I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1986 when I was 14, and since then I’ve had around 36,000 insulin injections and 60,000 blood glucose tests.
I had mixed feelings when I was diagnosed, I was scared, relieved, disappointed, embarrassed, determined and excited all at the same time. I think kids are pretty resilient and, when I look back, I can see now that I just got on with life and didn’t dwell on the negatives.
In the early days there was a lot to learn about nutrition, how to manage insulin and when to test your blood. But now, it’s routine – it’s second nature – it’s just life. I don’t think of it as ‘life with diabetes’.
Now I am probably fitter for having diabetes than not having it – I exercise a lot, I’m careful about what I eat, and more resilient from the extra challenges it brings. It certainly helped me succeed in my biggest achievement which was to complete The Big Red Run – a 250km ultra-marathon held over six consecutive days through the Simpson Desert.
My life is full and diabetes doesn’t hold me back. I’m lucky to have a supportive wife, two great kids and a full time job as a General Manager. I want to share my experiences to inspire young children, and their families dealing with a diabetes diagnosis, to believe that anything is still possible.