Hi I'm Cathy and I was diagnosed with T1 diabetes at the grand age of 22 (I'm now 23). I'd been feeling consistantly unwell from New year of 2014 haveing a few infections along the way. Having studied Health and Social Care at college I knew about diabetes, knew the signs and symptoms of both T1 and T2 yet I went on ignoring them for a few months. It got to the point where I was barly sleeping during the night due to having to go to the toilet that I decided that it was finally time to go to the doctors and discuss my concerns.
We sat and talk for a little while and I knew what was coming she was going to send me for the dredded blood test and bang she sprang it on me. She said it was unlikely that it was diabetes, it was morelikely going to be a water infection but she would get me a blood test just to be sure.
Now needles are something that I was terrified of at this point so when the time came to have my blood test done I ran out of the room and didn't have it done (I know i'm such a whimp!!!). I rang the doctors and made an appointment for an appointment to have it done a week later when my boyfriend (who is now me fiance) could come with me and hold my hand. I had the test done and went off to enjoy the rest of the day with my man looking into going on holiday. I looked at my phone and noticed that I had a missed call from the doctors so I rang them back to have them tell me that they wanted me to go up to the hospital as my blood sugar was far to high.
By this time i'm scared out of my mind wondering why it was so important for me to go tothe hospital but go to the hospital I did. We made our way to the ward where they had told me to go to find out that they wanted to keep me in over night and put me on a drip because my sugar reall was that high. Thanks to putting things off my HBA1c was 121 which they were adimant was really bad. So I let then do all of the tests that they want me to do, ring work and tell them i'm not going to be in and ring my mum to let her know whats going on (how i didn't cry while talking to her I'll never know). I sat and waited patiently to find out what was going on all the while freaking out. A doctor came round and eventually told me that there were no ketones in my urine sample so they were going to let me go home but I had an appointment at the diabetes centre first thing in the morning.
If I thought I couldn't sleep before that night had nothing on my previous lack of sleep. I tossed and turned all night worring about what was going to happen in the morning. I knew enough about diabetes to know that it was highly unlikely that I would have T2 so I kind of knew that I would have to have insulin.
So the next morning my man and I head to the diabetes centre to find out just whats going on. It was there that I met the nicest of nurses and she explained to me what was going to happen. I tried to keep up but somewhere in there I kind of shut off and stopped listening. I had a cronic autoimmune disease, I was going to have this for life. It was then that all of the questions popped into my head at once, is it my fault? Did I cause this? Is it something that I could have stopped?. I couldn't stop blaming myself by this point, I had always had problems with low self esteem so I couldn't stop myself from blaming myself, blaming my weight for everything (people tell me there's nothing wrong with my weight). I didn't voice any of these problems while i was there and they sent me home with some tablets, so many booklets to read i thought i might go crazy and a glucose testing monitor telling me to check my sugars at least four times a day every day and take two tablets a day for a week and then go back and see them.
I went away and did as I was told for a week, testing my sugars and taking my tablets and noticed no difference at all. By this time I'd been to see my parents and all my dad could do was tell me I had T2 diabetes like my Nan and it would be noting to worry about. I tried to tell him what i knew and that he was wrong but he wouldn't listen, secretly (and some what stupidly) I hoped that he was right. It wasn't to be though.
I went back and the nurse told me that I did have T1 diabetes an my heart sank, I knew what was coming next, insulin and injections. I listened to everything the nurse told me about my injections and how to store my inslin, when to take it and how much to take and that i need to keep testing my sugars a least four times a day. I left to go and get my insulin from the pharmacy in a daze really. I couldn't keep up with what was happening, everything was changing and it was slowly starting to take over my life. I got home with my insulin and seen as the nurse told me to the first f my two injections when I got home I got everything ready like she had shown me to do and got myself ready for my first injection. It took me a good fifteen minutes to finally do my injection after a lot of crying. I carried on doing my injections twice a day for a few weeks but as I was working and found that I didn't always want to eat three meals a day at certain times that it wasn't really working for me. So on my next appointment I spoke to the nurse about my concerns and she agreed with me so we changed my insulin pens and i ended up on four injections a day, three fast acting with meals and one long acting before I go to bed.
I was getting on really well with it at first, it worked with being at work and I didn't have to eat at specific times during the day and I could skip a meal if I felt like it which was great. But one day, close to my 23rd birthday I realised that I was starting to put weight on, which for me was really hard for me to take. I weighed myself and found I'd put on just over a stone in a month which I really didn't take very well. I spoke to the nurses and they all said it was to be expected and that i should take to the dietician. All he could tell me was to keep eating healthily and I'd soon start to loos it again.
