What Have You Learned About Diabetes Since Diagnosis?


What Have You Learned About Diabetes Since Diagnosis?Diabetes is a tough one to crack. I barely had a clue about it until I was diagnosed, but I am 4 months in and now I know a lot. Here are some examples.

Type 1 diabetics can safely eat chocolate and whatever else they like (providing they have enough insulin)… I always knew diabetes was something to do with insulin and sugar intake. I thought they just had to be careful around sweets and not eat too many, just like non diabetics should not eat too many. Now that I am diabetic and an occasional chocolate eater I know that I have to bolus for it. For example, a bar of dairy milk=25 carbs=1.25 bolus for me (with my carb to unit ratio). Not much difference from the bolus you would do for a 20 carb banana.

Diabetes is much more serious than I ever imagined. When I was doing my life guard training and my fitness qualifications, I was required to do first aid training. I learned about hypoglycaemia where u would offer something sweet and hyperglycaemia you would offer water and insulin. That was it. They don’t tell you what will happen if it goes untreated – Coma, diabetic ketoacidosis. You get my drift.

Type 1 diabetes is very different from type two. They are two separate diseases. End of!! It frustrates me when people say “can you eat that”, “did you eat too much sugar”?? Er, no!! Calm down.

It is a 24/7 job. I won’t say it’s a constant battle because that makes it seem like it can’t be managed. However, I know that this condition needs a lot of attention and patience. Before you eat, you have to have the patience to test and work out your carbs when you’re hungry. When you’re in the middle of something, anything, if you have symptoms of a hypo or hyper you must stop what you’re doing and treat it.

There are hidden carbs everywhere. One day, I had been to dance class, the gym and for coffee so I was expecting a great reading in the normal range of 4-7. I was about to eat dinner so I tested my blood glucose and I was very shocked to learn that it was in double figures. I was scratching my head until I realised that it was that skinny latte that I had in Starbucks. No sugar, cake or anything else just the skinny latte. I found out that there was something like 25 carbs in that drink alone. I think I’ll stick to my usual Americano next time.

Last but not least. Diabetics can be as fit or a successful as anyone else. Yes, it might be inconvenient sometimes and yes it might make me feel like my head is going to explode, but I have not let this set me back in any of my training. And, if anything, I feel stronger. Nothing is too dangerous as long as I look after myself and monitor my levels.

I have obviously learned a lot more than what is written here. These things just popped out to me now. Do you educate people about type 1 or type 2 diabetes? What have you learned since your diagnosis? I feel like I learn more and more on a daily basis and will continue to do so forever.


  1. I have learned many things since my son was diagnosed almost 4 years ago… to strive to do our best to help him manage T1D… but to be gentle with ourselves because the numbers can sometimes, or even often, be baffling because of the many many factors that affect the blood glucose levels of children with T1D. The most important thing I’ve learned is that I have a resilient, patient, strong son who inspires me every day!

    • He must be so strong. I count myself lucky that I was diagnosed at an age where I feel I can handle myself and the control to go with it. I’m sure you do an amazon job looking after him.

    • Kids with type 1 are absolutely amazing! Tony just turned 4 and he & his mom were in the car. She suspected his sugar was low and she handed him the pump meter, test strip, lancet & alcohol wipe. He did the testing all by himself & the number was good! That is quite amazing to me. I have seen him do it for me & it brings to light this is what he has for the rest of his life, or until a cure is found. Let’s hope for a cure:)

  2. You have hit all the key points right on the head! My grandson Tony was diagnosed at the age of 2 1/2 and 27 lbs. My daughter had read on Facebook the 10 signs of type 1 and 3 weeks later her own son showed 3 of the signs! She borrowed a blood test kit from a friend, never did this before, and tested him. He was sky high off the charts. Due to his size and super sensitivity to insulin, it was hard to get a dose small enough in a syringe he got a pump 6 weeks later. It’s now 1 1/2 years later and I was one of those that knew nothing about type 1. I am in the depths of knowledge and understanding now myself. It’s still a guessing game. Counting carbs is not the problem, but getting him to eat & drink sometimes is really challenging! We found his body still needs the insulin even if his numbers are good. He’s had the dreaded lows at night, as well as during the day and he’s tested up to 10 times a day. Ever since his diagnosis I have been trying to spread the word about type 1. My daughter has had the comments about sweets as well, even moms saying they aren’t giving any more sugar to them. They monitor him and adjust the amount of bolus to the candy bar, the ice cream cone and other foods that children normally eat. There are a lot of diabetics that still believe you cannot eat certain things. Not sure if it’s their dr instructions or they are not counting the carbs properly and correcting with the right amount of insulin.
    My daughter heard once that type 1 is more of an art than a science. If you think about it, it is. Keep getting the word out on type 1:) and dream for a cure.
    Grammy of Type 1 Tony

    • I’m so happy that some of his friends parents don’t treat him any differently. I have heard so many stories about type 1 children not getting anything the same as their friends. Good job looking after him 🙂

      • I’m happy when I see him being able to be like the other kids as far as foods go. We always try to correctly inform others that his insulin is based on the carbs he eats and that can include cake and ice cream too!


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