Introducing Jennifer talking about Type 1 and her good friend DAFNE
It was a Saturday night in February 2006. I’d been feeling thirsty, generally run down and as I described it “a bit funny”- and a friend suggested I could have diabetes.
I knew the symptoms and knew she could be right, but then, maybe I was being a hypochondriac. My dad was a GP and in our kitchen at home I asked him – with the disclaimer of “I’m probably being silly” – to check my urine for glucose.
I’m still pretty shocked at how well I coped with getting such life-changing news. It wasn’t until I was referred to the hospital and sitting with the Diabetes Specialist Nurse a few days later that I cried like a baby – my only wobble so far.
Lots of things were going through my mind. But the nurse said that diabetes would just become something in the background – it won’t rule my life, and everyday it’ll just be like brushing my teeth. She was so right – not that I believed her at the time.
Lucky for me, I understood what was going on. I knew what type 1 diabetes was and – on the whole – how to keep things under control. However, no matter how much you think you know – there’s always more to find out and ways to improve.
One piece of advice I’d give anyone – whether you’re diabetes is under control or not – is to get yourself enrolled on a DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) educational course. It’s not available everywhere and you may struggle to get a place but keep asking – I believe it’s how I transformed my control.
The five-day course helped me understand even more than I thought I knew about the condition. Plus it was a chance to speak about the condition with my type 1 classmates; discovering we all have similar problems, bad habits and reasons for a healthy moan.
Learning how best to monitor, track and make changes to your insulin routine and clever tricks for eating out, exercise and going on holiday has made such a difference. Just like everything else, it’s all about balance.
So, I’m Jennifer, 29 years old and from Glasgow. I’ve been pancreatically challenged for nine and a half years now. With hard work, dedication and support, I’m still striving for better control, but I’m positive. After all, it could be a lot worse…
Find Jennifer on Twitter @WeeJen15.