I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 17 and at boarding school. I had no choice but to just get on with life, but I didn’t like it because I felt different from my friends and was excluded from competing in some sports.
In 1964 the medical practitioners believed contact sports were too dangerous for someone living with diabetes to participate in. Not being allowed to play rugby was extremely upsetting for me and left me feeling like a pariah. Today I find it very encouraging to see that some elite athletes are diabetics and they can compete at the same levels as healthy non-diabetics.
I am proud of the fact that I have lived with diabetes type 1 for 50 years without any major problems – touch wood! While living with diabetes is certainly not simple it has become more manageable as methods of control have improved and information on diets, GI and analysis of food data is all accessible online. I also have to add that as a consequence of my diagnosis I exercised a bit more frequently than I might otherwise have done!