticed that some foods give me an almost-instant sugar high, which leaves me feeling like a rat spinning on a bicycle… and a couple of hours later, crashing… Not fun. But it does make eating out at restaurants or at friends’ places more difficult, as I need to know the ingredients and hidden sugars etc.

  6. luzmaria17 March 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. The more informed poeple are about diabetes, or any disease, the more tolerant our society becomes. My mother and brother have diabetes and I have Secondary Progressive MS so I have a pretty good understanding of both diseases. They may change a person’s quality of life, but they certainly doesn’t change what’s inside the person to begin with.
    Stand tall Tinkerbelle and live life to the fullest!!

  7. Redneckprincess March 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    One of my ex’s was type 1. He will be dead before he is 50. He ate so much sugar, that was how he controlled it, not kidding. He did the shot thing twice a day as well, but just absolutely didn’t look after himself. Sad thing.

    Glad to hear you have it in hand girl, you aren’t alone…and there are lots of people that do get it…xoxo

    • tinkerbelle86 April 1, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      thanks love, peoples horror stories are flowing in thick and fast! bit scary!! xx

  8. melissasmeanderings March 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks for enlightening us with more details than “it’s a blood sugar thing” And good on you for embracing yourself diabetes and all and finding a balance that works for you.

  9. Scorpria March 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Have quite a few diabetes ppl in the family, and have grown up seeing them.

    You take good care, and don’t give a damn what people think. If they think its drug you’re injecting, ask politely if they’d like a shot as well since they seem “very concerned and interested” in what you’re doing 😀 That should do to shut them up!

    • tinkerbelle86 April 1, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      its the “take a picture, it’ll last longer” mentality!

  10. Single Malt Monkey March 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Very interesting insight into what it’s like for you. Thanks for that. My inlaws are diabetic but never talk about it. As a consequence, I remained largely ignorant of the challenges you face. Good for you for standing up and getting on with your life.

  11. The Good Greatsby March 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    This sounds terrible. My family is high risk for diabetes and I’m high risk to get it. Sounds pretty tough to make all these lifestyle changes.

    • tinkerbelle86 April 1, 2011 at 8:56 am #

      its actually not you know? its surprisingly easy for the human mind to adapt. thank goodness!!

  12. rantonit March 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    :O thats a scary eye-opener .

  13. Janette Monea Ayub March 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    People could be so stupid sometimes.
    I’m glad you’re not self conscious anymore.
    I use to get like that when I had to quit track because of my heart problem and If i coughed too much in public or came down with a bloody nose people thought I had a drug problem (weird how drugs are the first thing that goes through someones mind when they see a young person sick).
    great post.

  14. prenin March 31, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Hi Tinks! 🙂

    Yep: The good thing is I slep when tired, eat when hungry and drink when I can afford it!!! LoL!!!

    Mad is a word that is often misused – I just have an illness…

    Thanks for the kind words sweety!

    Love ya!


  15. Rue March 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Gosh some people are morons <– woman at the garden centre. My family had a similar scare with my Dad, but his tests came back showing that he could prevent getting diabetes if he worked hard. And he did and he's all good. I think you're awesome for teaching people about diabetes and embracing it as part of your current and future live. Go you.

    • tinkerbelle86 April 1, 2011 at 8:55 am #

      thanks rue, although its not really a choice to embrace.. if i didnt i wouldnt be gracing your presences!! 🙂

  16. Megan March 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    “I’m just me…. with enhancements.” I LOVE it… Proud of you for embracing it and taking care of yourself Laura! Thank you for sharing your story my dear… Diabetes does run in my family and knock on wood (Our version of touch wood in the states 🙂 ), I’m in the clear at this point in my life. It is a scary thing when not managed properly, so happy you’re in a good place with it! By the way, I love seeing the differences in our English… I think you and Josiah were talking about that in another post. we speak the same yet so different, cool stuff!

  17. Sandra Bell Kirchman April 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Great post, Tinkerbelle. I didn’t realize there were still people out there who were ignorant of what diabetes was. It was a shock to me when you described that woman’s attitude and that other girl’s hissy fit. Posts like this are, apparently, necessary to inform the ignorant about an important medical fact that may even be one they should be aware of. Unfortunately, they are the ones who are most unlikely to read it.

    I have Type 2 diabetes, and at this point it’s not nearly as bad as what you describe. My biggest fear is losing my feet or legs, right now. However, I manage to keep my blood sugar reasonably steady with a prescription tablet and watching what I eat. As long as I do that, hopefully I will stay alive for another, well, 15-20 years at least.

    Thanks for your thoughtful and enthusiastic post. You are a delight and a delightful writer 🙂

  18. CollectiveDisclosure April 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I’m thankful for the awareness. I don’t know much about diabetes. Is the shot you take like an epi-pen that you stick in your leg?

    How rude of that woman to think you were abusing drugs. Sounds like people need to mind their own business!

  19. The Hook April 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    One of my best friends is a diabetic, as was my grandfather. my heart goes out to you.

  20. thf2 April 5, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Incredible, your open candid writing to let us inside. Thank you, Laura. I adore you, and yes…you are you…with enhancements! Perfect. 🙂

    • tinkerbelle86 April 5, 2011 at 7:43 am #

      thanks Dug, when do you head off on the amazing trip?

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