Diabetes type 1 (young people)
Messages to other young people with diabetes
Diagnosis and Learning about Diabetes Care
- Keep positive, to be diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the world.
- At the time of diagnosis it's obviously quite a big shock and it feels like a really big change to your life, but as you get used to it you'll realise that it isn't really all that big a change.
- Make sure you've got a good doctor. If you don't like the doctors you've got, maybe try and find another one because it is really important you have a doctor you trust.
- If you have questions in between check-ups or problems about control and you are not quite sure how to handle it do ask for help!
To be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is not the end of the world, you will get used to living...
I suppose what would have helped me at the beginning was to have someone just say, 'It's, you know, it's all right. It, you know, it will be okay'. So I think, that's what I'm saying, you know. You, you might have all these questions and worries and things and, you know, you might think it's the end of the world. And it's really not. It's just something that you've got to make a part of your life. Which is easier than you might think, than you might think it is. You know, there's lots of help out there and advice, and it will become something that you just do naturally everyday, you know. You've just got to get on with your life, not let it stop you. At the same time not, don't, not to forget about it. But, and I think it's also important not to hate it, you know. You've got to work with it, you know. It's a part of you. So just, you know, you have to just learn to accept it. And also it's important I think to try and find out as much information as you can yourself. It will all be there for you, but because, you know, you're the person who's got responsibility for managing it. But it's, you know, it's certainly, it's not stopped me doing anything in my life. So that's what I'd say to other people really. You know, this will be a confusing time, and it's, it can be upsetting. And it's a bit of a leap on to the unknown. You don't know what it means. But, you know, overall it's, you know, you get used to it, you get used to it. And it's not the end of the world.
Just learn to be patient because when you are starting to managed your diabetes your blood...
And what about asking questions to the health professionals?
Yeah they're always there to help so if you have a question you might as well use them and ask them, because they tend to have all the answers, so, yeah.
Probably not to worry about it if they - if you get asked to change your insulin regime to do it because it's only going to benefit you, and I mean every time I got asked I've always changed regime - I've changed three times, I think. I've had three different styles, and everything's a challenge, and I sort of relish challenges really. Yeah just to get on with it and not let it rule your life. You just have to make allowances and stuff, so, don't rule your life by your condition. Sort of live your life and then adapt it to the diabetes.
- Take control of the management of diabetes yourself as soon as you can. Once you start to manage your diabetes everything seems better because you're in control.
- It's absolutely valid to be upset and it's valid to want to give up. But at the same time there are so many things that you can do and there is nothing that you shouldn't try and do.
- Always carry something sweet to drink or eat with you everywhere you go.
- Wear your diabetic pendant when going out with friends.
- If you go low, don't panic, just self-manage it.
- Do regular blood glucose tests to understand how your food and insulin interacts.
- If you have type 1 diabetes kind of symptoms ask your doctor to test your blood glucose level.
- Doing insulin injections is not always easy and it might take you some time to feel confident about doing it. Be patient.
- If you find it difficult controlling your blood glucose levels you will get miserable and you will feel bad but the thing is to carry on and don't give up.
- The biggest thing is that you have to aim for is good management of your diabetes because it is not your life and health now but in ten, twenty, or more years down the line.
- Diabetes doesn't control your life. You have to control diabetes. It's just part of your life, it's not you.
The more you learn about diabetes and its insulin treatment the better you will become at...
Don't be scared and as long as you control your diabetes and do your injections, diabetes does...
Says that he has lived with diabetes for 16 years and if hasn't stopped him from doing what he...
You can get through it, you can have a laugh - I mean I have a laugh, go out with my mates, it doesn't stop me doing anything and can go on holiday, you know, just, and after a while it's just one of them things. Yes, it's, it is a pain, and I, I suppose to people who haven't got it, but then I've virtually most of the time I forget I've got it, to a point that I don't think it's an issue anymore. Like, when doing things like this, it kind of reminds me that I've got it, if I'm honest with you because I've, the injections become part of life, you just do it. And to be honest, like when they, this cure thing, like when they bring this out I suppose that it'd be weird I suppose to a point I wouldn't know what to do. It would be strange knowing that I wouldn't have to control my insulin anymore. Actually it probably would affect me more, probably put on more weight to what I eat because at the moment I can cheat, you know. It would be weird, I suppose, having that control taken away from you and kind of going back to normal, I suppose. But it's, yeah, it's just one of them things you get used to. That's it, really [laughs].
Work with diabetes rather than against it because it is generally those people that do not...
