Laura Zander – My diabetes journey

We live in a world where we are constantly reminded of anniversaries and ‘life events’, particularly those of us who are active on social media, and receive the annual reminders of what we were doing on this particular date a year, two or even ten years ago…

For me however, this year marked a very personal anniversary, and one that I needed no ‘notification’ to remind me of. The 11th March 2021 marked 30 years since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

The diabetes world today is very different from the one I faced in 1991.  Treatments have improved greatly.  We have moved from scary looking syringes to a range of injection pens and even insulin pumps that can be attached with a cannula in an attempt to mimic a pancreas.  Blood glucose testing has become easier and more efficient thanks to continuous glucose monitors that can be attached to the skin with blood glucose readings being only the tap of a smartphone screen away.

However, it is not only treatments that have improved.  Whenever you tell someone you have diabetes, people will often tell a story about an aunt they knew who went blind or someone who lost a limb.  Thankfully, the risk of complications can be reduced thanks to a lot of preventative measures introduced over the last 30 years.  It is now well established that diabetics are entitled to and should receive the following care:

  • Regular blood tests to check average blood glucose together with cholesterol level and kidney function
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Urine tests to check the kidneys are functioning properly
  • Annual foot checks
  • Annual eye screening

With the improvements in treatment and preventative screening I hope that many more diabetics will reach milestone anniversaries whilst staying fit and healthy and I look forward to seeing what advancements will be made over the next 30 years.