Testimonial

Gráinne

Ireland
Diabetes has taught me resilience, empowerment and to always speak up for myself

How long have you been living with diabetes?

28 years

How were you diagnosed?

I had an out of hours GP visit and was then rushed to the emergency department of my local hospital.

Did your diagnosis come as a surprise to you?

Yes.

How did your diagnosis affect your family or loved ones?

My parents were really worried but I was so relieved to be feeling better that I took charge of my care from the beginning. My parents were comforted by how well I handled it all.

What are the most important things that have supported your diabetes care?

The most important things that have supported my care have been:

  • Access to diabetes specialist education and specialist medical professionals.
  • Access to the tools, devices and technology that help me live well with diabetes and also reduce some of the burden.
  • Having other people with diabetes in my life to learn from, lean on and reciprocate.

What has living with diabetes taught you the most?

Resilience, empowerment and to always speak up for myself.

What has been your lowest point with diabetes?

The lowest point was when I was really struggling with my management and weight loss after my son was born. My diabetes team at that time were unhelpful and unsupportive. After one appointment, I ended up just about making it back to my car before I started sobbing. I felt I wasn’t being listened to and that the diabetes knowledge of my team was extremely lacking.

Have you ever experienced issues accessing diabetes medicines, supplies and care?

I get frustrated at how far behind with technology and health care policies we are in my country. I’ve had to fight for everything I have: my pump, my CGM and diabetes education. I actually built my own DIYAPS when the warranty was up on my existing pump and there was only one outdated pump available.

What would you like to see change in diabetes over the next 100 years?

I would like to see access to all the things we need to become less of a fight. For governments to prioritise diabetes care and delivery of that care because it really is in their best interests to allow people to stay healthier for longer.

What do you think needs to change to improve the lives of people living with diabetes in your country?

More engagement with people with diabetes in policy development and implementation. People with diabetes should be at the center.

What does the centenary of insulin mean to you?

Life, living and a future! Insulin allows me to live, be alive, which then allowed me to figure out how to live well, which then allowed me to have a family and dream about my future and theirs.

Supported by