Will Clark 'I will rule type one diabetes and will not let it rule me’
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Sports editor Will Clark speaks about newly being diagnosed with type one diabetes and how he is determined it will not impact his life significantly.
I officially joined the type one diabetes club on Friday.
After months, maybe years of ignoring feeling tired, as well as being more thirsty than normal, waking up drenched in sweat and losing over a stone in two months was the trigger to find out what was wrong.
I’ll be honest, diabetes is an illness I never took seriously before being diagnosed with it. I thought it was something only fat people got because of a poor diet.
Anyone who has met me in person in my beanpole form could never describe me as overweight. But falling to nine-and-a-half stone and losing muscle mass, especially in the arms and stomach area was thin even for me.
My dad, who has type two diabetes, saw the signs a while ago and suggested I should go to the GP, but I just brushed it off thinking it was just a virus and it would go away eventually.
I kick myself that I didn’t address the problem sooner, although I have been reassured it is nothing that I have done to myself such as a poor diet. My pancreas has just decided to stop producing insulin. So that’s meant starting injecting insulin in what will become a routine five times a day.
While it’s a kick in the backside having to stab myself on a regular basis, it doesn’t hurt, and to be honest, I feel as good as I have in a long time.
There are still things I have got to learn about the condition, but I have adapted to make sure my blood glucose levels are at a safe range.
However, I am determined to get back to physical activity.
I pretty much gave that up since the pandemic hit Scotland 18 months ago. I haven’t been to the gym since the first lockdown. But I have written and read plenty of stories of athletes who have learned to cope with type one diabetes.
I really appreciated ex-international cyclist Roddy Riddle, who was diagnosed with type one aged 40, (two years younger than when I was diagnosed) getting in touch on social media offering advice on how to deal with the condition.
He said living with type one diabetes won’t stop achieving dreams and goals in life. His motto is rule type one diabetes, don’t let it rule you.
Professional golfer Hannah McCook has had type one diabetes since the age of eight and has become one of the country’s leading golfers.
Hibernian and former Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder Scott Allan is also a type one diabetic and has gone on to play football at the top level.
I’m not harbouring any aspirations of getting into sport at national or international level.
But I am determined to get the trainers back on and doing some running again at a parkrun.
I am also determined to get the speedos on and make a triumphant return to the swimming pool.
I have read articles that sport and type one diabetes can work together and I’m determined it remains part of my life.
It is a life-changing moment, but it is a moment that I am determined will not get the better of me.
I would also love to hear any advice from anyone who is in my situation and how they combine it with sport.
But if you’re constantly feeling knackered or have an unquenchable thirst which results in you constantly trying to find the nearest toilet and piddling like a racehorse, don’t ignore it like I did.
Our NHS is amazing, make the most of it.