Melanie Galea

Type 1

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before I turned 5 in 1988 and spent my birthday in hospital. I wasn’t scared at all of injections and I remember the nurses being relieved because they had to chase the last diabetic kid all around the ward! Hospital was pretty exciting to me – I had people coming to visit and bringing me presents (I didn’t really understand why) and I participated in activities with other kids in the hospital which I really enjoyed.

I vaguely remember early on someone teaching my mother how to disinfect equipment on a stove top when preparing for an injection. Today everything is portable! I can be anywhere in the world and have everything I need to manage my condition.

It’s not always easy. I work as a video producer and have recently started a production company with my partner and it’s challenging climbing the steep hills of the Victorian High Country, eating sporadically and trying to balance your levels, plus dealing with the stresses of managing a crew of blokes. There are days where my sugar sky rockets for no apparent reason and I have to remain focussed while feeling like death warmed up. And there are days where I’m constantly having hypos and chowing down jellybeans, Coke and fruit sticks, and feeling as though the exercise is all for nothing. Yet I still live my life – for the past five years I have produced 4WD adventure shows – which means I find myself in a lot of remote locations and live out of a 4WD when I do it!

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