Tom started learning guitar a few years before he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes age 13. He reflects on how music helps him deal with the emotions that come with his relationship with diabetes.
When I was diagnosed, it felt like it was all happening at once. I'd just become a teenager and was going through puberty, and now had diabetes to deal with. I had been unwell for a while and had lost a lot of weight. I had a 1.5 litre water bottle that I kept filling up with tap water from the school toilets, because it was quicker than the water fountain. It never crossed my mind that it could be diabetes.
Soon after I was rushed to hospital and taken to the High Dependency Unit (HDU).
At the time you just accept that that’s what’s happening. You reflect after, and think about everything you’ve been through. The whole experience of being diagnosed with diabetes never really feels right.
A few years before my diagnosis I had started learning to play guitar. I wasn’t very good to begin with but enjoyed messing about on guitar with a friend.
Around my diagnosis I remember hearing artists on the radio who did it all themselves – wrote, recorded and produced their own songs from their bedroom. I remember thinking that I could do that. I loved the thought of being in a band, but when I got home I always had a feeling that music was my thing. It was how I dealt with what was going on in my life.