Why I Joined the Group
It’s only recently that I started taking control of my diabetes following years of hiding from it and rebelling against it. As a health professional, I decided it was time that I really should “practice what I preach” and take control of my diabetes. This was not an easy journey and I felt very isolated at times.
As a result I was intrigued to see what was out there in terms of support for people with Type 1. I was extremely disappointed with my findings in terms of support networks among communities in Scotland, However this is how I found out about the Making Connections group which now plays a significant part in my life.
The group continually exceeds my expectations and I have met a group of truly inspirational young people who I hope will be friends for life.
What Being Type 1 Means to Me
Type 1 can sometimes feel like a full time occupation and there are days I pray to God it would go away. Having been diagnosed at the age of 6, it’s pretty much always been part of my life. As a teenager I chose to hide from my Diabetes, I didn’t test my blood sugar and often guessed how much insulin to take.
As I matured, and decided I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, my coping skills also improved! I’m unsure whether this was due to the shock realisation of the complications associated with Type 1 (despite them being relayed to me for years) or simply because I was older and a bit wiser.
Anyway I have now learned that Type 1 is something that can be managed and there are ways in which it can benefit you as oppose to holding you back.
I never missed out on anything during my time at University and enjoyed clubbing and girls holidays the same as everyone else and I now work in high pressure environment among the Glasgow Hospitals.
My diabetes is a part of me that may never change and I have now learned to accept it and face it head on – if anything it makes me more determined!
Why You Feel This Group is Important and Can be Crucial For Young People
The Making Connections group has introduced me to some of the most supportive and inspirational people I have ever met. We are able to communicate with each other and support each other whenever we need it and I now see the guys as my diabetes family!
The realisation that there is someone facing exactly the same issues only a phone call / email / txt / face book chat away provides an amazing sense of reassurance.
For me, being part of the group has provided so many amazing opportunities. I am now a member of the Young Leaders Action Group in London and will be attending the World Diabetes Conference in Melbourne later this year - opportunities which would have not become available to me otherwise. I think the group is a vital way of involving young people with Type 1 in their care as well as giving them a voice.
The group has proved a great way of connecting young people with Type 1 and I feel it is crucial that our work continues in order to support other young people and hopefully change their lives the way it has changed ours.