Type 1, Turning 18 and Finding Peer Support

I was lucky enough to be featured on the very awesome Diabetes Mine over the weekend, if you haven’t already caught up. I’d like to think my article also serves as a timely awareness piece for Australian National Diabetes Week, which kicked off yesterday.

So, is it somewhat easier being diagnosed with diabetes as an adult? Or would you rather be diagnosed at a younger age, where you won’t know life any differently? It’s one of the age old debates within the diabetes community.

I don’t subscribe to the notion that there is an easier option. Every diagnosis, at every stage of life, is uniquely challenging. While I’m certainly grateful for my adolescent years that were free from diabetes, receiving a type 1 diagnosis as a young adult presented it’s own set of challenges. Herein lies my story.

“I’m one of the privileged few who joined the “diagnosed-a-few-weeks-before-turning-18 club,” in terms of living with type 1. That was in 2010, and I was in the midst of a big transitional change in my life: had newfound independence, was midway into my first semester at university, was enthusiastically working my first real job, and driving around in my first car. There was a lot going on at the time, and when that T1 diagnosis came along, I don’t remember actually processing the meaning of my new illness all that much right away.

Needless to say, being diagnosed with T1D as a young adult presented a unique set of challenges.

For starters, nobody knew that I had diabetes. I didn’t grow up with it, didn’t go through school with it, and it wasn’t simply there for the world to see. I didn’t know life any other way, and went from carelessy eating potato crisps after school to having to think about what they would do to my blood sugar.”

You can check out the full article over at Diabetes Mine here, to help tide you through your Monday-itis. 

I know I’m going to need an extra coffee today…

Type 1 Event: Relationships, Partying and Life

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt that there’s a bit of a gap in terms of the support available when you’re a young adult living with diabetes.

Here in Perth, kids and families are really well catered for by the Telethon Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre, Diabetes WA and Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital. Diabetes WA run a cycle of programs for adults, but they seem to skew towards an older crowd. And I can only watch on with envy at some of the awesome things happening in the diabetes space in other parts of the world.

Earlier this year I met with a group of young adults with diabetes, and from there the Perth Diabetes Care Youth Advisory Committee came to life. Basically, we’re a group of young adults with diabetes, trying to fill the unmet needs of young adults living with diabetes in Perth.

If you’re in Perth and have type 1 diabetes, we are holding the second in a series of type 1 themed events on Thursday June 22.

The theme of this event is Relationships, Partying and Life. Nikki, a member of our committee, will be our personal speaker for the night. Dr Martin DeBock, an endocrinologist and researcher at the Telethon Institute, will also be speaking about his latest research in the areas of relationships, intimacy and diabetes.

Events like these are simply a great opportunity to hear other perspectives on living with type 1 and mix with other people who have diabetes.

All the details are below, and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch through my contact page.

Hope to see you there!