BuzzFeed: 11 Things People Living With Type 1 Diabetes Want You To Know

With many thanks to BuzzFeed and Diabetes UK for this great article.

5. If you get an insulin pump, your outfits might change.

If you get an insulin pump, your outfits might change.
Mel Stephenson
“Type 1 even influences the way that I dress, because my outfits either need to have pockets to hold my insulin pump. Or they need to have a strong waistband to attach/ hold my pump, so slinky dresses can often be out of the question.
“When the insulin pump is on view, diabetes can effect social situations, with curious people asking questions such as, ‘Why have you got an mp3 player attached to your hip?’ Which can make you feel self-conscious and acts as a reminder that you have a chronic condition.
“I like to wear fashionable clothes, but I always need to have somewhere to put my pump. So jeggings have become a bit of a staple for me, because they are fitted enough to hold it, but they’re not so tight as to push into the needle that I constantly wear into my stomach or the top of my hip. I love wearing colour or stripes

7. Having an invisible illness is tough.

Having an invisible illness is tough.
Mel Stephenson
“Diabetes is painful, despite being a condition people can’t ‘see’. Diabetes is both physically and psychologically challenging because to manage it, you have to stick to a strict regimen of injections and blood glucose testing, carbohydrate counting, and food weighing.
“But just because diabetes does not always have external symptoms doesn’t mean it is not a serious condition. I often try to explain to people that diabetes is a kitten when you look after it, but a lion when something goes wrong.
“The psychological aspects of diabetes are very difficult to explain to people, again because they can’t see any physical symptoms so therefore there can’t be anything ‘wrong’. But imagine being a ‘normal’ child with a healthy future ahead of you and, for an unknown reason, your body decides to start attacking its own pancreas, leaving you to face a lifetime of injections. It can make you feel cheated and frustrated for the life you might have had. However, I can’t imagine life without diabetes now; it’s part of me, but it’s certainly not the whole picture.” – Mel Stephenson


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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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