I had to grow up quickly
Almaz first told her story to 'at home' magazine.
Before I was diagnosed, I remember drinking carton upon carton of juice but still feeling thirsty, and feeling faint at the end of the day. My weight plummeted, too. I discovered later that these are typical diabetes symptoms.
Being diagnosed was shocking, as I thought diabetes just affected older people. My diet needed a big overhaul: like most teens, I ate lots of sweets and junk. My doctors urged me to cut down because it would raise my blood glucose, and to exercise more. There was a lot to learn about insulin and monitoring blood glucose. Luckily, the needles are smaller than I expected, and most injections don’t even hurt.
It's good to talk
Not many young people understand diabetes, so when I spotted some other students doing their testing and insulin at college, it was good to be able to talk to them. As a diabetic, I’m always at risk of hypos and hypers. A hypo, or hypoglycaemia, means too much glucose has left my bloodstream. A hyper, or hyperglycaemia, means I have high levels of blood glucose because there’s not enough insulin in my bloodstream.
No horrific experiences
Luckily, I haven’t had any horrific experiences. If I feel my blood sugar is low during lessons, I go outside to bring it up with Lucozade – even though not all my teachers quite understand, or want me to leave!
My diabetes has made me grow up quicker than other people my age, but I can still lead a normal life – I want to study music at university.
As seen in the March 2012 issue of 'at home' magazine.