ENDIA mum, Nicole Windley, shares her diagnosis story

National Diabetes Week is held in July every year to help raise awareness about the different types of diabetes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. This year the theme is “It’s about time” to learn the signs and symptoms and better detect all types of diabetes as early as possible.

In the case of type 1 diabetes, Diabetes Australia highlights the 4Ts (toilet, thirsty, tired, thinner). We even suggest a fifth T to be “tetchy”; feeling moody and irritable.

During Diabetes Week, people living with diabetes have been encouraged to share their diabetes diagnosis stories to help others learn about the different ways diabetes can present. ENDIA mum, Nicole Windley, shares her diagnosis story with us…

Nicole and Ash after his 3 month ENDIA visit

“I was diagnosed on July 5th 1996, at age 10, about to turn 11. I don’t remember too much as I was so young. What I do remember was that I was so thirsty all the time and I was going to the toilet a lot! I would also get tired or feel faint if I was playing outside and I lost weight. I remember one night going to my grandparents for dinner, taking a bite out of a sausage roll and then declaring I was full. 

Apparently one night I drank a 1.25L bottle of lemonade, and ate a chocolate bar for breakfast, so mum decided to take me to the doctor to find out why I was craving so much sugar. 

I think I must have been lucky, or we saw a good doctor, as he tested my blood sugar and ketones straight away. I’ve heard a lot of stories of people going back and forth to doctors! My blood sugar was 24mmol and the doctor told my mum to take me straight to the hospital.

Our local hospital didn’t specialise in diabetes and referred us to Monash Medical Centre, where I have been a patient ever since! I spent a week in hospital and played a lot of Bubsy on Super Nintendo – so much so, my mum ended up buying my brother and I one (with Bubsy!) and I still have it today ? I was told that I couldn’t go home until I learned to inject myself, so I learned pretty quickly! Since then I have always been independent with my diabetes; doing all the testing and injecting.

While I was pregnant, I enrolled myself and my unborn bub into the ENDIA Study; a study dedicated to finding out what causes Type 1 so that we can prevent it in the future. My son, Ash, recently had his 9 month visit at Monash Health with the lovely Amanda. Here he is pictured with some pureed pear as we were determined to get a poo sample this time!”