The Adventure Begins…

So it has been 502 days since the day that changed my life forever. My whirlwind tour from my local GP to the Emergency Department at Peterborough City Hospital, the resuscitation ward and finally the short stay ward culminated in a brutally frank diagnosis. “Phoebe…you have Type 1 Diabetes and will have to inject yourself four times a day for the rest of your life.”

Now with the symptoms I had experienced and my medical knowledge thus far (albeit limited), I had my suspicions there might be something awry with my pancreas but there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the flood of emotions and tears that followed after hearing that sentence. Even at that stage lying in that hospital bed at a fragile 7 stone 11lbs (see image below), I had no idea of the impact this diagnosis would have on my life. Now anyone who knows me well, will be aware of my passionate enthusiasm for theme parks and high-speed high-thrill rollercoasters. So there was certain irony in this moment which signified the beginning of the most intense and emotionally challenging coaster I will ever ride along with my family and friends.

A year and 4 months on, and what a hell of a ride it has been so far. But here I now am, sat in my room at university, coming to the end of an intense third year of medicine at Birmingham Medical School. I’m still alive, I’m still kicking and perhaps feel the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever felt in my 21 years of life. Post the intensity of third year exams, I’ve had a bit more time and mental space to reflect and ponder on my experiences since that day in December 2012. It has been a remarkable journey and my diabetes continues to present new challenges and frustrations every single day. However, I feel a strange privilege in having been diagnosed. It has opened my eyes to the impact such a diagnosis can have both physically and psychologically not only on yourself but your friends and family and this insight will be invaluable as I progress throughout my medical studies and (hopefully!) career. So many lessons have been learnt in this time (too often the hard way!) and yet there is still so much more to learn and come to understand. I thought it would be wise to document my thoughts, reflections, experiences and anecdotes.  And so here it goes, the blog of a diabetic medic. In the words written above the entrance to Islands of Adventure in Orlando, one of my most favourite theme parks of all time, THE ADVENTURE BEGINS…


Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. Just awesome.


17/12/12. Emergency admission to the resuscitation ward. Blood sugar of 41.3, ketones in urine, 7 stone 11 lbs….yikesabee.



9 thoughts on “The Adventure Begins…

    • Thank you for your lovely comments! It seems like it will be a great way to offload my thoughts and frustrations and also meet fellow diabetics such as yourself. I too look forward to reading through your posts! Some incredible adventures you have been on it seems!

  1. I was the same weight as you when I was diagnosed! I’m in my second year at uni- should be 3rd- but diabetes got in the way of that! I love your positive attitude! its very inspiring 🙂

    • Thanks for your positive comments! I too had to take a year out of my studies as a result of the old diabetes. But we will get there in the end 🙂 great to hear from you fellow diabetics on this network!

  2. Brilliantly written, accurate and precise. My son was diagnosed at 6 yes old and is now a healthy strapping young man of 19 away at Uni. That said, it has definitely been a rollercoaster ride. Diabetes, an idiosyncratic timebomb, at best . . . . . do able. Good luck and keep us updated.

    • Sue, I am touched by your comments thank you very much. I hope I can provide more relevant insights! Sometimes people don’t realise the impact diabetes has on the parents but I understand the struggles my own Mother has been through and appreciate how hard it must be for you sometimes. Thanks again for commenting!

  3. Good luck, really sorry to read about the struggles you’re dealing with but it’s impressive how you are!

  4. Phoebe you are a true inspiration. Your posts are a beacon of hope for newly diagnosed and long-standing diabetics alike (coming up to 17 years in July-I’m still alive and kicking though!). Keep strong and I will look forward to your wonderful posts xx

    • I am touched by your comments Lauren and find inspiration from other diabetics such as yourself who have been in it for the long haul. Thank you so much for your kind words, it really means a lot to me to get such a positive response from my ramblings 🙂 x

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