Adjusting to my Redefined Life: The Story of a Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by Gumisai Makombe, a newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic who has started a blog to encourage and help others.

I love being happy. I enjoy a good laugh, good food and adore being around people. However, over the last year my life has slowly transformed. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two months ago.

Right now everything still seems overwhelming, but every day gets better. I do have days that are worse than others, but I hope it all gets better in time. I couldn’t say my life didn’t changed when I was diagnosed because it was a massive shock.

Unexplained Weight Loss and Fatigue

It all started in the summer of 2013. I lost so much weight without even trying. When university started, a lot of people were shocked by the way I lost it all. I put on a façade that I intentionally lost weight and that I had done a miraculous weight loss challenge. I told people I felt good when truly I was hurting inside.

I loved my body with the weight on, and to have it all go away was absolutely devastating. I was worried about my weight for a few months until I started feeling tired all the time and needed energy drinks to keep me going. I just didn't understand my body anymore. I would sleep for two hours at a time and wake up to drink a coca cola – just so I could get back to sleep. Sometimes I would wake up to get ready for classes, but after a shower, I'd be so exhausted I would have to go back to sleep or have an energy drink. Things just weren’t right.

Diagnosed with Diabetes: Adjusting and Accepting

July came around, and I got diagnosed. The first month was so hard. I overcame the fear of needles. Having to prick my finger at least six times a day was just overwhelming.

It has made me a stronger person, though. I had so many emotions flowing through me and felt like no one could understand what I was going through. The thought of having this for the rest of my life brought me to tears at least twice a day. I was so hurt that I even had dreams of crying in a corner alone. I just didn't know how to cope in the first month, but they do say "time heals all wounds."

I don’t think I have completely come to terms with it, but I do take things a day at a time. I have identified that it will always be a struggle, but why cry over spilt milk? I have got to move on.

I find a lot of things difficult because I am a carbs lover. I am in love with food and finding different kinds of drinks which most of the time have a lot of sugars. Over time I do believe I will live my life to the fullest and do everything I enjoy; I just have to learn to adjust to my redefined life. I am still the same person, just with a few extra additions that make me special.

Making the Most of It

Having diabetes isn't the end of the world. It will take a while to adjust and find the new you, but in time it will be alright. It won’t be a perfect life (is there a perfect life?) but it will be a good one if you make it good because life is what you make it.

I read a quote the other day that said, "The first step to positivity is ceasing worry over things you cannot change." We can't change our diagnosis, so it is best to stop worrying about it and move on. As Type 1 diabetics, it is great that we have flexibility in what we eat and how much, so it's best to stop dwelling on the things we can't change and focus on the things we can and carry on. There is so much more to life. Besides, “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.”

I know two months seems like nothing, but to me it's two months of the rest of my wonderful life being different. I have a blog I post to from time to time that documents my journey. I believe I will have a lot of experience that I would love to share with others and also make people more aware of what living with diabetes is like.

Click here to visit Gumisai's blog!

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