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Ian's story: the very personal reason I'm running the London Marathon

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Ian

Diagnosed age 13.

I've always wanted to achieve something great and when I cross the finish line I will be left with a great sense of personal achievement.


Ian, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 13, is taking on the London Marathon 2019 because he believes it represents the marathon task that every person diagnosed with diabetes faces on a daily basis.

Journey with diabetes

Ian’s type 1 diabetes story

It was late October 1990 that I was sent home from school with a 'bug'. I was 13 years old. Both my mum, and my school nurse thought I was simply coming down with the Flu or a sickness bug. I remember clearly the feeling of tiredness and an insatiable thirst that got worse with each day that passed. Not to mention the frequent visits to the toilet to urinate. That very same weekend I drank seven litres of juice in the space of an hour. What topped this off was that my mouth was so dry I couldn't even lick a postage stamp to put on an envelope. Luckily for me, my granny had witnessed this sort of behaviour and symptoms before with one of her nieces and suggested that we call the doctor.

As this was a Saturday, he made a house call and the first thing he did was prick my finger to check my blood sugar level. The reading was somewhere between 28 and 44 m/mols. The 'norm' is anything between 4 and 7 m/mols.

On arrival at the hospital, I was met by a consultant who informed me that I had Type 1 diabetes. And would be on multiple insulin injections every day for the rest of my life.

At this point the doctor asked me if I could provide him with a urine sample so that he could perform another test. This was no problem as I had been urinating up to three times per hour for the past week, or even more than that. Once this test was completed the results showed a large amount of ketones present and I, along with my mum and grandparents, were told I would have to be admitted to hospital.

On arrival at the hospital, I was met by a consultant who informed me that I had Type 1 diabetes. And would be on multiple insulin injections every day for the rest of my life. And that the current life expectancy for me would me between 25 and 30 years old. I was told I'd have to learn how to count the carbohydrate content of anything I ate and had to match this to the amount of insulin that I was taking. However, times changed. I went from two injections of pork insulin per day, to two injections of a new human insulin that had been discovered and produced. The same regime of counting carbohydrates applied. I was to remain on this regime until I was 21.

I'm very pleased to say that I finally got my insulin pump in May of this year and I'm getting to grips with it now.

Diabetes UK and me

Signing up for the London Marathon

After years of hypoglycaemic attacks, hyperglycaemic attacks, losing my hypo awareness and losing my driving licence my diabetes consultant put me forward for insulin pump therapy. I'm very pleased to say that I finally got my insulin pump in May of this year and I'm getting to grips with it now.

I would love to do my part and raise some money to aid in the treatment, research and possible cure for diabetes. So, I finally got some motivation and began my training. Not too much at first, I think I ran for about a minute at a time for the first week and complained I was tired and sore to my poor wife. I have now completed my first 10K and plan to start my half marathon training and then build myself up to running the marathon.

I've always wanted to achieve something great and when I cross the finish line I will be left with a great sense of personal achievement, as well as knowing that I have raised some money for Diabetes UK.

I am training a little bit at a time and well on my way to completing my first half marathon. I am aware of the mammoth task I have set myself but in doing so I hope I will inspire others to do the same. Four months ago I was very much a couch potato — If I can participate and complete the London Marathon, then anyone can.

 

If you would like to take on a running challenge with Team Diabetes UK, hit the link below.

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