We helped Dawn Topham publish her health story in That’s Life magazine earning her £250. If you have a health story which you think other people would benefit from reading then contact us today and we can help you tell your true life magazine story and earn extra money at the same time. Read Dawn’s full health story below:
28 A change in me. Diabetes lady
My social life was just how I liked it, lots of meals out with my hubby and nights at the pub with pals. Then all that changed when I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes aged 36.
Suddenly I couldn’t eat what I wanted anymore and alcohol was off the menu too.
At first I managed my condition well. I learned to test my blood sugar levels and inject myself with insulin, but the impact on my social life left me frustrated and angry.
On top of that, the constant fussing by well-meaning friends and family left me feeling old before my time.
‘Why did this have to happen to me,’ I thought. I vented my anger at the diabetes by missing injections and even started drinking again. At first the odd glass of wine here and there but soon it was two bottles a night.
My health quickly suffered and I went from 11 stone to eight stone, a sign my diabetes wasn’t being controlled.
I stopped going out and cut myself off from family and friends.
Then in May 2010 I’d been suffering with an ear infection and left work early. The next thing I knew was coming round in intensive care.
I’d been in a coma for ten days.
My husband Jon Topham, (now 46 dob: 19.4.65) told me he’d found me unconscious and fitting on our bedroom floor. My sugar levels had risen dangerously high and my blood was attacking vital organs.
An ambulance had rushed me to our local hospital and I’d been given a 30 per cent chance of survival.
Medics were still battling to save one of my kidneys. My right kidney had started to fail because of the high blood sugar levels.
I was moved from intensive care and spent a further week on a dialysis machine to help my kidneys. But my brush with death was the wake up call I needed.
I’d been in denial about my condition and because I’d let it spin out of control it had nearly killed me.
I was put on a strict diet and vowed to learn everything I could about diabetes.
In hospital I worked with a diabetes support team who assured me I could still lead a happy life as long as I stopped drinking and took my medication.
Thankfully I managed to keep my kidney.
That was five months ago and I haven’t touched a drop since.
Crucially I test my sugar levels five times a day and always take my insulin.
I know I have been lucky. I could have died, lost my kidney or gone blind.
My attitude to diabetes has changed. I’ve learnt to respect and accept it. And because of that I, not it, is in control.