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I intend to use this blog, along with my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/emznandy), to document the ups and downs of life with Type 1 Diabetes so I can look back and learn from the mistakes and successes. If people find reading about my experiences helpful, that's great. I'm more than happy to talk to others and support them, and it would be good to have contact with others who have diabetes.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 3 years old. Often when I tell people this they immediately feel sorry for me, but I think being diagnosed young was a good thing. I don't remember not having it - I don't remember being able to eat what I liked when I liked & not think about it, I don't remember not being different to my peers, I don't remember not taking injections. It's meant that I've grown up with it a part of my life and I'm used to it. I've never had a fear of needles and I've never really rejected my diabetes or been in denial about it.

During my childhood, my parents controlled my diabetes for me. With a combination of their dedication and there being no hormones in the mix (yet), my blood sugar control and A1C was as near perfect as possible. I was the model patient, until I hit puberty. Then the hormones kicked in, I started highschool and I had to start taking control myself. This inevitably meant that my control went downhill and was considerably poorer for a number of years.

Around 3 years ago I decided it was time to get my finger out and focus on bringing my blood sugars down. I worked hard - really hard. At this point I was on daily injections and was experiencing a 'yo-yo' effect. My blood sugars were never stable - I could rarely make it through a day without at least one low and one high. My A1C got down to 8.3, and stuck there. No matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't come down any further. So, around a year ago, I started using an insulin pump.

It is much better. My A1C in December last year was 7.1, and at my last appointment (June) 7.4 (a little higher due to stress). One thing I would say is that it is still hard work - sometimes I think pumping requires more effort than injections, but I'm okay with this because it's worth it for the better control. I found that it took quite a while to adjust to using an insulin pump. I'd spent my entire life on injections with one frame of mind, and now I was starting from scratch and learning completely new habits and techniques. I often find wearing it a bit of a pain - for example if I'm wearing a dress I have to hook it into my bra, which means a trip to the toilet every time I need to bolus or change a setting. But, like I said, the control is much better and that's what's important.

The last few months my diabetes has been on the back burner a little - I've had stress at work and moved house so haven't had as much time to focus on my blood sugars. However, we're settled in now so I fully intend to make it a priority again. I plan to blog on a regular basis about how I'm getting on - the good, the bad and the ugly. If there's anyone else out there doing the same, please give me a shout!

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