Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ross’ Story of Diabetes And It’s Dangers - Part 1

This is Mel (BCD Founder) and I was recently contacted by a very brave woman named Rhiannon, who lost her partner Ross because of his type 1 diabetes. Her story moved me, as I'm sure it will you when you read it, because it not only highlights the potential dangers of living with a condition such as diabetes. But it also highlights the pressures that having type 1 can put on the loved ones around us as well as ourselves and the psychological impact it can have when living with an 'unseen' illness or disease. Rhiannon contacted Blue Circle because she wished to share her's and Ross' story, in order to raise awareness of the importance of identifying the link between diabetes-related health and psychological health. So with her permission I share her story in this series of blogs in the hope that you will read them and share them to help hers/ our cause - Mel



Rhiannon's Story- Part 1 (of 3)

5 Million People have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. It’s such a common condition and general knowledge is that you take insulin and that controls it. You live a normal life and get on with things. What isn’t publicised enough are the psychological effects of having the condition, about the many different health problems that can arise from the condition. I never thought in a million years having diabetes could kill you. I never knew that until the day I found my 26 year old partner dead.

My partner Ross was 14 when he was diagnosed with diabetes, his mother has told me that although this was a shock for the family that they were not aware that the day of his diagnosis was also to be the beginning of years of trying to get help for him to get him to accept his condition and to get it under control, they nor myself when I started a relationship with him did not for one second think that the fight ahead would eventually lead to his death. 

I met Ross when we were 19 typical love story we met, we fell in love moved in and had a child I didn't know for a few months he was a diabetic as he hid the condition from me. Eventually when we got our first home together he told me about it and was very ashamed thinking that I would leave him over it. I reassured him and we moved in together. Even though I knew about his condition he made me promise not to tell anyone else. Not even his friends of 15 years knew that he had the condition. 

December 2008 we had our first child Joshua. Ross was a brilliant father and idolised his son, we were healthy and happy. We had our little family. When Joshua was 2 weeks old he got down on one knee and proposed to me. I was so happy. When our son was about 4 months old he had his first hypoglycemic attack which placed him into a seizure, I myself am epileptic so I knew that he was having a seizure however this seizure seemed different it was more violent it caused him to stop breathing for a few seconds. I panicked and an ambulance was called. They came and managed to get his blood sugars under control and he was taken to hospital for a check-up. Little did I know that ahead of us was a very long battle psychologically emotionally and physically.

As time went on he still struggled with his condition he just wouldn't accept it, he wouldn't read up about it he wouldn't tell people about it he was ashamed, yes he still took his injections but if he was out with friends he wouldn't make a conscious effort to eat. He still drank alcohol and in his words he wanted to be normal. I tried to tell him he was normal his condition didn't define who he was it was just a little part of him but it didn't make him. 

Rhiannon and Ross

If you're affected by Ross' story or would like to someone about your own or someone else's diabetes, the charity Diabetes UK have a Careline you can contact - Call: 0345 123 2399*, Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm.
Or if you are in Scotland:carelinescotland@diabetes.org.uk