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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Courtney's story: taking control of my type 1 diabetes by skydiving

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Courtney

Diagnosed age 9.

I'm taking part in a skydive for Diabetes UK to show to everyone that fear is a choice.

Courtney has had to face many challenges after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, aged 9. Now 20, she is taking on a skydive to raise awareness about diabetes and to show others that they aren’t alone.

Emotions

Symptoms and diagnosis

At the age of 9, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I had become very poorly. 

I was tired, lost loads of weight and started drinking up to 10-12 pints of water a day. I felt thirsty all the time. I would bounce on the trampoline for 5 minutes and sleep for hours after. I went to the doctors and had lots of blood tests, and when they finally did a blood sugar test, my bloods were 17mmol/l. The doctor got my dad to take me straight to the hospital.

 

Emotions and diabetes

Being diagnosed was a scary experience, and I had to learn to inject myself up to 5 times a day. I had to learn about counting carbohydrates and different rations. Being in hospital was the worst. The food was horrible, all the noises from the various machines annoyed me, and the nurses kept waking me up every hour to test my blood sugar level. The one thing my family and I always remembered was when I was asked if I wanted to be woken up every hour or to leave me to sleep. My answer was “it’s my body wake me up”, and from that day I became a young adult very quickly. Before I could leave the hospital both my mum and dad also had to learn how to inject my insulin.

When we did leave, we left with loads of new things like books, diaries, boxes of needles, insulin pens, paperwork, and a great big cloud with a huge storm in it above our heads. As a family, we worked with it and just dealt with it as it came. My parents aren’t together, and they both dealt with it in different ways. My brother doesn’t deal well with hospitals or people being sick, so he stayed out the way.

It’s not always as easy as some people make it sound because they see it as just injection for the food you eat. People don’t take into consideration everything else that comes with doing the injections and testing your blood sugar levels.

Fundraising

Supporting others as I'm supported

One thing I am grateful for is I have a fantastic family, my mum, dad, and step mum are all amazing and help me cope with my mood and how diabetes affects me day-to-day. Mark my partner is my rock, and I would be lost without him. He is my best friend and looks out for me so much with regards to my diabetes.

So, I am taking part in a skydive for Diabetes UK to show to everyone that fear is a choice. I want to raise as much money for the charity as it is my life and without this charity, there wouldn’t be the ongoing research to find a cure. In the long term, if it's 5 years or 10 years or more we need to find a cure.

I have bungee jumped out of a helicopter on holiday once but nothing compared to what I’m going to do!

 

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Courtney's fundraising page

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