My advice to a newly diagnosed type 1 – a year into my pancreatically challenged life

Last week was my one-year anniversary of my diagnosis. People refer to it as the “diaversary” but I really don’t like the word!

I can remember all too well the shock of my diagnosis. I could not concentrate on anything else for the two or three weeks following, and I had huge uncertainty about whether I would be able to continue to do the things I loved doing. I was lucky to have fantastic support from my wife, family, friends and medical team. What words of advice would I give someone else who is newly diagnosed? I’ve been thinking about it since my anniversary and here is what I came up with. Bare in mind that I’ve had the condition for a mere twelve months. There are probably loads of wiser diabetics who have better advice than me!

Diagnosis

Tiger to run London Marathon – Guinness World Record Attempt

I have decided to run the London Marathon (in about a month’s time) dressed in a Tiger costume. It covers my whole body – feet, hands, head and face! It’s going to be hot.

I asked the Guinness Book of Records if there was a Onesie category (I wanted to run as a type-onesie) but there isn’t, so they suggested the animal.

The record is currently held by a cow in 2:51:18. It’s going to be really hard to go faster than this but the London Marathon is all about having fun and pushing personal limits so I’m really excited about trying. When I signed up for the marathon straight after diagnosis, I wasn’t even sure whether I’d be able to do it with diabetes. I’ve come a long way since then, and hopefully wearing a stupid costume will raise awareness that people with type 1 can do everything a “healthy” person can.

Running

Diabetes and being ill don’t mix

Gratuitous shot of Mont Blanc. What an amazing view to have whilst marching 850m up a hill.

Gratuitous shot of Mont Blanc. What an amazing view to have whilst marching 850m up a hill.

I’ve just come out of a two week long cold. Despite evidence to the contrary (I got diabetes six months ago), I think of myself as someone who never gets ill. So getting a cold and feeling low on energy and not wanting to run was a real blow. Not least because my fund raising page reminds me that I only have 54 days left to the Marathon. Given that I want to run it in a very challenging time, two weeks of almost no quality training is a real blow. I’m still waiting for comments on whether I should run the marathon in a Onesie by the way. So far two people have commented, and that’s not quite enough to encourage me to do it!

Data Skiing

Should I run the London Marathon in a Onesie?

My aim for running the London Marathon for the JDRF is not only to raise cash for such a good cause, but also to show that people with type 1 diabetes can perform just as well as healthy people in athletic or sporting events. I signed up to the Marathon two weeks after my diagnosis when I had no idea how difficult it would be to run with type one. I’ve of course since found that with meticulous preparation, it’s possible to run long distances really fast – for instance with the ultra marathon I ran in December.

But whereas my aim for the ultra was to just finish it, my aim for the London Marathon is to finish it fast.

Running