Tag: diabetes

I Have a New Dream

I Have a New Dream

I Have a New Dream

By: Lachy Sim

My names Lachy,
And this is the story of the day my life changed.

Ever since I was about 12 I had my mind set on being an air force fighter pilot. I was going to fight and defend my country, I was meant to fly planes. That’s as simple as my life was. That’s what I wanted to do.

Consequently, I joined the air force cadets, worked so hard in maths and physics and did every single thing I needed to purse in what I thought was to be my life. I even overworked myself last year (2016) in year 12 (final year) to get the university entrance score that I needed to get in. it was my destiny to fly jets and fight for my country.

I had applied for the job, and, extremely confidently completed the entrance test. That was my life. I was to be a fighter pilot and fight for my country.

Being my last year of high school I was under a lot of pressure to perform well and get the score I needed to fulfill my destiny. I was to be a pilot and fight for my country.

The stress in which I put myself under started to lead to weight loss, or so I thought it was the stress. But the weight kept falling off. It got to the point where I had lost over 15 kilograms (roughly 35 pounds) in a month. At work I was drinking up to 6 liters of water in 3 hours and urinating every 20 minutes.

It was at this point, 3 months after school finished I knew it wasn’t just stress. Something was up.

After consulting doctor google, and checking off every symptom it became clear I had T1D. But not me, being an 18 year old young, extremely fit and active man I was in denial.

“Not me, I walk 5kms a day”
“Fit people don’t get diabetes?”
“Nah I eat way to healthy for that to be me”
“As if, I don’t even have a family history of diabetes”
“Nah you’re born with it, how does that make sense?”

But after a family holiday mum caught on and insisted on taking me to my doctor “just for a checkup” she told me. “We will just get some blood tests to make sure you are okay”.

Sure enough, a day after going in for my “checkup” I get a call at 8am from my doctor.
“You must come in this morning. I need to discuss your blood tests”
And sure enough, my research had been confirmed.

That morning, with a HbA1c in the 20s I was diagnosed as a type one diabetic. That morning, the eleventh of January 2016, my life changed forever. That morning, I was never to join the defense force. That morning my dream was crushed.

Being told I can never achieve a dream I had worked so hard for, for so many years was initially absolutely heart breaking. I was going to be a pilot and fight for my country. That was why I was alive.

But instead of letting this drag me into the hole it most definitely had the potential to do, I lay in bed that night and thought to myself “I’m going to own this. I will be the best diabetic to come out of Geelong, or even Australia.” Since that day I have absolutely grabbed T1D by the horns and owned the fact I am a proud diabetic. I was no longer to be a pilot and fight for my country, it was that simple in my view.

I have a new dream…

I am to be an endocrinologist and help everyone in the world with type one. I am to tell my grandchildren that I once had diabetes. I am going to invent the artificial pancreas.

The hard work and dedication I put into my school was the best investment I ever made. I am off to start my journey in medicine at one of the best universities in Australia. This is just the start of an ever so exciting journey where I hope to use the drive and passion I withhold from my diagnoses and failure to fulfill what I thought was destiny, to punch diabetes right in the face, like it can sometimes feel like it does to its victims.

Another ever so important message I’ve learnt from my experience is that no one is indestructible, even a fit 18 year old. You never can tell when the crocodile of life will snap. As cliche as it is, Live every day like it’s your last.


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11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

11 Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions

I’ve had Type One Diabetes for quite some time now – 14 years to be exact – and within those amount of years I’ve become fully aware of how misunderstood Type One Diabetes actually is. I’ve heard an endless amount of diabetic misconceptions. It’s hard living in a world where you’re placed in a category with Type Two Diabetes as well. Don’t get me wrong, we all fight a hard battle – but it’s each our own. It’s two completely different diseases in my eyes.

I’m here to set the record straight…

(11) Type 1 Diabetic Misconceptions:

1. “Did you get diabetes from eating sugar or gaining weight?”

Type One occurs when your body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. There’s no specific rhyme or reason behind why this happens. It’s possible to occur due to genetics or environmental causes, but there is no significant proof to back these theories. But what I ate or my weight was definitely not the cause. This is on the top of the list of most common diabetic misconceptions.

2.”Should you be eating that?” 

Yes, I can eat that slice of cake! The myth that diabetics can’t have sugar needs to be thrown out the window right now! I can eat sweets in moderation, along with proper insulin management.

3.”Does using needles hurt?”

Of course, they hurt but I don’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t enjoy having to poke myself several times a day. But unfortunately, I have to in order to stay alive.

4.”My Grandma has diabetes”

Okay, stop right there. Yes, there are Type One Diabetics out there that are grandmothers, which I can totally relate to. But when you finish the sentence with “well she has Type Two” – “she manages with pills” – or “she just has to diet”,  let’s not compare.

5.”Shouldn’t you have this figured out by now?”

No, I wish diabetes was that easy. It’s like trying to figure out a Rubik’s cube every day, only for something to change, and have to start all over again. I can never perfect my diabetes. I constantly need to make adjustments, and all I can do is try to manage my diabetes to the best of my ability with proper diet, insulin, and exercise.

6.”Can you have kids?” “Will they get Diabetes?”

Yes, you can have children with diabetes. You’re considered at a higher risk, but with proper control before and during pregnancy, you’re less likely of complications. Statistics show the odds may be greater with your children getting Type One, but on the other hand, there’s plenty of Type One Diabetics (such as myself) where this diagnosis doesn’t run in the family. So who’s to really say?

7.My sugars low – “Does that mean you need insulin?”

Absolutely not! That would be life threatening in this situation. When my sugar is low I need the energy from food to be able to function normally.

8.”What’s your blood sugar?” “Is that good or bad?”

Honestly, I really can’t answer this one. I’m constantly aiming for a perfect blood sugar number. Trying to keep my blood sugar in a good range is like walking a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I live in a different normal of what’s “good or bad” with my blood sugars, compared to non-diabetics. I have to maintain a good control while being able to function every day.

9.”Let me give you some advice.”

Are you a Diabetic? Are you a physician? If not, just please stop! Just because you can talk the talk – doesn’t mean you can walk the walk.

10.”It could be worse.”

Of course, it could be. I’m thankful that I have a disease that can be managed and can still live a long life. But please don’t make light of the struggle that I go through. It’s not the best situation, but I’m making the best out of it.

11.”I heard there’s a cure.”

There is no cure, however, there continues to be research conducted in order to find a cure. Currently, there are future prospects, but all we can do right now is keep fighting and pray for a cure in the near future.

What’s are some diabetic misconceptions that you despise? Please share! ***