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As a teenager, diabetes makes everything 10 times worse as you're going through puberty and want to rebel against everyone

Hear Emma talking about how she didn't look after her diabetes when she was first diagnosed and how she wants to raise awareness of eating disorders among people with diabetes.

I have been living with diabetes for five years now and it has definitely been a roller coaster. I was very confused at the start of it all as I had never heard of diabetes, neither had my mum. The first year of living with diabetes was strangely the easiest, as it didn't really sink in that I had to deal with this condition all my life. Plus, I had all the support from teachers at primary school, my parents, all the nurses and doctors as I was new to it all. 

As the months went by I finally started to realise that I had to have six injections a day for the REST of my life. I had so many questions and no one could answer them. 'Why me?' 'Why did my pancreas stop producing insulin?' It makes it 10 times worse being a teenager as you're going through puberty and want to rebel against everyone and everything. My HBA1C was constantly high, I stopped taking insulin, started lying about my blood sugar levels and arguing with my mum. 

My mum, dad and nurse thought there was no other choice but to put me on an insulin pump. At first I was quite apprehensive to try it as I didn't know what to expect. But it worked so well for me, my blood sugar levels came down from being in the 20s to '7-10' my mood completely changed and I was alot more happy and less argumentative with my mum.

My school grades also improved. In march last year I went on a netball weekend to Wales - the only problem was: I forgot my insulin. My pump ran out and because I had no background insulin, I got ill incredibly quickly. I didnt tell my teacher until I was being sick and couldn't cope with the headache much longer. She drove me up to the hospital where I had to wait three hours until the hospital finally put insulin in me. 

My mum and dad had to drive up from Lincoln (which was four hours away). I learnt my lesson about not being propely equipped. after that incident, I started to hate the pump, being on the pump it made me gain a lot of weight (over a stone). Being on the pump caused me to become very negative about my body. I started to not take my insulin on purpose as I knew that it was the easiest way to get my weight down.

My mood started to plummet which made me binge eat, I felt so bad about it that I started to compensate for this: over exercising and vomiting.  I knew I needed to come off the pump as it wasn't doing me any favours. There isn't enough information about Type 1 diabetes and the psychological side of it. I didn't realise until I decided to look it up, that one in three diabetics have an eating disorder, I knew I wasn't alone.

I want to raise as much money as I can for Diabetes UK by doing the 17 mile bike ride at Rutland Waters. I want to do it because not enough people do know about Type 1 diabetes, and how it affects peoples lives. There should be more money raised for research.

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