“I feel like a pin cushion, constantly being stabbed by needles.”


Around 9.5% of the population are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in their lifetime. It is a life-threatening condition with no cure, and this is how it affects someone’s daily life:


Type 1 diabetes is where the pancreas fails to produce insulin, causing the blood sugar levels to become erratic. This means that a Type 1 diabetic has to calculate the amount of carbohydrates in everything they eat and drink and bolus the required amount of insulin either via injections or a pump.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics differ since a Type 1’s pancreas produces no insulin; a Type 2 diabetic’s pancreas can make insulin, but the amount is insufficient. It causes high blood sugar and is more common in people who suffer from obesity however, with the correct approach, it can be corrected.


“For me, it feels like being a pin cushion, constantly being stabbed by needles,”— Emma Cavanagh, a Type 1 diabetic. “It made me not want to eat, as I would be injected every time, so it made me scared to eat anything.”— Emma on how it first affected her after being diagnosed.


Type 1 diabetes completely changes someone’s life, making things like travelling or school very difficult. In education, diabetics can lose valuable learning time due to attending mandatory hospital appointments, suffering from erratic sugar levels when hypo (lower levels) or hyper (higher levels) and are more prone to illness. They are also overlooked, with little or no support provided by the Education Authorities. They deserve far more support in their education rather than being left to struggle alone, often not fulfilling their true potential.


When travelling a lot of medical equipment is required to ensure the safety of the diabetic and to help maintain the correct blood sugar levels. For example, they need to have enough insulin, treatment for when the levels go too low, spare sensors that detect the levels etc. It makes every day normal activities, others take for granted, over complicated.


For someone with Type 1, even a simple task such as getting a snack is difficult. World Diabetes Day is coming up on 14th November so please help support charities like JDRF and Diabetes UK to help fund more research and help spread awareness by sharing this article.