I was diagnosed as a type one in 1997 as an almost 5 year old, after a particularly severe case of chicken pox which hospitalized me. Jacquie who was my mum’s best friend and has always been my second mum and my home away from home, was diagnosed as type one in 2008, just shy of the big 50. She is my pump buddy, my Switzerland and is always just a phone call away. As a NICU nurse, midwife and with more qualifications than I can count, she is my rock for all things diabetes, baby and life in general, she has been there for those special moments, the hard times and made my mum’s passing and absence a little more bearable.
My life with Type one diabetes has definitely been a rollercoaster with no two days the same. I have always been super sensitive to changes in insulin, according to my endo I was on baby doses until I got my first insulin pump which was like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for my control. Granted, I do still have days where unideal things happen, but the most important thing to remember is that we are all human, not textbooks. Which is why I have always tried to live by the mantra that although I have diabetes, it does not have me; meaning that I will never let it stop me from living life to the fullest or achieving the goals and dreams that I want, including becoming a mum.
Being pregnant with type one opened my eyes a little wider I think, with continually adjusting insulin requirements which made me feel like I was chasing my tail some of the time and learning all about my diabetes again, but working with the amazing team at the royal women’s Melbourne, I felt in safe hands and with them welcomed my, not so, little boy Wyatt in April 2018.
I had seen a brochure about ENDIA early in my pregnancy but was on the fence about it until we met and spoke with the amazing Belinda Moore, who grounded all my new mum to be crazy thoughts. We decided to join the ENDIA study in my third trimester because if there is any chance that my son will grow up without the risk of a life like mine then why not; and for a few years at least we can rest a little easier, knowing that if something does show up, the invaluable samples we collect might just assist a breakthrough. The ENDIA team are amazing, so supportive and understanding, I recall my looking forward to heading to Melbourne for my appointments (a long haul 2 and a half or 3 hour drive from the country) because I knew I would be seeing Belinda with samples and questionnaires which became a highlight for us; then with Sarah when we got home, I look forward to those quite large boxes arriving and sending off a new set of samples.
For anyone considering the ENDIA study, I say consider it, be one of the last 100 intake. Lastly, whether it’s you, your child or a loved one that has diabetes, never forget that tomorrow is a new day. It’s tough being diabetic and it’s tough being the parent or partner of a diabetic, you are all doing amazing jobs.
Thanks for reading my story and good luck to all the mums-to-be out there!