from misdiagnosis to moderation - Paul's story on how to live with type 1 diabetes
A life living with T1D
1) Date of Diagnosis and how old were you:
February 1995 and I was 12 years old
2) Symptoms when Diagnosed:
Severely dehydrated and weight loss
3) What was your care like following diagnosis. i.e. what were you told by doctors to do and eat etc?
I received several packs of information about the management process as well support of dieticians, diabetic nurses and my diabetic specialist
4) How do you currently manage T1D (i.e. how much basal and bolus, how often. exercise):
I am part of the DAFYD (daily allowance for your diet) course which is a bolus advisory programme with a blood meter that I can programme in the carbohydrates that I will be eating and it tells me the necessary insulin that I need to do. I also do 28 units of basal insulin daily. My main form of exercise are walking, I try to walk 10,000 steps a day.
5) Do you follow a specific diet (i.e. low carb, have you tried different diets to help manage t1d) :
I generally eat a healthy diet but no specific diet.
6) Have you had any scary experiences living with T1D:
When I was first diagnosed I had the symptoms for several months but the doctors kept misdiagnosing me, one night I collapsed and was rushed to hospital where they did a CT scan of my stomach where they found a large build up of stomach acid and my parents gave the doctors the go ahead to operate to investigate the cause. When the anaesthetist came down to me he saw how dehydrated I was, did my blood sugars which were in the forties and told my parents that I was a diabetic and if I was to be put under then I’d probably never wake up before spending five days in an induced coma in an intensive care unit.
7) Have you been subject to any bullying or bad treatment because of t1d (personally and professionally):
I’ve had jokes made over the years about how it was like being on drugs by different people but never anything serious.
8) What is your HbA1c - have you ever been embarrassed to provide this info? if so, why?
I don’t recall my HBA1C but I vaguely remember that it has come down in recent years.
9) Do you have any complications because of t1d?
My retinopathy eye screening two or three years ago showed some minors changes to the back of my eyes
10) Do you have any tips for managing t1d that work for you?
I tend to tell people that there isn’t anything that we can’t eat so long as we eat things in moderation.
11) Have you learnt anything about yourself because of t1d?
I have a better understanding about some of my lifestyle choices and the impacts that certain food or drink have on my blood sugars, for example the rise and drop that can occur during/after consuming alcohol and the spikes cause by certain foods such as curries and other such foods. I’ve also become more knowledgable about the best foods/drinks to treat a hypo. Jelly baby’s save lives people.
Thank You Paul
Living with type 1 diabetes is not easy, but when we read stories like Paul's and hear his laid back and positive approach, it also shows us that there's more than one way to approach it.
We wish you all the best for the future and hope that you continue to thrive with diabetes.