Pamela O’Don­nell, Bon­hill

Lennox Herald - - LENNOX VIEW -

It’s World Diabetes Day this week and for any­one who has just been di­ag­nosed I wanted to let them know that hav­ing type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you should wrap up in cot­ton wool.

I was di­ag­nosed 20 years ago and through­out my teens I would in­ject in­sulin four or five times a day and test my blood glu­cose with fin­ger pricks another four times a day.

I wake in the night when my blood glu­cose level needs at­ten­tion, mon­i­tor my glu­cose lev­els as many as 13 times a day and weigh nearly ev­ery­thing I eat to work out the car­bo­hy­drate con­tent so that I can in­ject in­sulin ac­cord­ingly.

Yet, oddly enough, I con­sider my­self lucky.

You might think that hav­ing this con­di­tion may seem a bur­den but it hasn’t ever held me back.

I’ve held down jobs, trav­elled the world and man­ag­ing my type 1 diabetes with a flash glu­cose sen­sor and an in­sulin pump – tech­nol­ogy only avail­able be­cause of med­i­cal re­search – has en­abled me to be­come a healthy mum of two chil­dren.

I be­lieve that a cure is within reach, which is why I work as a fundraiser.

I don’t fundraise for my­self but for chil­dren who have been di­ag­nosed. I want them to have a ‘nor­mal’ child­hood where they can go to birth­day par­ties and eat cake or have sleep­overs at friends’ houses with mid­night feasts, with­out the fears of high blood glu­cose lev­els and the ne­ces­sity of carb count­ing.

Con­stant think­ing, ad­just­ing, cal­cu­lat­ing, mea­sur­ing, wor­ry­ing and stress is a part of life for many peo­ple with type 1 diabetes but with a cure it will be all be gone.

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