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Jane's story: preparing for marathon to support brave daughter with diabetes

Jame smiling with her daughter

Jane Inglethorpe

Jane's daughter diagnosed in 2018.

As part of my way of coping with Lola’s diagnosis and my separation, I started running.

Jane's daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two years ago. She talks about how brave her daughter has been with the management of her condition, along with how the discovery of running has really helped her to cope with her daughter's diagnosis and separating with her partner.

Emotions

Jane's personal experience with diabetes

In January 2018, my world as I knew it fell apart. I had separated from my husband of 15 years. And then five days after our separation my then, 13 year old daughter, Lola, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 

I had noticed over the lead up to Christmas 2017 that she was drinking more water. She had said that she had an unquenchable thirst and felt addicted to the taste of it. Her strong bladder didn't seem able to last as long as it used to.

Due to the other turmoil going on in my life, this didn't take on the significance that it should have done.

On the 9th January 2018, her diagnosis was confirmed and we embarked on our diabetes journey.

I watched her take a crash course in carb counting, do endless finger prick tests (flinching every time) and inject herself with insulin. She showed me strength and courage way beyond her 13 years. Meanwhile my heart broke every time, with every cruel but necessary step.

Life with diabetes

My daughter's management of diabetes

Two years in, Lola struggles to accept this is now part of her life but reluctantly manages her condition. 

Although she is now 15, I have to emphasise the importance of testing her bloods. This is so she can give herself the extra insulin she needs due to her fluctuating hormones and GCSE exam stress.

Hypos are still a regular occurrence, but she has got used to recognising the symptoms and taking the required action. Any opportunity to eat sweets without an insulin shot is something gratefully received!

She is reluctant to have a flash glucose monitor or a pump which would simplify things. But she feels this would be a permanent reminder of her condition. At the moment, she can forget about being type 1 other than when she needs to eat/drink/feels unwell.

Activity

Discovering love for running

As part of my way of coping with Lola’s diagnosis and my separation, I started running. Running gave me time to think and process what was happening in our lives. It gave me the opportunity to get lost in my thoughts, with no interruptions; pounding my anger and frustration into the pavements. 

To give my running a purpose, I registered for the Hampton Court Palace half marathon in March 2019. I set out with completely no expectations having never run an event or distance like that before. I managed to surpass myself, coming 5th in my age group and finishing in 1 hour and 48 minutes.

 

Signing up to the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Having found running and the structure of preparing for the race a real therapy, I decided I needed to do another. I knew I would never have the endurance for a marathon, so felt that the London Landmarks half marathon would be an ideal challenge. This time, I wanted to run to benefit something more than just myself. so choosing a charity place with Diabetes UK was a natural choice. Lola says she feels "overjoyed that I have taken upon this challenge, especially for a cause so close to both of our hearts. Hopefully the money raised will go towards an easier life for me along with other type one diabetics in the future”.

Diabetes UK and me

Help from Diabetes UK

As a novice type 1 parent, I have found the resources available on the Diabetes UK website useful.

I was able to answer queries and refresh my understanding as Lola's initial diagnosis didn't sink in well.

There is a lot of misunderstanding between type 1 and type 2 which the website has helped resolve.

 

You can read more about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes here.

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