My Journey With Type 1 Diabetes.
Diabetes whether its type 1 or type 2, is something you need to understand, control and monitor pretty much around the clock. It can be exhausting and sometimes really bring you down, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you are new to this page then hey, I am Tom Hicks, I’m 21, nearly 22 and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just over 2 years ago back in 2016. Now I don’t plan to go into too much in this one article as this particular subject is something i’d like to build like a path that has multiple stops along the way so you can take a break and soak in everything that you learn along the way.
Let us skip the diagnosis and hospital trip, lets start this blog at the point of waking up from my first night out of hospital and into Type 1 Diabetes Independence.
After days of intensive care and fast track learning of my newly gained Type 1 Diabetes, I had to stick to a certain body clock due to the new insulin schedule I had been handed. So let us start with my starter injection. My first dose was at 10am, my morning one, which would maintain my levels throughout the day and stop them from spiking randomly. This was still such a foreign feeling to me, waking up, cleaning extremely steadily and pacing myself to pierce my body with a needle. Keep in mind that needles at one point was my greatest fear, along with spiders and heights. So, with this overwhelming fear of needles fresh in my head, I had no choice but to inject myself, in fact it wasn’t just at 10am either, it was every single time I ate something carb filled too. I’m my head, i’m thinking, there has to be another way of doing this…I would think to myself “Surely I could drink this right?”
After a good 10 minutes of heavy breathing, sweating and numbness in my fingers, I would pucker up the courage to inject myself, right in the stomach. Although the needle is only a measly 4mm in size, it felt like I was performing the ancient art of harakiri, honestly.
That was only the morning.
So, now the hard part was done. For now.
Then came lunch time at around 1pm, I had to choose between a nice BLT sandwich or a completely appetising and totally mind melting *drumroll* salad! Now, with my fear of needles being ever so apparent, I stuck with a salad for a good few weeks, I think I lost more weight doing this than I did going through Ketoacidosis…seriously, I must have easily demolished a good few forests of salad before I moved onto a bread based substitute.
Now lunch is done, dinner time…the worst time.
For the first day I really did fail with dinner time….I remember having a beautifully assembled yet horribly tasting chicken salad….honestly, compared to the salads that stayed with me every day after….it was horrible. I’d just prefer a tree to munch on in the mean time. Anyway, no matter how low carb my meal was, the taste just stayed with me, so to treat myself, I had 1….that’s right, 1 custard cream biscuit…honestly those things could keep you going during any bad situation.
3 Hours Later…
…My levels have spiked!
Either that salad was pure sugar cane and not lettuce, or that one biscuit had a good 5 sugar cubes hidden in it somewhere…So, then I have the task of taking more insulin to bring the levels down to an acceptable level before bed time. Easier said than done when it’s your first night. Up and down like a yoyo is what I was…one minute my levels are at 17.9 then the next there at a all-time low of 5.6, which at the time was a low for me since my levels where always high. While sitting on the floor shaking in a river of sweat, I would reach for a biscuit and glass of milk, take it all down and wait for it to all kick in. It honestly wasn’t a nice feeling, especially for my first day either.
After sitting content at a stable 7 sugar levels for a few hours, my final 10pm sugar level reading came in, followed by the dreaded injection. All day I tried to build the courage up to do this final night-time insulin and just close my eyes, but it just wasn’t that easy. I would prepare, sit and ponder on the thought of injecting myself for minutes on end, losing feeling in my fingers due to panic, my heart rate going up for the same reason. I just couldn’t hack doing this needle stuff, it honestly sent me into a frenzy that I could not control nor hide.
Then, after stopping and thinking about what worse episodes people are going through right now, it kind of sunk in that if I don’t do this one simple task, this one task that keeps me breathing, keeps me healthy and ensures I wake up every morning in tip-top shape, then I wouldn’t be able to have a life at all. It would eventually kill me. I said to myself “why am being scared when it’s helping me, why am I worrying then I am being supported?” Then I just gave in to my inner fear and just stabbed my stomach without even realising.
After all that commotion, I just went bed with my other half, who’s fast asleep, looked up to the ceiling and thought, all this and that’s just day 1.
Roll on Day 2.