My name is Laura, and I am one of the Physiotherapists at the Concord clinic and just 3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Being a young physiotherapist, where fitness and health is a priority for me, this diagnosis was a complete surprise. With no heredity history of type 1 diabetes, this was never a disease that crossed my mine.
When I received that phone call, I thought my life as a young, fit, healthy physiotherapist would be over. I have decided to write this blog to educate our clients in diabetes and how a 26-year-old is dealing with a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is commonly diagnosed at a younger age (13/14 years old or younger). This autoimmune condition destroys cells in the pancreas where insulin is produced. Without insulin being produced, glucose (found in carbohydrates and sugar) cannot be turned into energy to be used.
People with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin injections to replace the insulin that isn’t produced in the body. Without insulin, the body will burn its own fats as a substitute which will release a chemical substance in the blood. This is called ketoacidosis and can be life threatening.
My Journey So Far
Now that you know more about type 1 diabetes, I can go into more detail about my journey so far.
3 weeks ago, I was admitted into St Vincent’s Emergency where I had no idea what lay ahead of me. Going back 1 month prior, I had noticed excessive weight loss in a short period (6kg in 1.5 months), polyuria (extreme urination) and polydipsia (extreme thirst).
I was at work one morning, feeling lethargic and fatigued causing me to go home and see my GP. That afternoon, blood tests done and I was told I would receive a phone call next week with my results.
The day after my blood tests were done, my phone exploded with messages and phone calls from the doctor’s office to call them as my doctor had my results and needed to speak to be urgently.
I called the doctor’s office and was sent straight through to my doctor where I was told that I was likely to have diabetes due to my sugar levels being so high (7x the normal amount). My doctor then advised me to urgently see a specialist.
After making a few phone calls I was able to get in contact with the St Vincent’s Diabetic Centre where I was told they would call me back after receiving a referral letter and my blood test results from my GP to determine whether my current state was urgent enough to treat that day. 1 hour later I received a phone call back to come in that afternoon for an appointment.
Off I went to the St Vincent’s Diabetic Centre where I was met with a diabetic educator and registrar. After having more tests done, I was taken to emergency where I stayed overnight to be monitored and was then taught to inject myself with insulin before being discharged the next day.
After being discharged, my whole life had to be put on hold where I was off work, not exercising and getting used to the fact of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Although I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I was continuously told not to worry and that having type 1 diabetes is very manageable. Years ago, you would have to constantly prick your finger to test for your blood sugars but nowadays, technology has been developed to make life a lot easier.
I wear a monitor implanted into my arm 24/7 which is linked to my phone, notifying me of my blood sugar levels. Currently, I am also injecting insulin into myself at least 5 times per day. Soon I will be able to get an insulin pump which will act like a prosthetic pancreas, automatically pumping insulin into my body depending on my blood sugar levels.
Reflecting on this journey, my life has completely changed, pretty much overnight.
I have definitely had my moments of ups and lots of downs, where I feel my body has given up on me, but I feel like I can turn this new diagnosis into a superpower whilst making me a little bit unique at the same time.
4 weeks later, I am back at work, the gym and starting to get back into my social life, getting used to the new normal. I am sure struggles will arise, especially in the next few months but with the support system I have at work, home and from the St Vincent’s Diabetic Centre, I have no doubt I will get through it.
Want To Know More?
This is a new journey for me, however I am here if you need someone to talk to in a similar situation. I’m based at the Precision Physio Concord clinic.
How Do I Book An Appointment?
We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call any of these numbers to schedule a session:
- Precision Physio Concord: 02 9736 3950
- Precision Physio St Marys: 02 9623 2220
- Precision Physio Mt Druitt: 02 9188 2552
Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!
To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.