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.
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!
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.
Copyright 2019 Chris Davies for Brecon and Radnorshire. All rights reserved.