After going on a course about managing her diabetes, Rebecca is humbled to have met so many extraordinary people living the condition.
I am a long-term diabetic and have had Type one diabetes since I was three years old. I have suffered a number of problems, survived ketoacidosis more that 25 times, come down with pancreatis and developed retinopathy. I am only 20 years old!
I have always found it difficult to control my diabetes. As a teenager i hit a barrier and i didn't want to accept it anymore. I forgot to take insulin; I drank excessive alcohol and sometimes would not eat for days.
I found that I was regularly in hospital with ketoacidosis. Following a bad episode where a central catheter was fitted to my artery in my chest via surgery, due to extreme dehydration a drip could not be fitted, nurses tried over 37 times in my hands feet arms legs to no avail, I was on life support for 48 hours due to extreme hyperventalation and shortness of breath i could not breath by myself.
I decided to go on a week's course to learn more about my diabetes. A this time, I was not aware of the seriousness of ketoacidosis or the complications of diabetes, I just thought i was different and it wasn't fair.
As a teenager I hit a barrier and I didn't want to accept it.
I learnt about carb counting and about side effects and read many different stories of amazing people who live extraordinary lives with diabetes and realised that just because I had diabetes didn't mean I had to be different from anyone else. Not long after returning from my course, I started to change my lifestyle, I began to eat and take my insulin regularly, I exercised and slept sufficiently as well as reducing my alcohol intake.
I found that I felt better in myself, more lively more full of live, the condition of my skin improved, I gained weight after being a mere six stone for so long. Then, disaster struck, I couldn't eat, my stomach was swollen and I was in agony. I was vomiting for days - eventually I was taken to hospital with pancreatis caused by high amounts of lipids gathered around my pancreas and liver due to the ketoacidosis.
I was late placed on an insulin pump, which since due to reasonable adjustments . I am now healthy and have adapted a new lifestyle. I now work for the police force and dedicate my spare time researching and learning about diabetes! There is so much to learn and to help others! I dedicate myself to helping others through my experiences.