Today marks the first anniversary of my type 1 diabetes diagnosis. It’s funny to think that on this day last year, I was in intensive care and I had no real grasp of what was going on or how my life was going to change forever. I remember looking at the clock at around this time on 6th October 2012 and I could barely keep my eyes open for long enough to register anything.
I went to hospital at around midday in an ambulance but I don’t remember anything about it, just like I don’t remember anything about A&E. The first thing I do remember was at about 3pm, a few hours after I’d entered hospital, and the doctor who looked like Louis Theroux was asking me if I minded having an IV line put in my neck, I clearly wasn’t with it as I told him that was fine. There will never be another time in my life where I’m so chilled about having a needle stuck in my neck with a tube feeding me potassium hanging out of it, but what can you do when you are quite literally hours from death?
It has changed my life a lot but also not much at all. I have to inject all the time and check my blood sugar all the time, but that’s just part of what I do now and it doesn’t bother me. What really bothers me is all the incessant hospital appointments and check-ups and blood tests and ugh. I hate being poked and prodded and analysed and I wish I could go back to the life I had before where I never ever went to the doctors. I hate the weight gain too but there isn’t anything I can do about that unfortunately. I guess my choice is between chubby and alive or skeletal like I was a year ago and dying, so it’s no contest. It’s a shame and I’m gutted but whatever.
Everyone tells me I’m brave but I’m not at all. I just have to get on with it and anyone else would be the same. It’s not a big deal. I remember when I was allowed out of hospital I was frightened all the time that I was going to drop down dead and I also remember thinking that a life with diabetes wouldn’t be a life at all but it is a life. It’s exactly like life before but with more needles. I still hate needles. It could be better. It could be worse.
I’m shocked that I’m so apathetic about it. It’s a huge thing, but it’s also nothing at all. I’ve done a lot in the last year and diabetes hasn’t held me back from anything I wanted to do. I missed half a term of uni and I still graduated. I work a lot, I still do everything I always did. I knew someone a while ago who always used to ask ‘How’s the diabetes?’ rather than ‘How are you?’ and I hated it. I don’t know why anyone would put my condition before me. It’s fine and I’m fine and sometimes I get frustrated and angry that it’s me but also I can’t change it so I can’t dwell on it.
I’m in a much better place now than I was a year ago. I’m very grateful for the amazing work doctors and nurses do to keep people like me alive.