I have been type 1 diabetic for many years – 39 years in fact & am suffering with many of the complications from long term Diabetes. l am legally blind, have chronic renal failure, had Pancreatitis, a heart attack and an above knee amputation. Just to name a few of the larger matters. I’ve been happily married for 17 years but was never able to have children due to renal failure. My husband and l make the best of it as much as we can and try to do everything as normally as possible. We have filled our home with very much loved pets.two dogs & three cats and hoping to purchase another puss in January. We are heading down to the Monash Medical Centre tomorrow to see if l can be placed on the kidney/pancreas transplant list. I’m not on dialysis yet and always thought you had to be before you could go on the list, but apparently not. l only found that out after being admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for the removal of my parathroyde glands (4 of them ) from my throat. The staff down there asked why l was not already on the list and organised the referral. l have had many tests performed but told there will be plenty more to come.
When l was first diagnosed we were not told about all the complications, we did not know poor control can have such devastating effects. Being only three at the time & only urine testing available control was very difficult. A simple cold would send you to hospital, not for the cold but complications of Diabetes. Later in life things have got pretty tough, earlier this week l found out l may lose my other leg due to narrowing of the arteries. The first leg l had blood clots, was misdiagnosed and spent three months in intensive care. They were unable to control my pain and l had a bad reaction to the drugs. Because of the renal failure it took twice as long to get the drugs out of my system, l was in a pretty bad way and to top it all of all this happened right on Christmas, six years ago.
l have recovered from all that now and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds. l’m excited about the transplant but worried at the same time. I don’t know how to be well.
l have been diabetic all my life and learnt to adjust daily living to cope with the problems. I’m also worried that for some reason they won’t accept me to go on the list. To be so close to having a completely normal life and for it not to happen- l don’t if l can cope with the disappointment and rejection.
l make the best of the situation and try the live life to the fullest.
I’m really looking forward to Christmas and having the whole family over. We’re even flying my husband’s dad down from QLD so it will be great. ln the new year we are going on a cruise ( our second ) for two weeks. They are great and really know how to look after you (they cater for the disabled ) not that l class myself as disabled. l look at life as a challenge – it’s a lot harder than most people’s but you just get on with it.
Everyone has their own burden to bear and l really think you only get what you can deal with. It’s just a matter of being able to find the light at the end of the tunnel and following it.
At the end is another day and the feeling of what you’ve been through makes you stronger.
My only wish is that someday there will be a greater understanding of the condition.
Too many people don’t take it seriously and non diabetics don’t understand the severity of it. Normally to look at us and wouldn’t think there was anything wrong.
If they only knew…..
This story shows that there has been many changes in management and education which has made a huge difference for many people in regards complication risks. Thanks for sharing it with us Fiona – we wish you all the best of luck and appreciate your honesty and positive outlook. Many people who have type 1 diabetes are now lucky to have the benefit of much better tools for management which is greatly reducing the complication rates