I was on an overseas holiday in my early 20s when I started to experience symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Initially I went to the doctor and was misdiagnosed by a doctor who was older and had an outdated understanding of the changes that type 1 has undergone over the years, before I went to the Diabetes Centre and was diagnosed. Initially I responded to the diagnosis with bravado (bordering on denial) which lasted about two weeks before I started to come to terms with the situation. Initially I tried to carry on with my life as though nothing had changed.
The main thing I would like share is the importance of accepting the reality of the situation of a diagnosis once it has occurred and being mentally prepared for the day to day changes that the diagnosis will have on your life.
For the most part life with diabetes is fine – beside the everyday treatment, monitoring and the odd hypo, my life continues as normal. The only dark spots are the effects of the mental drain the disease can become and the looming expectation of later life complications.
Now I work as a commercial illustrator and I have dreams of one day illustrating a book to raise more awareness of diabetes to young people.