Managing with a baby
When my daughter Bronwen was about eight months old, I saw a clinical psychologist. I was advised to do that because of the trauma that could be caused by everything I had experienced. Quite often people with severe morning sickness can develop post-traumatic stress disorder, and it’s the same with a chronic condition like type 1 diabetes.
I’m grateful that help was available, but I found it so hard getting to the hospital appointment with a small baby while trying to manage my sugars. Having to be anywhere for a certain time was just awful. It didn’t really help me at that time.
I had diabetes nurses on call, which I still have now. Luckily I did manage my diabetes quite well. There is support out there if you want it or need it. For me, it was a case of just getting on with it.
At my health trust, if you have a chronic condition, you can self-refer for emotional or mental health help. You just call them up and you’ll get an appointment. I feel like I’m too busy at the moment, but it’s great to know it’s there if I want to take it. Before, you had to wait to see your consultant for a referral. When that’s the case, I think it can be a barrier to seeking help, because it’s often very much a case of how you feel on the day you see your consultant. If you think you’re not too bad, you won’t ask for help.
I think self-referral is really good, but I think there’s a gap for mental wellbeing, because not everyone who has concerns that would affect them mentally would need a clinical psychologist. You might just need a counsellor or a peer to talk to.