Nineteen year old Amy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was ten years of age. Amy lives in Sydney and is currently studying social work at university. Below is Amy's story.
Prior to changing to the adult clinic, my professor at the children’s hospital, my local GP and an older friend with diabetes helped me out with what options there were in finding new services.
Now that I've changed to an adult clinic, both the diabetes educator and my Doctor give me information on other related services if I need it. I was a little apprehensive at first about changing hospitals. The thought of my hospital check-up has always made me cringe a little even when I knew the people and exactly how it works! But once I was in the adult system it wasn't scary at all. It was a really relaxing set up in the waiting room, all the staff were re-assuring and the radio was set on my favourite station so the familiarity of that made me feel quite at home!
With everything new you always feel a bit apprehensive. But all the staff were extremely supportive, especially the co-ordinator. They answered all my questions and directed me to the right people. My mum also came with me for support which was great. My biggest challenge was my fear of hospitals, so having a change heightened those nerves. My family and friends have coped really well with my transition. My parents give me independence and freedom, whilst still making sure that I'm on track with my health. My friends are great, we go out partying and I play weekly sport, I know they keep an eye on me, but they also give me my space.
I haven't had any major difficulties and I live my life as I always have. I got my driver's license as soon as I could and haven't had any issues with driving. I'll take a minute to check my blood sugars (especially after basketball) to make sure that I'm good to get behind the wheel and then I'm off! Leaving school definitely wasn't an issue!
I'm now studying at uni. With different lecture times it can be a bit of a juggling act with insulin and meal times, but it's all worked out fine.
Meeting new people and dating new people hasn't been difficult, I'm a firm believer in being open so if I need to 'shoot up' (as my friends affectionally put it) I will. At first people may be a little shocked, but then they are fine. If they have a huge issue with it, they aren't really worth dating or hanging out with!
I have coped really well. It's all been very exciting with the changes, I've been able to meet new people, and gain more responsibility and independence. I believe it's a great time to have fun!
This is Amy's personal experience of managing type 1 diabetes and is not intended to be representative of the experience of all people with diabetes.