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brittany - Diabetes Australia
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brittany wilcox

Well it all started when I was 13, I was losing weight. My mum and I thought that it was good because I had always been on the chubbier side. I wasn’t eating as much as I used, I was feeling very lazy all the time, and I used the toilet at least 20 times a day.

One day mum decided she wanted to check my BSL (blood sugar level), as my younger brother already had type 1 diabetes, she used his monitor and pricker to check. My sugar level was 13.7; mum took me straight to the doctors where they took a slightly different blood test. The result came back and the doctor told my mum to go straight to hospital as I may have Type 1 Diabetes.

Sitting in the emergency room the nurse had taken a blood test, shortly after; the nurse came back and told me that I had Type 1 Diabetes. My mum was very upset, I wasn’t upset at all seeing as I knew what it was and that I wasn’t dying. I then spent the next five days in hospital on a drip pumping insulin and fluids into my body. A Diabetes Educator, nurses and other people taught me how to look after my diabetes, where to inject myself and where to prick my finger when I needed to check my BSL. After the five days I was finally allowed to go home. As a gift, I received a bag full of goodies, including Ruby the diabetic bear, a book about diabetes and all sorts of things.

It had been a few months having Type 1 Diabetes and I realised it wasn’t that difficult living with it. I told all my teachers that I had Type 1 Diabetes and what they needed to do if I had a hypo. I told my friends and they all understood, they didn’t make me feel any different having diabetes. I was worried what they would all think, if they thought I was some sort of freak or even a drug-o having to have needles all the time.

Having diabetes for a bit longer now it started to get to me and I started to get sick of checking my BSL every time before I ate and having insulin shots as well. I just wanted to be normal again and not worry about doing all that stuff. So I stopped taking my insulin for a long time, saying to my mum that I was taking my insulin when I really wasn’t.

About a month went by and I found myself in hospital with DKA. I was in the high dependency unit with two drips and all these cords hanging out everywhere. It was kind of scary because at this point I really thought I was going to die. The Diabetes Educator talked to me and had to explain how important it is that I take my insulin because without it I can die.

Now being 16 I have realised how important it is. After all It’s just as simple as a finger prick and insulin shot and it’s all over within five minutes. Doing that 4 times a day which equates to 20 minutes a day keeps me living healthy and well. I also watch what I eat and having diabetes for 3 years now all those fatty and sugary foods don’t bother me, not having them for so long I just turned off them. Exercising everyday has made me feel better about myself and so much more comfortable with my body. I see a specialist every 3 months and every time he tells me I’m his top patient. That makes me proud of looking after myself so well.

So really diabetes isn’t difficult to live with. It may take time to get used of but it’s just something that happens to certain people.

My mum always used to tell me that God choose my brother and me to have diabetes because we're the special ones and he thinks we are strong enough to handle it which does helps to cope with living with diabetes