Being diagnosed and getting treatment
I was diagnosed with type 1 in July 2005, right at the end of school when I was 16. I think I went through a fairly standard set of problems before diagnosis, a few days of severe lethargy and thirst (with the constating peeing associated with that!) and I lost a lot of weight very quickly, which for several months afterwards was a big problem for me with the consistent high blood sugar. I didn't notice it so much at the time but looking at old pictures you can see how sick I was! I was definitely confused when I first found out I had diabetes. I didn't understand how or why I'd been stuck with what I thought was such a raw deal considering none of my family have it. I felt fairly isolated from my friends as they weren't going through the same thing at the age of 16.
The initial treatment was from the team at the Bournemouth Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, and still is 15 years later! I was given the Novorapid and Lantus pens, as well as my first BG meter and a whole host of info leaflets and a couple of books to help me out. The team in Bournemouth have always been amazing and so supportive.
To be honest, I feel the treatment I receive now is fairly similar to when I was first diagnosed. However, the fact that I can email my healthcare team if I have any problems and get a really quick response is a really big difference compared to when I was first diagnosed. I feel there is a lot of information online that you can take advantage of if you feel like you need the help.
I think as tough as type 1 can be, it's also made me far more resilient than I would be without it. The highs and lows still happen, whether that's with blood sugar readings or emotionally, but having the condition keeps me focussed on making sure I'm making the most out of anything that I do, because you never know when your health can change for the worse. I take the condition day by day and I don't worry if I have a bad day, because you can always make the next day better, be realistic about what you can do because of the condition but also stay positive because it could always be worse.
My friends and family, especially my mum, have been amazing. They definitely understand the dangers of the condition but they have always been incredibly supportive.
They understand the physical effects and know what I need to do in most situations, or even if not exactly why, they know to take it seriously when I tell them something is wrong or if I'm not acting myself because of a hypo. I think my girlfriend is the only one who really knows how much of a mental drain it is sometimes though.