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Charlotte: "DAFNE changed my life"

Charlotte explains the impact going on a diabetes education course had on her life. She is supporting Taking Control, a Diabetes UK campaign aiming to make sure people have the skills and knowledge to manage their diabetes.

"I was seven when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I'm now 27 and attended a DAFNE course three years ago.

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Charlotte says DAFNE changed her life.

Because of the amount of care you have to give yourself it sometimes feels people just assume you know exactly what you're doing. When I was a bit younger I actually turned down a diabetes education course. I couldn't see why it would be useful. I wish I knew then what I know now.

I went into the course slightly concerned it was just going to be a week of carbohydrate counting. But it was much more than that.

At clinic you only really have 20 minutes checking the basics. On the course we were able to look at the break down of test results in much more detail. It is a chance to ask questions and get answers.

I left feeling more in control of my own life.

Charlotte

We covered alcohol. Nobody had ever sat me down and told me alcohol would lower my sugar levels. I'd had no idea. But I learned there are rules and I no longer have massive hypos after drinking.

I run regularly and my body would react differently to how I expected. But during the course they explained why this happens and now I know how to deal with it.

Meeting other people with diabetes was a real strong point of DAFNE. Before the course I put a lot of pressure on myself and felt overwhelmed at times so it was actually quite nice to see other people didn't have perfect numbers. Being able to talk to other people who had the same sort of fears made me feel a lot more able to confront them.

What I found the course really good for was that dedicated time to reflect on what is actually going on and getting to know my diabetes again. I left feeling more in control of my own life.

I would encourage everyone to give it a go even if they're sceptical. It has really changed my life."

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