Healthwatch Dorset, the county’s independent health and care champion, has been speaking with young people about their experiences with type 1 diabetes.
Please don’t make assumptions about my diabetes and don’t bully me about it – just ask me if you have any questions,” said 16-year-old Nicole in a vox pop video made by Healthwatch Dorset.
“I wish people had more awareness because then they wouldn’t talk about me like that,” she said.
Nicole has had type 1 diabetes for over 10 years and says her first memory of it was waking up in hospital after being in a diabetic coma when she was four years old.
“I have a lot of anxiety about going to sleep because a lot of diabetics die in their sleep and you just hope it won’t be you,” she said. 13-year-old Issy was diagnosed two years ago.
“I used to have to finger prick my glucose levels eight times a day but now I have the Freestyle Libre I scan 11 times a day which much better. The insulin pump has improved my quality of life.”
Rosey, who is 14 years old, has been keeping a blog to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes. She won the Young Person’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the Diabetes UK Inspire Awards for campaigning to get sensors available on prescription.
Lucy Cribb, Engagement Officer at Healthwatch Dorset helped students run a week of assemblies at Oak Academy during Diabetes Week in June. The assemblies helped young people living with diabetes to talk to their peers about their experience of life with the disease and led on to Healthwatch Dorset supporting Rosey to create a blog and filming with Issy & Nicole. Lucy will be at more school assemblies this week for World Diabetes Day.
“It’s so important to encourage young people to speak up about their experiences with health and care services in their community so we can make sure their needs are being represented,” said Lucy.
World Diabetes Day is Thursday 14 November.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled in the last twenty years, according to new analysis released by Diabetes UK.
The new figures show that there are now almost 3,7 million people living with a diagnosis of the condition in the UK, an increase of 1.9 million since 1998.
The data also shows that the number of people diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has increased by almost 100,000 since last year.
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For more information about diabetes go to: diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics