Friday, 8 March 2013

Saline Injections Or A Saline Filled Insulin Pump.

Natural History Museum, London.
There's something about being accepted for who I am, a person with type 1 diabetes, that leaves me feeling all warm inside! My closest friends are really supportive of everything I do, and have chosen to learn odd things when it comes to my diabetes, something I really appreciate. Being diagnosed at 17 and still living at home meant that it wasn't just me that had to adjust to this "new life", but my family did too, as well as my friends. I had gone from being "healthy" and "normal" to diabetic. I had to adjust to this new lifestyle, and my family and friends had to learn the basics should anything happen to me. I only taught them the basics: if they wanted to know more, they could ask. I wasn't going to force them to know everything about my care. At the end of the day, it was "my problem", not theirs. My closest friends from school, however, weren't satisfied with just knowing the basics. They wanted to know everything, and they asked questions; they basically went through the whole learning process with me. I loved it. Things didn't seem as daunting with their support. 

I was fortunate enough to have a similar set-up at university. During my first year, I lived in halls, and I don't know how or why I got so lucky, just that I'm glad that I did. I lived in a flat with five other people, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of flat mates. My building as a whole actually was just...well...awesome! I had the time of my life! I was really worried about how to bring up my diabetes. I knew I needed to, I just didn't know how to start that conversation. Turns out I didn't have to; my Mum took that into her own hands and just turned round and said "tell them!" All eyes were suddenly on me (thanks, Mum!) Not how I wanted it to go down! Anyway, I just told them that I had type 1 diabetes and that I was recently diagnosed, so was still "learning the ropes". I told them that they didn't need to know anything in particular, just to be aware in case anything happened. I wasn't expecting what actually happened over the coming months: they asked questions, wanted to know how I tested my blood, did my injections, carb counted, pretty much everything. Again, I got that warm feeling knowing that my diabetes was just accepted. I didn't have to hide it, inject privately, things like that.

However, there's one person who has well and truly gone above and beyond the call of duty. Well, all my friends have, but this person acts so much like a diabetic, but isn't one, that I think they should give her saline injections or a saline filled insulin pump! This person goes by the name Shep and she is just bloody brilliant. She carb counts for me, tells me if my drink contains regular or diet coke/pepsi, knows how to test my blood, knows how to administer my insulin, has come with me to hospital appointments, has rode in the back of an ambulance with me and come to diabetes events with me (Circle D springs to mind)! She has had my back from the word go, and I no amount of thanks is ever going to be enough as far as I'm concerned.  Even when we're oceans apart (literally...she's in Alabama, I'm in Spain) she still manages to pull through for me. She is without a doubt one of my biggest "supporters", more like my big sister than friend, the other half of my orange, mi media naranja, and I wouldn't change her for anything!

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