In November 2009 I was called in to take part in a study by ABIS, a group studying the health of children in Sweden with a focus on allergies and diabetes. The research involved several blood tests and it turned out that mine showed an increased risk of type 1 diabetes. After repeated tests designed to determine how well my body could break down glucose it was clear that I would eventually be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
During 2010, I was involved in tests that would decide how much insulin I would need or if my own body could produce some of my daily insulin dose. The test results showed that my own insulin production was very strained and that I should begin daily insulin treatment. It was now official. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I had known for about a year that the day would come and Diabetes would be part of my life but I wasn’t very concerned. I thought ‘it won’t happen until I’m grown up and that’s way in the future’. I didn’t really understand why my parents always looked so worried. When my treatment started, I understood. I was afraid of injections and that gave me a very tough start. But my start was easier than lots of kids who get diabetes. I was never really sick. I never had the life threatening symptoms – dangerously high blood sugar levels, frequent toilet visits, constant thirst, intensive weight loss – which others have suffered before they were diagnosed. I was lucky. First, my treatment was several insulin injections daily and after a few months I was able to go over to using a tiny insulin pump that adds small doses of insulin to my system when needed. I was skeptic at the start but I gave the pump a try. Now I wouldn’t change it for the world. Now, six years later, I still use the insulin pump to regulate my insulin intake and it has proved very successful. Whether it was the tests that I went through as a child or simply the immediate attention paid, and consequent treatment given, to my condition, one thing is certain – it is vital that diabetes is discovered as early as possible in a child’s life.
Together Against Diabetes – we can help research initiatives acquire the resources they need to combat diabetes among children.