In 100 stories for 100 years of insulin, News

Amy King, 30 lives with type 1 diabetes

For the past 26 years, living with type 1 diabetes has been a huge part of Amy King’s life.

Growing up in Perth, Amy relocated to the Wheatbelt town of Kukerin in 2013, where she now lives with her husband and their three young children.

But one of the biggest challenges she has faced was coming to terms with the fact that, because of her diabetes, she was different to her peers.

“In primary school I dealt with being teased for having diabetes and needing to eat outside of recess and lunch times,” the recalls. “As a teen I felt it was so unfair to be so different from my peers.”

Admittedly, the mother-of-three says that managing her diabetes during her pregnancies posed another challenge both mentally and physically.

“The way diabetes changes through the trimesters is crazy,” she says.

“My first pregnancy was by far the hardest, figuring out how the effect of insulin changed as my baby was growing and progressing was certainly a challenge!

“As well as the mental strain of worrying about how diabetes could affect my baby. I’m very lucky to have a very supportive husband and family who are happy to listen to my whinging and genuinely interested in how my diabetes is tracking.”

By her third pregnancy, Amy says she began using the Freestyle Libre sensors, which proved to be a ‘game changer’ for her diabetes management having previously used a fingerprick machine to check her blood glucose levels.

“I can check my levels so quickly and easily now by just tapping my phone on the sensor,” she says.
“My day starts by checking my levels and doing my insulin before breakfast and coffee. I check my levels approximately 26 times a day now, something I wouldn’t have done if I was still pricking my finger.

“The prediction of what my levels are doing guides how much and when I do my insulin during the day. I also calculate my insulin levels based on what my levels are and what the arrow predicts is happening to my levels.”

When it comes to insulin management, Amy admits she hasn’t quite jumped aboard the insulin pump bandwagon, instead preferring to do multiple daily injections (MDI).

“I have always been on MDI,” she says. “Although I totally respect the technology of a pump and the difference it makes to your management, I haven’t ever wanted to go down that path.”

While living with type 1 diabetes has had its challenges, Amy says she has found ways to manage the condition.

“It is hard and can be painful, but it’s not the worst thing in the world – there are plenty of people worse off and if you had to you could and would do it too,” she says.

As for her hopes for the future, Amy would like to see more affordable access to diabetes technology and educational support services.

“I hope that all people with diabetes are able to access diabetes technologies, not just those with healthcare cards,” she says.

“I hope, especially for the children and young adults, that they are really well supported with education and strategies to cope with all that diabetes can throw at you during your life. In an ideal world a cure would be amazing!”

 

To mark 100 years since the discovery of insulin, Diabetes WA is sharing 100 stories from West Aussies living with diabetes. If you would like to #DWAjointhefight and share your story, complete these questions.

We will sharing new stories through out the year so follow us on Facebook to stay up to date.

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