So the 28th December 2018 marked my 12th year of living with type 1 diabetes. Did I celebrate? Not in a huge fashion, but I always raise a glass and give a nod to getting through another year living with this condition. It’s not easy and it will always come hand in hand with its trials and tribulations. No matter how advanced the technology to support diabetes becomes, there will always be a lot of work to do on my part.
This year, on my 12th Diaversary I was doing what I do best – performing. We are very close to the end of our run of Peter Pan with 2 shows left and I couldn’t be happier spending my Diaversary performing. It reminds me that no matter what diabetes throws at me and the challenges it presents, it never stops me from achieving and living out my goals – and quite frankly never will.
I feel that throughout my 12 years since being diagnosed I have learned an awful lot. Things have definitely changed for the better and technology is progressing positively. This is all in the hope of finding a cure for diabetes. Which really would be an absolute miracle. I find it hard to imagine my life without diabetes to be honest, so what the future could hold is potentially mind boggling to me!
When I look back 12 years ago to when I was first diagnosed, I was a mess. That’s to be expected though. I spent a lot of time crying because I didn’t understand why it had happened to me and I spent a lot of time questioning whether I would ever be able to live a normal life. The answer to that is yes. It hasn’t ever gotten in the way of anything. I can still do everything that anyone else can do, it’s just an added factor to my life which makes me think a bit more.
When I was first diagnosed I was only on 2 injections daily which really limited what I could eat throughout the day. It was really difficult to control my blood sugar levels and I was soon moved onto different insulin and taught how to carb count. Carb counting is extremely beneficial for me and has really helped me to control my levels. However, even now, 12 years on I’m learning every day and I’m still finding out how my body reacts to certain things. I think this will be something that I will constantly learn more about throughout my life.
There are still so many things that I want to achieve in regards to my diabetes.
- Lower my HBA1c – I find this really difficult. No matter how hard I try to keep my levels in check there’s always something that throws a spanner into the works; illness, emotions, adrenaline.
- Inspire others on their diabetes journey – Whenever I blog, speak or post anything about diabetes I feel really rewarded. I get such a positive response from others who feel driven or educated by what I have spoken about. It’s such an amazing feeling and I want to keep inspiring. When I participated in the Happy Diabetic Challenge in November I received so amazing messages and feedback from others.
- Educate people – I’ve said it countless times before and I’ll never stop saying it, but people need to know more about diabetes. I will keep talking and educating and you should too.
- Become an ambassador for Diabetes UK – This is an ultimate goal of mine. I’d love for my career to get to a certain point where I could inspire others with diabetes to go into the performing industry. I would love to make it to ambassador. Fingers crossed!
- Raise more money for Diabetes UK and other diabetes charities – I absolutely love taking part in charity events and I hope to continue doing so and raising more money. I really hope to do a big charity fundraiser near my 30th birthday, but I’ve got a couple of years to sort that one yet!
No matter how far into your diabetes journey, you should applaud yourself for making it as far as you have every day. You are fighting each day to take control of your condition and it’s inspiring. Keep going and keep positive. Grab the bull by the horns and run with it. You are the only person who can control your future and you need to rule your diabetes. It’s a part of you, so embrace it! Spread the word and smile.
A very happy 12th Diaversary to me.