Type 1 Diabetes Profile: Miranda Burdett

As part of Chris Davies MP Campaign into raising awareness on Type 1 Diabetes and its symptoms, Chris has been collecting profiles from people with live with the condition to show their experiences. This profile is from Miranda Burdett.

Diagnosis

I am originally from Abercrave near Ystradgynlais and worked in retail in Brecon during university.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after corrective back surgery for scoliosis when I was 15 years old. I was a month into recovery from the major surgery when my mum first noticed some of the 4 T’s symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which are toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner. My mum told the GP of her suspicions and I was then tested and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and rushed into hospital.

Upon arriving in hospital, you are told you will have type 1 diabetes for life and immediately you begin treatment – finger prick testing, insulin injections, record keeping of blood glucose etc. We were sent home after 5 days in hospital – nervous for the future and struggling to remember such a lot of new information.

What happened next marked my difference from other s living with type 1 – I gradually didn’t need insulin anymore. Within 6 months of my diagnosis my mum was phoning our diabetes specialist nurse to say that she had to keep lowering my insulin dose because I didn’t need it. Gradually I came off insulin completely and was told that this had only ever happened once before in my health board.

I lived a normal life for 5 years (with routine blood glucose testing annually). I was then re-diagnosed during my second year of university after a month of terrible headaches that I put down to exam stress. I started insulin earlier this year and feel much better for it, in the years before I had been prescribed a stimulant for my pancreas to produce insulin.

Memorable experiences of type 1

I think having hypos, episodes of low blood glucose levels, in memorable places mark my most poignant experiences. I seem to get hypos when out hiking, and have been caught out on top of the Brecon Beacons, whilst walking the dog, and most recently whilst hiking in Macedonia!

The future

I now work for JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity, as the regional fundraiser for Wales. Being part of an organisation that funds research into the cure, treatment and prevention of type 1 diabetes is incredible. We have fantastic supporters here in Wales who do amazing things to fundraise and raise awareness of type 1 diabetes.

It is said that finding the cure for type 1 diabetes is a matter of time and money. In the meantime, JDRF strives to improve the lives of people living with the condition. Personally, in the future I want to try CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) and a pump. I currently use a blood glucose monitor and inject insulin twice a day.

Research into type 1 diabetes is looking at numerous ways to treat the condition such as the artificial pancreas, smart insulin and islet encapsulation etc. To find out more, please visit https://jdrf.org.uk/our-research/. We also hold JDRF Type 1 Discovery Days across the UK, where supporters can meet with researchers and discuss the latest advances in research.