Scot MacDonald MLC

Type 1

Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes type 1 at the age of 51 came with a mixture of relief and uncertainty: relief because I had been feeling unwell and losing weight for months and uncertainty because there was a lot of information to absorb.

In the months after diagnosis I had my type 1 learner plates on. There was a lot of information bombarding me. I was learning the tools of the trade and experimenting with food, exercise and dosage levels. But after a while it gets easier and a little more predictable. That takes a bit of the uncertainty out of it.

I work as a country MP in the New England, NSW and I have to be quite careful to manage by blood glucose levels so as not to interfere with my job, particularly public interaction. My work schedule and public appearances means there is little room for complacency – having a hypo while speaking in Parliament was not a great experience. But I don’t feel there is any activity that I can’t undertake because I have type 1. Sometimes it takes a lot of organisation but nothing is insurmountable.

I think the lesson for me is to accept the condition and adapt as quickly as possible. Probably the most successful thing for me is to avoid sweets, soft drinks and alcohol. It won’t work for everyone, but it helps me minimise big swings in blood glucose levels.

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