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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Age Matters

Since my diagnosis I have often wondered how my life would have been different if I had been diagnosed earlier. I don't think there is ever a good time to be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and in no way do I think that a child diagnosed would have ever had it easier. I just wonder how different it would have been because the only side I know is the adult side.

I'm sure there are up points and down points to both sides of the age coin when it comes to diagnoses of D. I was lucky I was diagnosed when working for an endo so I already had a good understanding. At the same time, I wish I wasn't. The pressure was on almost immediately to get my BGLs under control; perhaps that's why after my baseline HbA1c of 9.8%, my HbA1c 1 month after diagnosis was at 7.3%. And I am expected to keep improving, becasue I work with a wealth of knowledge about my disease.

That much pressure is probably why I am already facing my 1st diabetes burn-out, and am refusing to do needles now, even when I need them. I was chastised last week by 1 of the DEs becasue I just don't give a crap how many carbs are in an apple. If in doubt, assume 30. I DON'T CARE!! Burn-out is why I have broken so many needles by flinging them across the room in fits of hot temper at how much I HATE needles. Its why I no longer record my BGLs, let alone check regularly.

I know juveniles who are diagnosed will go through burn-outs just as I am. But I wish I had the support that their parents can give.  As a kid, my parents would have had to have been there. My dad didn't answer his phone when I tried to call him to let him know. He came to visit 2 weeks after diagnosis and commented that I 'appeared to be doing well'. No, I am not doing well. They didn't know because they weren't there. I wish they were there with me to see how it really affects me. My mum, I love her, but there is only so much you can do and know about the disease from 1000km away.

I guess I am looking for that stability and support that I would have probably received if I had been diagnosed as a juvenile. The access to support groups via camps and other such networks. An easier start to the pump, rather than deliberately sabotaging my HbA1c to qualify for the pump consumables scheme, simply because I was diagnosed over the age of 18. I'm not sure how they figured this out, but NDSS should realise that just because I was diagnosed as an adult, doesn't mean I can handle it. I can't.

At the same time, I am so thankful I was able to run and play as a child without the fear of hypos. That I could shovel lollies into my mouth without BGL repurcussions (Unfortunately as child, I didn't actually like lollies. If only I had known). That having an adults understanding right from the get-go means I have a small headstart in getting my BGLs under control to hopefully prevent the cocktail of related medical conditions that come along with this disease.

Mostly, because I don't know how well my parents would have coped if I had been diagnosed as a child. I think this was the first opportune time my body had to do this to me when there weren't other complicationg factors. Like uni. Like being the eldest child in a single-parent household. My mum had enough on her plate without having a diabetic child. And my dad has his depression. To the extent where, on weekends, we would visit and he would sleep all day. So our one and only meal usually came at close to 9pm when he would wake up. I don't think I would have survived that with diabetes. I don't think my parents would have survived my diabetes.

So an adult, I have to be.

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