I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 4 July 2004 – I was 15 years old, it was school holidays and I had been extremely thirsty and needing to go to the toilet frequently. While I had lost weight, I hadn’t noticed because I’d been so active at the time which masked a lot of the symptoms.
The day I was diagnosed I felt awful, I went to the orthodontist and then to vet, before mum and I had a confrontation over my symptoms and I told her I was really unwell. We went to the doctor who was amazing – he did a blood glucose test and rang the John Hunter Hospital to inform them of our arrival and advised us to go straight there.
My next clear memory was being happy and I felt hungry and asked for toast. My return to school was amazing thanks to some brilliant office and welfare staff, and the PDHPE teachers at my high school were also really helpful.
At first I felt as though it stopped me doing a lot of things, but there are barely any boundaries – although careful planning is important.
I’m now married and I work as a teacher which helps me spread the message a long way. I’m still very active – I swim three times a week in an adult tri-squad and cycle approximately 30-60km on the weekends. While I’ve noticed that general community awareness has increased, it still has a long way to go – more education will lead to greater compassion and understanding.