Thursday, 13 September 2018

The Difficulties I Face Daily

I just want to be as honest as possible, and that is the reason for this blog. I often give the illusion that I am doing well, and when questioned, I almost always say that I am fine, even when I'm not. 

I am at a stage in my life where I am independant, I do a lot myself and I am very busy, but I walk about life terrified. I desperately want to be a model patient, because Type 1 Diabetes is *technically* controllable, but when it is complicated with Epilepsy which gets triggered with low blood sugar, like mine is, it gets tricky. On one hand I desperately don't want to let living with diabetes affect my life, I also don't want to end up having a seizure, which would impact on my life and the lives of the people around me.

A smile can hide a lot

In my mind I know that having high blood sugar is bad for me in the long term, it can cause complications such as eye damage and kidney problems, however it is hard for me to weigh them against the very pressing and iminant risk of having a seizure, so I make my blood sugar go high when I have something important going on that I don't want to ruin. Of course this makes me feel horrible, cranky and lethargic, but I don't feel scared and short term, that is really important.

At the beginning of the year, I had an amazing piece of technology called a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) which was a sensor that I wore on my arm, and it esentially tests my blood sugar every 5 minutes and sends a signal to my insulin pump. It would then alarm if my blood sugar was dropping or rising too fast, and if my blood sugar did go low, it would suspend my insulin flow. This was such a peace of mind, it allowed my blood sugar to be in range without me worrying. I knew that if I had a seizure whilst I was by myself, I would be okay because my blood sugar would eventually come up itself. I don't have this anymore, and I am trying to get back from the hospital, but it has been really difficult for me to adjust to having the safety net of having my insulin stopped to bring my blood sugar back up, to now having to manually test my blood sugar, which really isn't the same.

An old picture of a CGM on my arm
 One of the main things I struggle with is not wanting to burden anyone. My family members, especially my sister and mum, have had to help me when I have had seizures before. My sister tells me all the time that she doesn't like going places with me by herself in case something happens to me, and I don't want to put her or anyone else in that position.

I am not saying any of this for pity, I want to be honest. I don't want to sugarcoat living with Type 1 Diabetes, I have both good and bad days, and I know that it is okay not to be okay, but that doesn't make things easier. I don't want to write about my experience with health and only write about the positives, because that just isn't reality. I just want to show people that although I go through a lot daily both physically and psychologically, I still can do anything I put my mind too. Also everyone's health is different, so this is just my experience of living with both Type 1 Diabetes and Epilepsy, but it is important to not judge anyone, because you never know what people are going through.  

Until next time,

Alyssa x

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My name is Alyssa Faulkner. I am a Type 1 Diabetic Teen living in Scotland. I currently use a Medtronic insulin pump and an Enlite CGM, and am a volunteer for Diabetes Scotland.