So I carried on for a while believing that I would manage to loose the weight again but it didn't go, in fact I put more on. It didn't seem like people were listening to me, even my boyfriend didn't help. They all said I was fine and that I wasn't putting weight on but I knew I was, I could see it. So the longer it went on the less and less I did my insulin injections knowing full well that the injections were the cause of me putting weight on in the first place.
I started lying to everyone saying that I was doing my injections and that my sugars were fine. I even started making up my glucose levels for the nurses so they would thing that I was doing okay. I started to notice that the weight was starting to come off again and people were even starting to comment on the fact that I was loosing weight and I was looking good for it. But none of them knew my secret, they didn't know why I was loosing it again.
Believe me when I say I knew what could happen to me if I stopped taking my insulin but to me the weight loss was worth it. I'd been bullied for years as a child because I was on the plump side and my weight is really important to me. It went from a few skipped days of insulin to weeks and then eventually I very rarely did it if at all.
This year I found a small lump under my arm and thinking it was just a swollen sweat gland (which I'd had before) I didn't really think much of it until it started to swell and get really painful. I made an appointment to see the emergancy doctor and all I was toldis that it was an abcess and was given some antibiotics. So I started taking the antibioticsand expected it to go but it didn't, in fact I'd say it got bigger. One day at work it burst and one of the girls had to help me to clean it and put a dressing on it for me. Thinking that because it had burse that it would be okay and that it would go away I left it and just cleaned it and changed the dressing that was on it every day. I spent the day at work and it was becoming increasingly more painful and painkillers weren't even helping by this point. So I decided that when my fiance got in from work that we would go up to the hospital to get it checked out as I was becoming more and more worried about it throughout the day.
When we got up to the hospital we went through all of the procedures and eventually I was seen by a nurse who said she would clean it and have a look at it. She mearly touched it and the thing burst fully (there was puss running from it constantly). She said she would go and get a doctor to take a look at it and she came in had a good clean and a look at it and told me that she would get the surgens to come and take a look as theygenerally took care of abcesses. I wanted for them to come, by this time I was in a lot of pain. They came to have a look and told me that they wanted to opperate on it to clean it out and make sure that they could get all of the puss out of it to remove the infection. So the got me a bed on the ward and put me onto the emergancy opperations list and left. They did blood tests while I was on the ward and when the doctor came round to see me he told me that the abcess was a complication of my high blood surgar levels and that because they were high I was more prone to infections. The next time that he came back he told me that my sugars were far to high and that I was actually causing myself more problems and that I was suffering from DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) and if my sugars had been left to go any higher I could have been in the hospital for more serious problems that and infection and an abcess.
They eventually opperated on my abcess and let me out of the hospital. I had been out for two weeks when I found another lump on my leg. I was already seeing the district nurses to have the dressing in my arm changed every day so I asked them to take a look at it and they suggested that I go up to A&E after work and have it checked as it was a 5cm lump on my leg. So I did the same thing again and went to A&E for them to tell me that they were going to opperate on this one. So I was given a bed on a ward and attached to drips and a sliding scale for my insulin again and I was opperated on in the afternoon. This time around the doctors asked a diabetes nurse to come and see me as they were worried about just how high my HBA1c was (139). We taked about everything but for some reason I didn't want to tell her the reasons for me not taking my insulin (which was the waight increase that it was causeing). They let me out again and the nurse made me mmore appointments to go to the diabetes centre again but I still haven't spoken to them about the reasons behind me not taking my insulin. Iknow I should as they are there to help me but after the first time of trying to tell them my problems I don't think that it will make any difference.
I've started again to try and get back on track with my insulin but i'm having some trouble getting my thoughts past the fact that I know i'm going to put weight back on again. I'm really trying but honestly it's hard and I'm having trouble coping with it. I'm having that much trouble with it that instead of telling me fiance the reall reason behind me not taking my insulin I told him that it is because I am fed up of life and want to kill myself. I recently read an article about something called Diabulimia and I'm really starting to wonder if I have a really problem beyond just my diabetes and my depression these days, and I'm begining to wonder whether I really have depression or if I just have a problem with my weight and have an eating disorder.
I think it's about time that I spoke to someone about my problems, maybe they will be ready to give me the help that I need rather than push me off onto someone else. Maybe it's about time I told my fiance the real reason behind my problems instead of hiding behind the depresson diagnosis.
Please don't feel like you are alone because I have felt that way for a long time now and it does no good. Even if you don't want to talk to someone about your problems or the way that you're feel write about it. You never know it might help you like it has helped me.
Don't let it take over you're life and let it control you, you control IT. You are strong and you will get you're life back eventually you just have to keep working at it.
I'm Cathy, I'm a T1 diabetic and I am finally taking back control.
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