Badly controlled blood sugar levels can result in complications such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma which all have the potential to lead to permanent blindness. Other, non-sight related 'issues' that a diabetic may encounter include heart disease, kidney failure, gum disease, skin problems and limb amputations. Not a happy thought, I know.
Although I wouldn't class my blood sugar levels as being 'badly controlled', I recognise that there have been times in the last 14 and a half years when they haven't been brilliant. Recently I've been trying harder than ever before to ensure that I range between 4.5 and 9.0 mmol/l, but I realise I've still got a long way to go.
I was walking in town with my friend Hannah when a pigeon flew close to us. Hannah screamed and said that there was nothing that she was more frightened of than pigeons. She then asked me if there was anything that I was really scared of.
It wasn't until later that day, after thinking of things that people are usually scared of, that I realised that the things I fear most in the entire world are the possible complications of my type 1 diabetes. In the past, I have even had nightmares of looking in the mirror to see that the white of one of my eyes has become red.
I'm 18 and for as long as I remember I have been afraid of going blind or losing my limbs. Whilst others my age may dread seeing a spider or being at a great height, I have cried over possibilities that many will not be concerned about until they are elderly and that most will never even contemplate. Although I don't hate my diabetes because it makes me who I am, I find it thoughtless and reckless for this reason.
I know it's stupid to worry about these things because they are preventable. By continuing to look after my diabetes properly, I don't ever have to have my leg amputated or have laser treatment or be on dialysis. I can be complication-free. Like they say, most things that you worry about are things that will never happen.
Anyway, on a positive note, my optician said that my eyes were very healthy. He said that my retinas were looking very good (what a compliment, huh!?) and although my prescription has changed slightly since last year, it's not drastic and there's nothing to worry about.
So it seems as though I'm doing just fine. For now, I will just carry on as I am doing; looking after myself as well as I can do and being grateful for the fact that, right at this moment, I can see, I can walk and I can live, even with the bipolar monster of mine that is type 1 diabetes.