From the beginning...

My name is Vanessa, I am 22 years old and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13 in 2004 which is nearly 9 years ago now. For the past 8 and a half years I was taking multiple doses of insulin and I was what you would call a typical teenager who liked to rebel against anything and everything.

I will never forget the day I was diagnosed, I had the typical symptoms of a diabetic but when nobody in your family knows the typical signs its hard to pick up on. I went to my local GP after loosing a great deal of weight, I was constantly asleep, I took 2 pint glass, a medium sized tumbler and a cup of tea up to bed with me because I knew by 2am I would need more...which was true. I was up all night peeing as you can imagine. The GP took a urine sample from me and straight away rang through to the hospital to tell them I was coming shortly.

I didn't have a clue what this women was going on about and why I was being sent to hospital I just remember being really scared and the word DIABETIC rang in my ears. I went home, while I could hear mum whispering down stairs, I was upstairs packing a bag for the hospital and I rang my best friend Rachel. I warned her I wouldn't be in school tomorrow as I had to go to the hospital because I was diabetic but explain I didn't have a clue what it meant.

We finally arrived at the hospital we were taken somewhere in the hospital to a bay of beds, thinking back it could have been the assessment ward. I had a trainee nurse taking my bloods which to my horror wasn't so plain sailing as I had hoped for. She put the needle in my hand to take blood and put a cannula in. She looked at me in horror once the needle was in and explained she didn't have anything to withdrawn the blood so she dripped the blood down my fingers. My mothers face was a picture, we were horrified not only was I at the hospital for a reason I didn't know, now I have blood dripping down my fingers. Thankfully somebody came and took over! That poor girl looked as horrified as me...I have nothing against trainee nurses as I have been in a trainee teachers situation but at 13 you just want her to go away!

So then I was finally given lots of child like books explaining what it meant to be diabetic, the nurse probably explained but its all a blur after that. After 5 days I was allowed to go home, which I thought was great until we got in the car on the way home and I started to have a panic attack...I cant explain why.

Throughout my teens i rebelled against it...when we visited the clinic I would have all good intentions for 2 weeks then it would be back to normal again....up until 8 years later when your Hba1c is 12% and your told that if you ever fell pregnant I would miscarriage very quickly. At that point I knew something was serious and I needed to wake up and smell the coffee I suppose!

So here we are now... 8 years and 7months later I am currently on an insulin pump and fighting to bring that 12% hba1c back down to earth.

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