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'Losing my job was the best thing to happen to me and my diabetes.'


"I've always put life first and diabetes second in whatever I've done in life. Sports at school - always taking way too much glucose to avoid stopping and being different from other children. Martial Arts - always refusing to stop and blood test and drinking countless bottles of lucozade for the fear of not being able to do a continuous three hour session, like everyone else.

Drinking at university -  like a fish (like everyone else). Meeting new friends and never telling them until I was pretty sure that they were going to stick around. Working life; deadlines and happy clients came first; lunch was always late and dinner became even later. Boyfriends - never EVER telling them.

After being made redundant three-and-a-half years ago, I did feel a bit unlucky to have felt the early impact of the recession. However, I couldn't possibly have known that it was going to be the best possible thing to happen to me and my diabetes. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 25 years ago at the age of 10 and I've always found it a bit of a struggle.

After I lost my job as a graphic designer, I set up a small studio from home and I worked really hard to try and improve my lifestyle. As a self-confessed work-aholic, it took a long while to realise that I didn't need to be in my studio at 8am to make the business work.

These days, I try to keep my hours really flexible and deadlines as stress-free as possible, but the biggest breakthrough has to be that I tell a lot of my clients about my diabetes and I talk about it a lot more. I still have the same strong desire for happy clients in my work, but I believe that I've found a better balance now.

Douglas, our chocolate labrador, hangs out in the studio all day with me and always ensures that I don't forget to take regular breaks, whether it be in the woods or to the park to see his four-legged friends.

Having a family has always been there on my radar and I've always said "Nope, not for me." I've always refused to entertain the idea of having children as I didn't want to bring a child with diabetes into this world. It was hard growing up with Type 1 diabetes and I never wanted to be responsible for another person having it just because I did. However, with this new lifestyle came a new perspective and a new opportunity.

I've worked really hard to improve my diabetes management. I've improved my HbA1c and also seemingly have reversed some of the damage from the retinopathy that I'd developed from not managing my diabetes properly over the years. I've spoken candidly to all my specialists about the positive changes with my health over the last few years and together with my lovely partner, we made the decision to start a family.

I'm 18 weeks pregnant now and after successfully coming through the first trimester with only dreadful nausea, I'm feeling pretty hopeful about what's next. I met my other half about nine years ago and I'm the luckiest person in the world to have him in my life. He's the most amazing and thoughtful person -he makes the evening meals in our house to ensure that I can eat something and not succumb to the nausea. And, he always gives me a big hug when the baby hormones send me a little crazy!"  

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