I take absolutely no credit for this idea. But I have seen it going through Instagram, and I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce myself to those of you who might be new around here.
I’m Frank. I’m from Perth in Western Australia, and I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes for the past nine years. I presented to my GP with all four ‘Ts’ of type 1 diabetes – tired, toilet, thirsty and thinner – but wound up in emergency a few days later with DKA.
The hardest thing about being diagnosed at that age was trying to find a place for diabetes in my life. I lived in relative isolation for those first couple of years. I kept diabetes to myself as much as I could, and didn’t really feel motivated to learn more about it.
My turning point came in 2015 when I created a Twitter account and accidentally stumbled across the Diabetes Online Community. For the first time in my life, I saw other people candidly sharing and talking about diabetes in a normal light. I’ve also been lucky enough for the opportunity to turn many of those online friendships into in-real-life ones over the past couple of years.
Peer support is my vice. I could talk for hours and hours on end about how valuable and life changing diabetes peer support is. It definitely played a big part in better engaging myself in my diabetes management. I’m also incredibly proud to be part of a Young Adult Diabetes Committee here in Perth, because this incredibly bright group and their mission definitely fulfils what the diabetes community has done for me over the past few years.
I’m currently using a t:slim insulin pump, and it’s honestly been everything that I’ve wanted in a pump for a long time. I monitor my blood sugars with an AccuChek Guide, and intermittently use a FreeStyle Libre. I don’t really follow any particular kind of diet. I eat to meet my energy expenditure, prepare as much of my food at home and focus on ‘real’ food. I’m always on the hunt for good coffee and cakes or pastries. Especially Cannoli.
Diabetes is hard work. If there’s one thing that I could draw upon from my own experience, it would be to monitor your blood sugar as closely as possible and commit to learning about how it responds to different variables and activities. Arm yourself with as much information as you can about managing diabetes, and find what works best for you. (I personally can’t speak highly enough of Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner).
I currently work as a back of house attendant for a retail business. I honestly cannot wait for the day where I’m not on my feet all day burning energy, and I might actually feel motivated to complete some feat of physical endurance. I’m currently studying Accounting at Curtin University. I really hope that I’ll be able to use that degree to make my mark on the world somehow in the future (and earn a bit more money to pay for my health care).
I love being outdoors, and recently ticked the incredible Blue Mountains off my bucket list.
I prefer TV shows over movies. If you haven’t picked up on the references scattered throughout this blog of late, I’m absolutely hooked on Australian Survivor at the moment. Also looking forward to the Downton Abbey movie and season 3 of The Crown.
If you’re new here, or if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I just wanted to say thank you. Whether its been through a comment, social media interaction or a real life friendship, the diabetes community continues to make the great big world around me much much smaller.