#iCan Go To University

One of the kinds of events that I really enjoy volunteering at, is one where parents of children with diabetes are included too. This is something I've noticed as I've gotten older, because now I've become the same age as some of the parents, it's a completely different perspective concerning diabetes, for me to appreciate. One thing I've noticed is that when children are diagnosed with diabetes, one of their parent's biggest fears after the initial shock of diagnosis is "what will the future hold for my child?", "will they cope?", "will they go to university?". So when I had the opportunity to go to uni it felt like a big achievement for more reasons than you might think.

For many people with diabetes the journey just to get to university is a difficult one. For me because I was diagnosed at 13 it was a few years and then I was into my G.C.S.E exams at 16, AS exams at 17 and A-Levels at 18. I remember catching a serious stomach bug during my G.C.S.E' s and because of the diabetes I had to be admitted to hospital. This happened two days before my science G.C.S.E exams and I was studying double award science too, which meant really I had three exams in one day so the pressure was on. But I made it out of hospital and my diabetes didn't stop me achieving 11 A* to B grades across my examinations.

Then I remember during the stress of studying for my A-level exams which I needed to achieve in order to get into university, my blood sugars were all over the place because of the stress of the time and wanting to do well. People don't realise that there's a lot more stress involved in the exams themselves too when you have diabetes, because if you start to have low blood sugars whilst you're trying to concentrate, the results can be devastating. Luckily my school went through a 'what to do in case' procedure with me prior to the exams. They also allowed me to carry in- my blood testing kit, a sugary drink and my insulin into the exam. So that I would be able to treat what was going with my diabetes as best I could without disturbing others.

But despite all of this I made it into university with good grades and onto the course of my choice, which felt like another stepping stone in itself let alone achieving the degree. But before graduating I had one of the toughest years in my diabetes life, when I started becoming insulin resistant going into my 3rd year of my university course. I couldn't concentrate in lessons because my blood sugars were constantly high, I lost weight and felt lethargic all of the time. So I made the difficult decision to put university on hold whilst I got my insulin pump. In some ways it was a tough decision but in others not, because I knew I couldn't carry on like I was, with diabetes ruling my life. But taking control turned out to have been the best thing I could have done because in that year I started volunteering. A path that has taken me around the world, helped me make new friends and even helped me carry the Olympic torch. (And I went back after getting my pump and got my degree too)

So although living with diabetes can make it a slightly harder life, it makes you appreciate achievements such as going to university all the more and doesn't allow you take them for granted... #iCan go to university and I did.


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Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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