Imagine NOT having diabetes…

a picture of a blood testing machine on The Diabetes Diet
This will be my blood sugar levels from now on. All the time. Yes sirree.

When you’ve lived with diabetes as long as I have, it’s almost impossible to imagine what life is like without that constant round of tests, injections and mild anxiety around food as you eat something and hope it doesn’t result in postprandial blood sugar levels that are too high or too low.

Today, I read about people’s experiences of research or new procedures they’d taken part in. One woman wore the artificial pancreas when she was pregnant. Giving it back afterwards was, she said, “like losing a limb”. Another person received islet stem cells transplant because he couldn’t recognise hypo symptoms and was able to come off insulin altogether, although he did have to go back on small amounts four months later.

So, Emma B, I said to myself, say you woke up tomorrow without type 1 diabetes what would be the best thing about it. And is there anything you would miss?


The main point that would strike me would be the energy. Imagine living with levels of energy that remain more or less constant. To the non-diabetics out there, please make the most of it this on my behalf. You have no idea how brilliant it is. I get days here and there when the energy is constant, and blimey you could put me in charge of Brexit and I’d sort it out… But some of those other days are tedious. Tiredness makes you grumpy and makes every task far more difficult, meaning you have to invest in willpower (a finite thing) for trivial rubbish.

It’s hard to over-estimate the impact that one single thing would make. Perhaps I’d turn into an extrovert. Tiredness often makes conversation an effort. Or I’d enter a full marathon instead of a half. My freelance copywriting business might take off because I’d be able to do far more work every day AND I’d be an excellent net-worker and pitcher, thanks to the whirling fizz running through my veins.

Injection-free meals

I’d also relish sitting down to meals without having to do blood tests and injections first. Oh the bliss of pulling up a plate without eyeballing its contents and doing all the calculations in your head—right, so that’s about 15g of carbs (I think), my blood sugar is a little raised so I need to factor that in, but I’m going for a walk afterwards so include 30 minutes of exercise, maybe allow for an hour because I’m going up that big hill… etc., etc.

I might never go near a doctor’s surgery again. A silly thing, I know, but we sugar shunners spend a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms, often wondering why the magazine collection is so rubbish and why all the posters on the wall are so out of date. There’s the clinics, the retinal screening and all the other appointments associated with diabetes. Not going along to any of them ever again would be a joy.

My abdomen would say an almighty big ‘thank-you’ for not getting stabbed seven or eight times a day. Granted, the needles we have these days are tiny (I use a 4mm version), but occasionally I hit a nerve and it HURTS. Ditto my fingers. As one of our regular readers said, doctors can always tell the folks who are conscientious about blood tests as they were the ones with tiny black marks all over their finger tips.

Pizza and chips anyone?

Would I dive into plates of chips, 15-inch pizzas and cakes and sweets? Probably not. I’m used to eating in a certain way, and I believe it’s healthy for most people, not just those with diabetes. I do eat chocolate and pizza from time to time because life’s too short to eat low-carb all the time.

And now for the things I would miss… wait for it…

Nothing? Diabetes doesn’t need to be dreadful. A sensible low-carb eating plan and a bit of exercise can work wonders. And it’s not the worst chronic health condition you can have, but honestly, truly and seriously I do not think there are any type 1s out there who wouldn’t say “goodbye” to diabetes without a backward glance.


PS – Do you remember my post about stockpiling insulin in case of a no-deal Brexit? There’s a post on Diabetes UK with the latest information here.

13 thoughts on “Imagine NOT having diabetes…”

  1. Emma (who I had the pleasure of working with a lifetime ago) I agree with every word you said. Next year I will have Type 1 diabetes for 50 years, having had it since I was 7 years old and you’re right, there are a lot of worse chronic diseases we could have. Like you, I try and eat healthy and take regular exercise, but sometimes that isn’t always enough. I am a convert to my insulin pump and very recently have a Freestyle Libre Sensor fitted which have made such a difference to my life. However, like you, I wouldn’t miss a thing about Type 1 Diabetes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma: I think I disagree. If I were offered the chance to cure mine today would I take it? Not if it were either or. Instead I think i would say, look cure someone who is less than 18. I am OK. If it were either cure me of diabetes or RA, I would take RA and most who deal with both would take RA. If it were cure me or cure a future generation I would take a future generation.

    But here is the main question; do I want to be cured? Not really. I have been at this for 44 years, it is a PITA but it is not onerous. There are lots of crazy things in the world that need cured. I plan to go to my grave with diabetes, I was resigned to that at 17.

    I want to be last on the cure train. Unless we have a serious challenge a moon shot cure for Rick and guess what if it does not work, Rick will die, then I am in line and you will find Rick up first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points, Rick. And nice to be unselfish about it. As I’ve lived with it so long, I feel diabetes is ingrained in my personality. And if I’m standing next to you last in line for the cure train, please could I have that Medtronic MiniMed 670G pump…? 🙂


  3. Thank you for sharing. My 16 year old son has been Type 1 since he has been 8. While I have no idea what he goes through, his dad and I have made attempts at “being diabetic” with him by putting sites on with him, checking our BS, and even counting carbs with him. I know this is still not the same, but I applaud you like I applaud him! Keep pushing forward and I am happy I ran into this blog!


    1. Thanks for liking and following this blog. And although I mump and moan a bit sometimes, type 1 is okay. I’ve had it for 37 years, so it’s almost impossible to imagine life without. Emma

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Tell your son we used to use glass syringes, couldn’t test our blood ourselves, took two injections a day (one long-acting and one medium acting insulin) and meals had to be bang on time every single day… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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