I was diagnosed with the incurable disease that means I now prick my finger multiple times a day until they get calloused and rough, I wear an insulin pump that delivers the insulin that I need just so I survive the day, it means hospital appointments and the constant fear that my blood sugars will go too high or too low, the very real threat of complications like kidney disease, heart disease, blindness...it also means that I deal with my own life every single day, I can't take a break because it demands constant attention, constant monitoring...with that comes frustration, anger, but it can also bring happiness and the feeling of pride that I managed to get my blood sugars in control despite my body lacking a fully-functioning pancreas.
No one knows what the future holds, no one knows which path their life will take and I would never have imagined that I would be living with Type one diabetes.
Diabetes is so much more than what people who don't have it, see on the outside; they see diabetics in the street but only realise the bleeding finger and the drawing up of insulin dosages or insulin pump tubing peaking out from under their shirt; but most of the time it gets passed off as an MP3 player of some sort.
But they would never stop to consider the emotional bearings of Type one diabetes because they don't know, to others the number on a blood sugar monitor is merely a number; it is just a number that makes the diabetic, a diabetic. For the person who deals with it day in and day out- that number can mean everything, the number means their future. I know it means mine; I know that every high blood sugar reading that appears on the screen, my future is being tarnished.
I've had so many ups and downs with diabetes and will more than likely continue to do so. I've been frustrated, unwell, angry, sad- but it all makes me stronger. I've had times where I have just felt completely stuck with diabetes and I think "I am not cut out for this" but then I remember that I can do it and I have done it before. The phrase "you can do anything if you put your mind to it" has never had so much meaning to me.
The past four years haven't been awful though, I can have fun, I can mess around with my friends, run, jump and I know I have every opportunity to live my life to the fullest despite the challenges that I face living a life with Type one diabetes, because of diabetes I even had the chance to speak in the House of Commons for an event with Diabetes UK and I have met some amazing people through diabetes too.
I know that life could be worse, although my diagnosis changed my life and means I will have to deal with both the emotional and physical pain of Type one diabetes until they find a cure, it doesn't mean the end of the world.
Being diagnosed with diabetes didn't change who I am, I am still exactly the same person I was before diagnosis. Sure, diabetes has meant that I am stronger now, I know the true meaning of hope and I appreciate the life that I have (not that I didn't before!) but I see things in a deeper light now. I have gained more wisdom in the past four years than I ever thought I would in my whole life and I have probably grown up beyond my years- but diabetes has never done, and never will define who I am.
I like cats and drinking frappucinos from Starbucks and Costa. I love my family and their support means the world to me. All my friends are fabulous and my friend Tia has been there for me from the very beginning which means so much to me. I love the sky especially because it looks pretty early in the mornings and late at night when the sun sets, the smell of fresh air in the morning is glorious and I am such a fruit lover. I love to act and I like singing too.
None of which have anything to do with diabetes, because although I have it and always will until it is cured, it does not make me, me.
I know I am strong enough for diabetes and I will never let it get me down because I know that I can do it. The hardest thing is just finding the courage. Sometimes, having diabetes makes it hard to see the light and life can get tough but it's okay, there is always a way that life gets better and life could still be so much worse. Every morning I will wake up with a smile on my face because I am lucky enough to still be living my life to the fullest.
Four years has gone by quicker than I ever imagined.
Stay strong my fellow diabetics, we can do this c: