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Successfully navigating life with Type 1 Diabetes

Hello and welcome to the re-launch of Pumptastic Scot! My name is Alyssa Faulkner, I am from Scotland, and I have been using an insulin pump since 2014 for my type 1 diabetes management. I am very happy to have you here!

Going forward, ‘Pumptastic Scot’ will be a hub of diabetes resources, education, and lived-experience stories, with a sprinkle of personal anecdotes. With blog posts coming at least once a month, there will be a wide variety of guest bloggers, including from professionals working within diabetes and from individuals living with diabetes, there will be a range of diabetes content. Make sure you stay tuned and follow along, and if your interested in having your voice included in ‘Pumptastic Scot’, please let me know!

Where have I been?

I haven’t updated the ‘Pumptastic Scot’ blog since 2019, and there are several reasons for this. I was struggling with the management of my diabetes, and I was seeing other individuals with type 1 having seemingly perfect control, which didn’t help with the mental toll that comes living with type 1 diabetes. I found that discussing constantly discussing type 1 diabetes, as well as living with it 24/7, wasn’t helping me at all, and at times made me feel more burnt out with diabetes, and so I realised that I needed to learn and accept diabetes offline before I brought it back online. I realised that no one could change my life but me, and if I wanted to focus on my health and diabetes management I was the only one who could change things, but I needed some introspection and time away from the internet.

Comparing myself to other people

Everyone with diabetes responds in a completely different way to every diabetes treatment, everyone has different insulin requirements, different insulin sensitivities, different lives, and so what may work for me may not work for someone else. I was heavily involved in a wonderful community of individuals living with type 1 diabetes who were sharing their lives online, The problem with being online and observing snippets of other individuals with diabetes lives is that you only see select moments that others choose to share, but I found myself comparing myself to those small select moments. I often found myself lacking when I did this, wondering why things were working out for another person but not me. Rationally I knew that I didn’t share everything and so others also probably weren’t sharing everything, however it was hard being in that online space, and I did find my mindset turning really toxic.

My takeaway and things I need to remember:

  • Social media only shows a snapshot of another person’s diabetes management, and trying to compare is not realistic or healthy.

  • Diabetes management is a highly individual thing, and what works for someone else may not work for you.

For the past few years, throughout the pandemic, and through starting my career, I have been focusing on how to better myself, and learning how to successfully navigate life whilst also having type 1 diabetes. I focused on ensuring that I could live the life I wanted to live, and have been managing my diabetes according to that, rather than letting diabetes dictate what I could and couldn’t do.

I am finally in a place that I feel I can fully rejoin the diabetes online community, but I know now that I need to set boundaries in place for my own mental wellbeing. I know that it is okay if I don’t share every aspect of my life on social media, and I know that I can’t compare myself to anyone else, as my diabetes is highly unique, as is everyone else’s.

Until next time,

Alyssa x

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