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Like most people, the word “diabetes” was pretty much nonexistent in my life for many years. That was until 2019. At the age of 24, I lost a ton of weight in a short space of time, start falling asleep, drinking gallons of water, going to the bathroom more often…low and behold, type 1 diabetes struck. The usual story for most of us!
The thing was, up until then I had no clue about diabetes, what it meant for me, and how I was going to adapt. The biggest thing I felt was loneliness. Even though I had all the statistics thrown at me about how many people in Ireland, and the world, have diabetes, and I’m not alone, that’s how it felt. No one in my immediate family had the condition, and I felt so weird like there was something wrong with me.
After a few months of diagnosis I noticed online a bit of a community going on online – both on Instagram and Twitter. How did I find it? Well, I actually Tweeted on my own twitter account saying how horrible I felt, and how sad I was about being diagnosis AND IT BLEW UP. (you can see it here!) All these people, I didn’t know, giving me advice, hyping me up, helping me out, just genuinely being good people. It’s like this world just opened up to me.
It took a few months, but after I started my Instagram to be one of those people to help others. I wanted to meet other diabetics, and just be real. When I was diagnosed, there was just this stigma around it, and I really though my life was just on a downward spiral. The reality? Nothing has changed, not really. I can still do everything I did before, I just have a few extra steps to take or a few extra things to be careful about. I’ve made friends and become a part of a community online. I wasn’t alone anymore.
That’s probably one of the reason why I’m excited to join IBD medical and become a part of their journey. They’ve created this community where people can talk and share, and just be themselves.
One thing I’ll always say is this: Diabetes is a part of me, but it’s not just me.