Charlotte is 28 years old and lives in London. She is training to be a professional wrestler. And has had Type 1 diabetes since she was three years old.
She writes about the scary misconceptions she has heard around living with Type 1 – and how she fights the fear.
Living with Type 1 diabetes can be scary, but not half as scary as the things people say to you or tell you that you’ll never be able to do.
Horror hypos, chilling complications, spooky self-management stress. The list goes on and on…
Scary story one: “Intense physical activity isn’t for people with Type 1 diabetes.”
My response: The spine busting fairytale
The C-Bomb. My finishing move. A pop-up spine buster that demonstrates power and authority. This move is a metaphoric slap in the face to anyone who says that you can’t play sport or exercise if you live with Type 1 diabetes. Its bone-crushing finale signals the end of the match, and the end of horror stories around physical activity and Type 1 diabetes.
Scary story two: “Stressful situations aren’t good for your blood glucose levels – avoid at all costs.”
My response: The chronicle of anarchy in Camden
On a dark autumn evening, the fog arose around Camden Lock, bringing with it some very mysterious entrants to the Halloween Battle Royal…
And, after living with Type 1 diabetes for 25 years, I made my real-world wrestling debut in front of 200 people at a packed-out Anarchy Pro Wrestling show in Lock 17, Camden.
Scary story three “You’ll definitely have some complications after 20 years of living with Type 1 diabetes.”
My response: The mythical madness of medicine
You say ‘complications’, I say ‘just another barrier to overcome’. But this is undoubtedly a scary thing to hear in your late teens. Whether it’s luck, good genetics or the power of modern medicine, I continue to bulldoze through life, diabetes and pro wrestling free of any complications.
Scary story four: “You mustn’t disconnect from your insulin pump for more than an hour or you’ll end up in DKA”
My response: The thrilling tales of technology
Add the following ingredients to your cauldron and stir patiently: a chunk of education fangs, a dash of technology serum and a pinch of magical healthcare professional herbs.
The result: being disconnected for 3 hours every training session and still being able to maintain good (safe) blood glucose control.
(Note: Leaving your pump off for too long can mean your blood sugar level gets too high. The general advice is you shouldn’t leave it off for more than an hour, but everyone is different so ask your doctor or nurse what’s best for you.)
Scary story five: "When it comes to Type 1 diabetes, you’re all alone."
My response: Team Nasty Knucklelocks’ torment of Type 1 diabetes
It might be an all-consuming condition for the person living with it, but Type 1 diabetes has got nothing on Team Nasty Knucklelocks!
The people who teach you and pick you up when you’re down. And the guys who catch you when you’re falling.