At the start, it was pretty tough to come to terms with, and even now it sometimes still feels like the worst thing in the world, but I try my best and focus on the positives of being ‘the diabetic girl’.
It’s instilled a certain resilience in me that I’m not sure I would have without that diagnosis day back in 2008. Some days you really don’t feel like getting out of bed but there are always things which need to be done – especially when you grow up on a farm where there are always hundreds of hungry of mouths to feed!
As with farming, diabetes is full of its own ups and downs. I think it’s fair to say that both are full-on, unpredictable, and a real challenge… you can have years and years of experience but there’s always something new around the corner.
One of my favorite times of the year, lambing season, is also the toughest. 18 hour days in our lambing shed, bringing hundreds of new lives into the world on very little sleep and trying to treat multiple hypos a day – it’s not easy, but you learn what works and what doesn’t.
I count myself as lucky because most days I feel like I’ve got it all sorted. After twelve years, I am getting to grips with how my blood sugar levels work, and most days I genuinely feel like I could take on the world! I can run rings around our flock of sheep… I can march a few hundred laps up and down our milking parlour… I feel like I can do anything and everything, diabetic or not.
Other days, no matter how many finger pricks, insulin shots or hypo treats, I just can’t understand what’s going on. Everything you think should work doesn’t! Whether it’s food, exercise, stress, hormones, the weather, forgotten injections…(the list goes on!), trying to do the right thing doesn’t always work. And it can really make you feel like a failure!
But I think it’s so important to reflect on how far I’ve come since the doctor sat me down and tried to explain this baffling condition to a frightened and confused ‘only just’ teenager. A moment that would change my life forever – I believe in a positive way.
I am so grateful to new technology which has revolutionized how I manage my diabetes, and the amazing support network of friends and family I have around me. Thank you for putting up with my hypo strops… I promise it’s not me talking, it’s my diabetes!!
For anyone who feels like diabetes is getting the better of them, I would encourage you to join Facebook groups and reach out to others facing the same daily challenges. We’re all in it together, and there will nearly always be someone who has been through exactly the same thing before. In the world of Type 1 diabetes, and the farming community, I’ve learned that a problem shared truly is a problem halved.
Hi! I’m Laura, 24 years old from Shropshire and I’ve been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of thirteen.