Type 1 Diabetes and Ulcerative Colitis

So.

I’m actually writing this introduction a few months after I began this blog post. It’s been a fairly tough time of it, as you’ll read on in a minute. The beginning is fairly difficult, very down and negative and unlike most of what I write on here but I wanted to be honest. To show that life isn’t all motivation and trying to be positive. That it’s ok to be angry and annoyed and to show the hard parts of living with a health disorder/ condition/ disease etc.

Anyway…I hope you can relate to this in some way and enjoy my ramblings!

12th June 2017

Fed up.

I guess that’s the over-riding emotion I’m currently feeling.

I’m writing this the day I’ve been diagnosed, again, but I’ll probably publish this sometime later on in the year.

I guess I just wanted to get my initial thoughts and emotions down on paper (figuratively) before they go away. I feel honesty and transparency here are really important. Especially as I wasn’t blogging when I was diagnosed with Type 1.

This morning I’ve been re-diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC hereon in). Yet ANOTHER condition. Like Type 1 Diabetes isn’t enough, this nasty little disease/ condition/ (whatever) has come back after 5 1/2 years to rear it’s ugly head and bite me in the ass.

Literally.

And again, it’s ANOTHER condition that no-one is sure where it comes from. Just like Type 1 Diabetes. And again, it’s ANOTHER dose of life long medication. Just like Type 1 Diabetes.

Bleurgh. Sorry but bleurgh. I’m going to have a day of feeling sorry for myself.

The annoying thing is I really look after myself. I exercise, eat well, sleep well, manage my stress, don’t drink an awful lot of alcohol, have never smoked, never done illegal drugs. And yet I have TWO auto-immune conditions/ diseases/ (insert choice of word here).

13th June 2017

Ok, I’ve slept on it. I had my day of self-pitying and being annoyed at life.

Back to normal today but with a little bit more added…..ooophm. My body might be trying to fight me but I’m definitely going to fight back. I will not let myself be beaten. Take the medication, do what the specialist recommends and keep looking after myself.

I may now have two auto-immune conditions and it might be twice the battle – but that just means twice the satisfaction when I achieve my goals and win.

11th January 2018

It’s been a few months now since the diagnosis. I’ve gone through a course of temporary (and fairly unpleasant) medication to get my digestive system working properly again. A colonoscopy – which was tricky. I’m now on permanent medication which has had to change recently as it wasn’t working as well as it should have done.

But – I’m very pleased to say – things are getting much better. I’m still getting used to taking more medication every day but it’s not a big deal, I just include it alongside my daily multi-vitamins. I feel good, my energy is much better and I’m sleeping the best I have in months.

Mentally, I’ve come to terms with it all. It’s just…another thing. I don’t overthink it. I just get on with it. It’s nothing I can’t handle. Being a Type 1 Diabetic is more complicated and requires much more energy and time to control. At this moment in time, the UC is managed by tablets and it’s fine.

The fasted colonoscopy was tricky. With a scheduled appointment of 8am and the procedure to be at around 9am I was not allowed to eat anything solid from 1pm onwards the previous day. That was around 20-21 hours of not eating. The two pieces of advice I have received from my specialist are:

  1. Be admitted the day before and “prepare” for the colonoscopy whilst having a mixture of glucose and insulin monitored into my system intravenously. I declined this option.
  2. Monitor it myself and control my levels with clear fluid (most likely lemonade, lucozade) and keep myself “full” (ha) with jelly. This is the option I have chosen to go with.

Neither of these were ideal. In fact, they were both horrific options for a diabetic. But I had the confidence in myself and my ability to manage my diabetes as long as I tested myself regularly (around every 30 minutes or so). I was hungry – but I was ok.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there. For now, I’m actually doing great. I have my HbA1c at 5.9% which I am beyond happy with so I’m feeling a massive sense of accomplishment with that.

There’s a quote one of my followers sent to me a couple of years ago which has always stuck with me. Now I have to confess, I am not a religious man by any means but this is something that has kept me going when things are tough and I do use when things seem hard. It gives me a rush of adrenaline and makes me determined to do my best.

“God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers”.

If you’re struggling, keep going. You’re doing great. It is always darkest before the dawn and we’re all presented with battles in life that we have to overcome. It is how you deal with the struggles that allow you to celebrate the wins just that much more.

And with a 5.9% HbA1c, the best news I’ve received on my health for the past 7 years, this victory just tastes a little sweeter.

Until next time.

Dan.

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Dan has been a Type 1 Diabetic since November 2011 and writes about his experiences living with two autoimmune conditions (Type 1 Diabetes and Ulcerative Colitis), nutrition, exercise and living an overall healthier life on his blog and via his social media platforms.

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