In October 2006, at the age of 17 and just a few weeks into my sixth year of secondary school, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In the weeks prior to this, I displayed most of the classic symptoms – rapid weight loss, unquenchable thirst, excessive urination, muscle cramp, nausea and a rash. No one in the family had any education on type 1 diabetes so the symptoms went unaddressed until a near ketoacidosis-induced coma required a visit to the emergency department
Within minutes of entering the hospital I was given the diagnosis and over the next 24 hours had 10 litres of fluids delivered intravenously. I had to have my vital organs X-rayed for possible damage. After seven days in hospital I was let loose, armed with the blood glucose meters, insulin pens and the needles I was going to have to use to keep myself alive for the foreseeable future.
Post-diagnosis my life changed from that of a young, athletic teenager to that of a long-term outpatient living to a set of very particular constrictions and limitations.
But now, fortunately, I can say that I never allow my disease to limit what I can and cannot do.
I can say that a positive perspective on life is very important for a Diabetes patient to lead a quality life.