Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A friend with 'D' is a friend indeed.

Todd Newton is a friend of mine who I appreciate greatly.  We met when I started high school in September 2004, where he had been attending for 2 years already, at the nurse's office.  Todd has type one diabetes.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to take the back-seat and dedicate today's post to Todd.  I wanted to allow him to tell his 'Diabetic Story' and convey his own feelings about diabetes.  Our journeys along Diabetic Road have been very different from one another and so, for a bit of controversy, here is Todd's D-Story...

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 3rd February 1993, at the age of 2.  I know that my mum found it difficult to deal with, as she had already brought up my sister who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for ten years.  Although I realise how hard it must have been and it wasn't easy, I also admire my mum and sister for the help they have provided with my diabetes.

As a child, I suppose diabetes was easy to accept.  I knew that I was able to have a biscuit at 10am and 2pm, which encouraged me to learn how to tell the time!  Going without sweets and chocolate wasn't all that difficult either, as I knew I wasn't allowed them and had never really had them anyway.

However, struggles really began when I started secondary school.  Having extra time for exams because of my diabetes seemed like a good thing, but it made you stand out in an environment where I wanted to fit in as a teenage boy.  Also, with high school came parties and drinking.  Again, the pressure to fit in with my peer group often left little room for 'proper' care of my diabetes.

I have some amazing friends who try their best to understand my diabetes, but I find it hard to trust them with it fully.  I have advised them that, in an emergency, they should call for an ambulance as quickly as possible, but I also realise that when my blood sugars are low I seem drunk.  This can cause a lot of confusion and makes my lows harder for others to identify, especially on nights out.

At the age of 16, a dangerous combination of hatred of my diabetes and other factors in my personal life became too much for me to handle.  I took an overdose of insulin, with the intention of committing suicide.  I was in a coma for 10 hours.  Thankfully, I didn't die that day and I have sworn never again to do anything like that.  I guess I got to a point where I forgot the important things in life.

My advice to others with diabetes is never to let it stop you from doing things you want to do.  Look after it: eat the right things and take your insulin, but don't let it hold you back.  That is something I regret and something I try not to allow nowadays.

13th November 2012: My wonderful friend Todd Newton, who wrote this post and was so delighted to do so, is no longer with us. He will be missed by everyone who knew him and I am sending my thoughts to his family at this time. Click here to read my post to commemorate his life. RIP Todd 


  1. Thank you for telling your brave story.

  2. Wow Daisy, thanks so much for sharing Todd's story. Todd, it was wonderful of you to share that very personal story. I admire you for being so open and honest. I have regrets for how I behaved toward myself previously too. I'm glad I learned from the past, but it is today now that matters. Today we can control what happens. Best of luck to you.