My journey with Type 1 Diabetes

10th June 2023

My journey with Type 1 Diabetes

With Diabetes Week around the corner, one of our team, Katie Watkinson, shares her journey with Type 1 Diabetes. In her blog post, Katie discusses how diagnosis as a child, and diabetes and pregnancy.

The start of my journey with Type 1 Diabetes

My journey with Diabetes started at a very young age of three years old, where I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I do not remember much before insulin injections and finger pricks to test my blood sugar, which may be a blessing, as to me it has always been normality. In primary school, I remember going home for my lunch break so my mum could check my blood sugars and weigh out my lunch, calculating my carbohydrates. I remember having an “emergency” box full of snacks which other children would be watchful of when they’d see me eating in class due to a Hypo (low blood sugar). My teen years were the hardest, with hormones kicking in and blood sugars yoyo’ing and becoming out of control, I ended up being rushed into hospital on a few occasions and being put onto a glucose drip. In adulthood, by changing my insulin type, through experience, technology, and support from all areas, I feel more confident with my type 1 diabetes and management of it.

Support networks

The support from healthcare providers has been paramount over the years and they have taught me so much on how to control my diabetes. Having support from family and friends is also so important, especially when you’re not feeling well and sugars become a little out of control or you have a bad hypo and need assistance with increasing sugar levels quickly. My husband is also a Type 1 Diabetic, so having that understanding and support between the two of us is incredible. What’s more, I have found support from forums and social media groups, which have been a great support network, especially getting worries answered from other type 1 diabetics. Knowing you are not alone in something can really help.

Medication and technology

Type 1 Diabetes has come a long way, from the types of insulin adapting and changing over the years (in the 1990s I started off on Pig Insulin!) to the many different types of diabetes technology, like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Without a doubt a continuous glucose monitoring system has had a huge benefit in my life. It means I do not have to use a finger prick to provide a blood sample. Instead, the monitor works via a small sensor placed just below the surface of my skin. I place the accompanying screen monitor (or phone in my case) above the system to get my glucose reading. This means more blood readings during the day and tighter control. In turn, this causes less diabetes complications, now and in the future.

Diabetes and pregnancy

I have always been told, having Type 1 Diabetes, “you will have a big baby” and “you will have to have the baby sooner as it will be big”, but this isn’t always the case. Managing Diabetes in pregnancy is 10 times harder as hormones are changing and what I’d previously learnt is sometimes turned on its head! I have found blood sugars spike more often in the second trimester and have been told my insulin ratio may quadruple in the third trimester. However, with support from my doctors and more growth scans and tighter control, it is possible to have a safe birth and healthy baby.

A day in the life of a T1D

Here’s a look at what a typical day looks like for monitoring my diabetes.

Of course, so many things can affect my blood sugars and therefore the amount of insulin injected, which can impact a good day or bad.

Good blood sugar day

Bad blood sugar day


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