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DIabetes affecting your skin

Aislinn
20.01.2009

Diabetes has been a big change for me and it took me a while to adapt to it. Diabetes had been something I had never known much about. I knew a few people with it but I still didn’t fully understand what it was. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with diabetes that I fully understood what it all meant.

Before I was diagnosed I got sick very quickly. Mum took me to the doctor who did some tests on me. They told us to make an appointment and come back in a few days. A few nights later I was still very sick. Mum let me sleep in her bed and at midnight I got up to go to the bathroom. I took one step and collapsed on the floor. Mum rushed me to hospital and I was diagnosed within minutes. The doctor said that I was flashing in and out of a diabetic coma.

Then I was taken to another hospital with a better diabetes program. I spent a week in the intensive care unit. This experience was a very frightening one for me. I don’t remember the first few days that I spent in the hospital, all I remember was waking up and Mum telling me I had diabetes. I felt that having diabetes would mean I’d have to make massive changes. The idea of giving myself injections for the rest of my life scared me.

My friends were very supportive of me which helped a lot. Shortly after I was told that we were moving to Sydney. This was a hard move. Going to a new school and having diabetes meant that I would have to explain to a lot of people what it meant. A lot of people were supportive but others were not. Some people accused me of making it all up so that I would get pity from other people and they would become my friend. This was hard.

The transition in to high school was not as hard as I thought. All I had to do was make sure that I told my teachers just in case. Three years ago I began noticing spots on my right leg. I went to the doctor and they told me it was a rash. But it didn’t go away. We waited a few months but more were appearing. We went back to the doctor and they recommended a skin specialist. He diagnosed it as Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum. This is a rare disease that only 3% of diabetics get.

As a teenager your slightly self conscious with how you look. For a while I was ashamed of the spots. I felt that people were always looking at them and judging me. I have now come to a realization that they make me an individual and I am one of a few people in the world that have them. I am the only case that my doctor has ever seen and I have to say that’s pretty cool.

Having diabetes has not stopped my life it’s a part of it. Having diabetes is not the worst thing in the world if you take care of yourself. Work is being done every day to find a cure and one day they will!