Bah Humbug. Sugar free humbugs of course… – by LucyT


Lucy-thomas80x80To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. The unrelenting overindulgence: spending too much, eating too much, drinking too much, just gets (you’ve guessed it!) too much. People get their knickers in a twist about having the PERFECT CHRISTMAS and what that entails and lose sight of what it should actually be about.

The ‘magic’ of Christmas disappeared for me many years ago and since then I’ve pretty much regarded the 25th December as ‘just another day’. Feel free to call me the Ginger Grinch – I really don’t mind. I actually like January – the beginning of a new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and look forward to what the following 12 months will bring.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the end of November 1998 – so Christmas followed pretty swiftly after being discharged from hospital, with my mum and I still trying to get our heads around testing sugar levels, mixing insulin in syringes and ensuring I always ate 20 minutes after injecting.

Looking back I’m not sure how I coped with that – luckily it was only for three-and-a-bit years because at the age of 17, I was transferred onto insulin pens. What a fabulous invention! That Christmas was a true test to a newly diagnosed diabetic; SO many Christmas treats are bursting with sugar and it’s an incredibly lethargic time of year. Mix those two things together and suddenly sugar levels are through the proverbial gingerbread house’s roof!

The distant relatives and family friends who normally indulged my brother and me with selection boxes and other yummy treats suddenly panicked and didn’t know what else to give. Even having a chocolate advent calendar was now a huge faff! Then of course as the years progressed there’s the introduction of alcohol; yet another substance that can wreak havoc for any diabetic. But those are stories for another time perhaps.

In the past five years I’ve only actually spent one of them at home in Cornwall – I’ve discovered that disappearing makes it all the more bearable. This year is no exception; on Christmas Eve I shall be disappearing into the wintry sunset for warmer shores on the other side of the world: Australia – with a 12 hour stop in Saigon, Vietnam on Christmas Day, so I shall be enjoying some tasty, spicy noodles for my Christmas dinner rather than stuffing myself full of turkey and mince pies.

It’s a hard life I know. I love Australia and am looking forward to three weeks of summer in the depths of winter (I’m not designed for the cold). Many people are horrified when they realise that I’ll be by myself, in a foreign city, on Christmas Day. “Won’t you miss your family?” they enquire. Well, yes of course I will, but my family are scattered all over the place so whoever I ended up spending it with; others would miss out.

This time of year also bring a large sense of reflection; contemplating your achievements and failures from the past 12 months and celebrating the wins, no matter how small they’ve been. I’ve now been a diabetic for 16 years and am still incredibly lucky that thus far it’s had very little impact on my life. As far as I’m concerned it’s *Test. Inject. Live life. Repeat*. That’s all there is to it.

So to all you Diabetes UK blog readers out there, have a fabulous holiday season, incredible new year and remember whatever happens this Christmas don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.

If *Test.Inject.Live Life.Repeat* suddenly becomes a massively popular slogan you heard it here first chaps…

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