A little about my diabetic journey

A little about my diabetic journey

At the age of 24, on 27th May 2017 my life changed forever. Let’s rewind a few years and I will give you the low down of how I almost lost my sight, my BMI dropped dangerously low yet I was still competing to a high level of sport. 

My name is Elise Quarrington and I am a 28 year old ex GB age group triathlete with Type 1 Diabetes. In the run up to being diagnosed (yes there’s going to be sport related puns throughout), it’s safe to say I was pretty unwell. It took months of having symptoms; extreme thirst, lethargy, loss of weight and sight, frequent urination - probably from the 7L of water a day I was drinking) for me to go and get checked out by the GP as I never thought it would be something serious.

At the GP’s office my blood sugar reading was 32mmol/L (ideal levels are between 4-7mmol/L) and I was whisked to hospital and told I was very lucky not to be in a diabetic coma (when your blood sugar level’s dangerously high causing loss of consciousness). From then on I have been injecting myself up to 10 times a day and have a new respect for my body. I am still training and aiming to race in some elite open water swim races over the coming years. 

It took me a while to gain confidence talking about being diabetic, as I would always get the comments of ‘Oh you don’t look diabetic’ and ‘should you really be eating that?’ And they used to really upset me. I felt like I was being judged for anything I would eat unless it was a leaf or a glass of water! However I started to realise that it was actually just a misunderstanding of what diabetes is and the lack of basic education around Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. So I have made it my goal to be diabetic and proud and increase awareness and education around diabetes!…..keep your eyes open for one of my next blogs on education and diabetes.

If there is one message I want to get out there it's that diabetes isn’t going to stop you. I am a living my life to the fullest and have actually taken so many positives away from having diabetes. Yes, there are some really tough days where I barely make it out of bed, have uncontrollable blood sugars and just want to cry… However there are a lot of positives to take away from it too. Don’t be afraid to ask for support - use social media to your advantage and to make friends. I like to remember that I have diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have me. 

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