I was diagnosed two weeks after turning 21 after suffering constant thirst & urination, especially at night, whist studying for my final year exams in the Bachelor of Business Degree, majoring in Accountancy, at UTS. I was hospitalised at Concord hospital for one week. At the time, it could not be determined if I was Type 1 or Type 2.
I was put onto tablets. That lasted for six months – which I call my “honeymoon period” and ended while I was on a Contiki holiday in Central Australia. I came back to Sydney weighing 60kgs, all skin and bones! The diabetes clinic at RPAH put me onto insulin injections. Within a month I had put on weight and looked a lot healthier.
During the early years, I suffered from many hypos, especially unconscious ones whilst sleeping at night, which was very scary. To be frank, I could write a book about the number of hypos I have suffered in a variety of different places and situations over time! However, with a reduction in the amount of insulin and the introduction of basal long acting insulin, the hypos reduced. However, over the many years my diabetic control has been excellent with my HbA1C being consistently in the 7 range.
To date, I have no complications, which is great after 28 years. As someone who loves exercising from lap swimming, walking and doing gym classes such as HIIT, boxing and cycle classes, together with eating wisely, this has helped immensely with my day to day diabetic management.
Diabetes has not hindered my career. I am a Chartered Accountant and Director of Client Services in the Business Advisory Division at mid-tier firm, Nexia Sydney.
My biggest day to day challenge is hypoglycaemia unawareness. My diabetic specialists at RPAH, Professor Stephen Twigg and Professor Margaret McGill, have been recommending for some time, that I change my diabetic management. As a result, over the past few months, I have started using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device known as Guardian Connect. The piercing alert tone from my mobile phone, well before my sugars go too low, has been a saviour for me in reducing severe hypoglycaemic events. The device illustrates how technology is making improvements to the quality of my life. This, together with my determined mind set in keeping diabetes in check, allows me to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life