Based on my experience, I think you, the first thing you have to do is admit you're a diabetic. You have to accept that you're a diabetic and that you do have to live your life slightly differently. But it doesn't mean to say you can't live your life. You have to work with diabetes rather than against it. Because if you work against it, it will work against you. And I think also if, if you aren't doing injections and you do know that it's wrong what you're doing, you need to try and find the courage to seek help as soon as you can. Because you won't get away with it, unless you're very very lucky. Which, I've not met, I've not met a bad diabetic who has been lucky.
There's, I've met bad, shouldn't say 'bad' diabetic, but the diabetics that I've met that don't really control their sugars very well generally have the problems. Whether they're minor or not, you know, whether it's a bit of kidney damage or they've got nerve problems in their feet. Maybe not as severe as mine, but generally speaking the diabetics who don't control their sugars get the complications. And you don't have to. It's a case of finding the right clinic for you and the right people around you, getting the help that you need.
Control diabetes, don't let it control you!
- If you have problems with doing the insulin injections don't give up and ask your consultant or GP for help.
- Tell your friends that you are diabetic and make sure that they know what to do if you have a hypo.
- If your parents are nagging you is because they care.
- Try not to let diabetes affect you but if you are having problems talk to someone. Talk to your parents or one of your friends or the diabetic consultants or the nurses at the hospital.
- When going out socialising you can have just a good time without drinking alcohol. Ask your friends to help you not to drink that much.
- Seek help if you start missing insulin injections or if you are making yourself sick or restricting your food intake. Don't wait until your problem gets worse. Talk to your diabetes care team and be honest with them. They can't help you unless they know what's going on.
- If others around you don't like the fact that you've got diabetes, don't want to accept it, then they're obviously not friends and you could do better without them.
- If anyone thinks that you're weird for having to do an injection, just ignore them.
Keep positive and do control your diabetes. And when you feel depressed do make sure that you...
Just keep positive and think that there's millions of people out there that have the same thing. You're not alone. Just make sure you do everything properly because if you do it properly from now it will prevent you from, you know, getting worse things one day. And make sure that if you do feel down talk to someone because it's bad if you keep your feelings in because I find that. If I talk like I'll feel better afterwards. And basically don't let it stop you from going out or from doing anything. You can still study. You can still do what you want to do. Go to parties and stuff. It's not, it doesn't have, you don't have to. It doesn't control your life. You have to control the diabetes. So it's just part of your life, it's not your, your life doesn't revolve around it. So it's just something that you have to remember but apart from that don't let it take over your life. That's what I think.
I think when you have bad days it is good to talk to people be it your mum, your friends, your boyfriend or girlfriend. Because if you don't I think if you hold it in it just gets worse and worse for yourself and you just start feeling down and depressed and that's not a good thing. So I think you should talk to people about your problems.
Have there been episodes in which you have felt depressed?
Yeah definitely, especially when there's other things going on in your life everything just seems like such a big problem and it all just gets on top of you and you break down. But you have to come back up really and just smile and just get on with it.
Says that you can't battle an eating disorder on your own, that you need to ask for help.
That they're not on their own. You know, you're not on your own. And that, you know, and I know it's the hardest thing to do is to ask, you know. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to ask for help. Especially when you're young and want to be independent. But that, you know, you, that is the only way that, that I can see anyway, that I've experienced the, you can overcome. You can't help yourself in situations like that. You just can't.
So that they need to ask for help? That they need support?
Hmm. They need to yeah, get a system going. Get everybody they know involved with it. You know, so you're not battling it on your own. You don't feel like you're battling it on your own. And just talk, talk to a counsellor and learn, you know, coping mechanisms for when you're feeling down or depressed to help you put things into perspective.
And just to take each day at a time and take each injection on its own, you know. Don't think too far into the future. Like don't think about what's going to happen next week when I go out or, you know, what's going to happen tomorrow when I go out for a buffet lunch or something. Just take, you know, each sort of step at a time and it makes it a lot easier breaking it down like that.
One important thing is to make sure that you tell others; friends, teachers, employers that you...
And as I say, friends really, just let all your friends know. I mean it's brilliant I got asked when I was at secondary school to talk about the diabetes in my science lesson. I mean science teachers appreciate it because you know more than they do. So as I say it's for your safety but on control I know it's difficult. I find it difficult but you've got to keep on top of it. It's for your sake. And if you haven't seen someone's rotted liver and kidneys due to high blood sugar have a look, it's not nice. It isn't and if you're squeamish it really will get you to get under control but yeah make sure. And I always carry glucose tablets along with me.
Last reviewed December 2017.
Last updated December 2017.