Thursday, 21 March 2013

Small Changes Make Big Differences

In the 16 years I've had type 1 diabetes, I can't honestly say that there's been a lot I can be proud of regarding it.  Sometimes I feel like living with type 1 diabetes is kind of like watching the news; the information you're fed from it can be pretty negative.  A few times a week my glucose meter shows me a blood sugar reading I don't like. When I was 12 years old I had to increase the amount of injections I was taking from three a day to four. Once I had a virus which caused ketoacidosis so I had to spend a night in hospital and, this time last year, I received a letter informing me that I had developed background retinopathy.

It's probably fair to say I was sad about it, because sometimes knowing that you've damaged yourself and caused your own pain is equally as upsetting as feeling like you don't deserve the circumstance you've found yourself in. I cried about it, blogged about it and eventually came to the realisation that things needed to change.

I started carb counting when I knew that I could, completely stopped skipping injections altogether and started testing my blood sugars more regularly.  To begin with it felt like a battle and I just wanted to cook my potatoes without having to weigh them first and some days I wanted to leave the restaurant without having to give my insulin before I could get on the bus home, but I didn't.  After a while the changes were no longer changes, they were the norm and the battle was no longer a battle, it was a healthy routine.

Three weeks ago I went for my first diabetic retinopathy screening and yesterday I came home to a letter.  I opened it cautiously, as though something was going to jump out of the envelope, and took a deep breath before beginning to read the text.  To my absolute delight, I discovered that my retinas appear completely normal and they have healed to a good standard!  I flung my arms around my boyfriend, who has been so supportive with all aspects of my diabetes management, and cried tears of complete and utter joy.

In the 16 years I've had type 1 diabetes, I can't honestly say that there's been a lot I can be proud of regarding it, but this is one of the things where I can say that I am.  Sometimes living with type 1 diabetes is like watching the news, but I suppose that only makes the good things seem even better!