Hi, my name is… – By Rachel


I feel a bit like I am at group counselling but here goes – “Hi, my name is Rachel, I’m 38 and I am a type 2 diabetic”.

My diabetic story didn’t really start until 5 years ago when I discovered it quite by accident. I have probably been diabetic, I’m told, since my teens or childhood but it went undiagnosed.

Fortunately my diabetes is now under control and my daily routine consists of tablets 3 times a day and I eat a low carb diet. Something else I use, which I feel is very important to any diabetic, types 1 or 2, is self monitoring. Now that my diabetes is under control I self test about once a day. More on days when my sugars are unstable. I will never understand the NHS stance on type 2’s and self monitoring but that’s for another day!

Life with diabetes has changed a lot in some ways and in other ways, not so much. My diet was already pretty good which I credit for saving me through many years of being undiagnosed. But there is so much more to think about these days it seems. Infections seem to have taken on a whole new meaning now and I cant take things for granted.

I seem to be at my doctors for check-ups or medication changes a lot more often too. I often joke with him about it being a revolving door! But he and I both share a passion for prevention rather than cure when it comes to diabetic complications so we work equally hard to keep ahead of things where possible. That’s something I am so lucky to have and I am very aware not everyone within the NHS does. I have witnessed so called diabetic care at its worst too and I would love to get standard NHS care improved for all.

I find my social life is much the same but I just have to be aware of certain things these days. Life does go on after diagnosis, it has just taken a little adjustment and some acceptance on my part. I make sure I always carry my medications and most of my friends and family are aware of my diabetes. So I rarely find myself in awkward situations anymore.

I feel confident in my condition now after 5 years. I wont lie though, there are many things which I just have to go without and that can be hard sometimes, especially if others are having it! But for me its more important to have good health and I see it as taking responsibility for myself and my health and worth the sacrifice. No one else can do it for me.

If you’d asked me prior to diabetes what I thought the worst things would be about living with it, I probably would have said the needles and going without my favourite foods! Now though, those things don’t seem so bad! Diabetes will cure you of a needle phobia in record time and you learn to change how you look at food. With some adjustment time, education and good friends and family around me I have learnt to carry on my life as close to normal as possible.

Now I am confident that no matter what diabetes throws at me, I will tackle it head on. I’m still me, diabetes or not!

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