OK I admit it’s a corny title – a bit like a film about the big meteorite that is about to obliterate Planet Earth.
But there is some logic to it. You’ve been feeling rubbish for ages. Thirsty. Losing weight. Grumpy. You collapse, and end up being blue-lighted into hospital.
What you hear next is that your own personal meteorite has been discovered. You have Type 1 Diabetes. Like it or not, life is never going to be quite the same, ever again.
Welcome to the world of blood glucose testing and insulin.
Ready or not, you are going to hear a lot of new words and be told to do things like finger pricking and injecting insulin (and no, not liking needles isn’t going to get you out of it) and carb counting and weighing food and rotating injection sites and basal/bolus regimens and not eating too many carbs and HbA1c levels and keeping to target and retinopathy and…. you probably get my point?
Information overload doesn’t even begin to cover it. I promise you will walk out bewildered.
Let’s talk about insulin. It was first used in 1922 so it’s been around a while. Prior to that, if you had Type 1 Diabetes, you would die.
So it’s literally a lifesaving drug. It is also very potent and yes, it can kill you if you take too much.
Now you have to decide (only say 4 times a day) how much to inject. Millions before you have walked the same path so it’s not impossible, it just needs you to get your head around it.
You also have to check your blood glucose level by pricking your finger and using a blood glucose meter- maybe before and after every meal and when you get up and before you go to bed and before you drive.
You know what you’re doing now? Yes? Sure??
CASE STUDY 1 – JIM’S STORY
Jim went to meet his personal meteorite and left with his head spinning because he’d been told so much ‘stuff’. Anyway, at least he knew he had to do blood glucose testing and inject insulin.
Off he went, and a couple of weeks later went back to see his Nurse to see how he was getting on.
Jim got that he had to prick his finger tips to get a drop of blood to put on the strip in his blood glucose meter to get a reading. Very good.
What Jim didn’t get was that he shouldn’t have also injected insulin into his fingertips.
But he had done. The bit about injecting in his tummy or upper arms or thighs had simply got lost somewhere in the cacophony of information that he got on that first day.
His fingers were, to be blunt about it, a total mess.
A true story ….
And the point is I hear you ask?
It’s OK to be bewildered and to be a little bit scared too. Tomorrow will never be the same as all of your yesterdays. Don’t be a nodding puppy. If there is anything you’re not sure about, don’t guess…..ask.
Jim’s fingers got better thankfully- but boy did they hurt every time he stuck a 6mm needle into them.
Diabetes doesn’t need to define you – but merely be part of your life. Don’t’ be afraid of it, but meet it head on. Get help to cut though all the background ‘noise’ and concentrate on the things you need to do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to help reduce the impact of your personal meteorite!
My diabetes is different to your diabetes. Everyone else’s diabetes is different to ours. It is personal, so manage it personally.
By doing what is right for you (not me, not him, not her) you can really effect the coming years.
Don’t just survive the meteorite- thrive. I was going to say ‘Live Long and Prosper’ – but that is so cheesy! But maybe not…