Lyfestories

Accepting Diabetes And Using Social Media For Positivity

My name is Rowena. I am a professional dancer/ choreographer/ instructor based in Liverpool, UK. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, 2 days before my 24

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, 2 days before my 24thbirthday. During the lead up to diagnosis, I had all of the classic symptoms of diabetes such as extreme thirst, serious lack of energy, weight loss, unexplained hunger, and loss of strength. I looked very worn too, but because I was training a lot (around 20 hours per week), I delayed going to the doctor because I just thought I might be overworking myself and not getting enough sleep. However, when it got to the point of me drinking about 7 liters of water a day, I went to the doctor. I told her all of the symptoms I was experiencing and she said I could be diabetic. It was strange hearing that as I had so many preconceived ideas and misconceptions about what diabetes was – including inactivity and poor diet. I wondered how I could be diabetic when I was so fit and healthy. I mean, I was full-time dance training at the time, with a good diet and good general overall health.

Two weeks after taking multiple daily injections, I started insulin pump therapy and have not looked back since. I am still as active as ever and I actually feel like I have much more control of diabetes when I am at my busiest. Oftentimes, I collect data about my own experiences of living an active life with diabetes, and I then translate this information into easy to follow tips, published on my website www.type1active.com. This not only helps me to log my progress with my management and fitness, it is also a great way to help other diabetics learn about exercise and nutrition. The website also contains an online training portal that provides goal specific training programs for diabetics around the world. I find great pleasure in helping others achieve their goals whilst showing them that type 1 diabetes does not need to stand in the way of living an active, full life.

Overall, I think attitude plays an important role in diabetes. We can complain that we have it, or we can accept it and use that energy to find ways to work around it. For instance, from the get-go, I have been, and still am, so grateful for social media; Instagram and Twitter. It has connected me to so many other diabetics who inspire me to stay positive. I learn from them and they learn from me, which is what the management of this disease requires… research, trial, and error.

I hope to connect with you all soon. Keep an eye out for more fitness videos.

Rowena x

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