I have never been a fan of the whole facebook/myspace thing but I finally found a networking site that I couldn’t resist joining :-). For my first blog ever (and I mean ever - not just on this site!) I figured I’d say hello and tell you guys and gals a little about myself.
Firstly, my names Anthony (pronounced Antony – my parents had to be difficult and throw a silent ‘h’ in there!). I’m 34 years old and live in Melbourne, Australia with my partner and 2 kids. I had, what we call in Australia, a mongrel upbringing…I was born in South Africa, before moving to the UK in 1981 then finally settling in Australia in 1989. While that was a whole lot of moving around, I wouldn’t have it any other way as it really gave me a ‘sense of the world’ while growing up.
In the midst of all that, in 1982 at the ripe old age of 6, I was diagnosed with type 1 (called juvenile at the time) diabetes. There was no event that caused this to happen nor was there any family history of the disease – hey at least I’m a pioneer in my family :-D. With clear signs that something wasn’t right (lack of appetite, excessive urination, feeling generally unwell a lot of the time etc ) my parents took me to a GP – the first one misdiagnosed my condition (I forget the name but its symptoms mirror that of diabetes), however when I was taken for a second opinion, the GP took one look at me and diagnosed me as a diabetic, and sent me straight to a hospital. Being in the UK at the time, I was lucky enough to fall into the wonderful national health scheme (no sarcasm here, it is really a great system). Somehow I ended up with Professor Sonksen as my Endo at St Thomas Hospital in London. Those that know the name will know how much of an expert he is in the field, and to this day I credit him with the quality of life I have today – this does not be-little the contribution made by the others in my life BTW! At age 8, I become proud of the fact that I had mastered the art of injecting myself. Although this probably had more to do with the fact I didn’t want my mother to see my naked ass anymore than anything else!
It was around this time that my parents started sending me away to diabetic camps specially run for children with type 1 diabetes. PARENTS WHO HAVE DIABETIC KIDS TAKE NOTE – to this day I still have very fond memories of these camps. At a time when I was going to kids birthdays parties being the only one in the room who wasn’t allowed to eat the birthday cake and sweets, it was fantastic to mix with kids who understood and had been there. It was also awesome to be away from home for a week or two – naturally my parents were too scared to send my on school camps etc (especially at that time as diabetes knowledge in schools was scarce at best) and also gave them a break at the same time. Unless circumstances didn’t allow for it, I attended these kinds of camps every year until I was about 16.
In 1989, my parents decided to move to Melbourne, Australia. Being 13 at the time, we were referred to the dept. of Endocrinology at the Royal Children’s Hospital under the care of another fantastic Endo by the name of Dr Court. In fact, I still see Dr Court to this day although not for too much longer as he keeps threatening to retire. I cannot stress the importance of having a good relationship with your Endo enough as together with you they hold your life in their hands – you should be able to feel comfortable enough to approach them with anything in your life just as importantly as having a joke with them. If this isn’t the case with yours, I suggest you seek one you can forge a good relationship with.
All my life I have been interested in things that move (my first word was ‘car’ much to my parents disappointment that it wasn’t mum or dad :-) ) and while my first choice of career (fast jet pilot) couldn’t be realised due to my diabetes, I figured that I would have a hand in designing them. So when I finished high school, I started uni studying to be a mechanical engineer, getting up to all the same mischief that any other uni student would ;-) finally graduating in 1999. It should also be noted that due to my fierce want… –no- need...to become independent, I started working full-time and studying part time in order to save money to move out of home. I finally moved out when I was 22 and never looked back.
At 24, I got married to my girlfriend of 6 years (yes you did read that right!) and since then we have had 2 kids – the first turns 6 this year and the second turns 4. When you consider the fact that I am still very much a child at heart with no sign of growing up, 3 kids in a household is more than enough with no plans to extend that!
It came as no surprise to those that know me, and those that were unfortunate enough to get in a car with me when I was young, to learn that 7 years ago I got my motor racing licence. Despite the hoops I had (and still have) to jump through in relation to my diabetes, speed and motor racing has always been in my blood and it is something I just had to do. This will also explain my profile picture although I will eventually add one to show what I look like without a helmet on!
Geeez…..I have just realised how long this has become…..sorry….I will try and wrap this up for those that haven’t had enough and clicked onto a different blog!
In relation to my diabetes, despite many down and ups I have always been fiercely, perhaps strangely, proud of my diabetes. Maybe this is because it made me different from the crowd. Sure this ‘difference’ caused me hassles while growing up including bullying, shall we say ‘unscheduled hospital visits’ etc (perhaps more blog topics unless you have had enough lol) but at the end of the day this has made me who I am today. I have definitely not been the best diabetic in terms of looking after myself etc but hey none of us are perfect and there always has to be room for improvement, right? I am a firm believer that you should live your life by the motto of ‘everything in moderation’ and I will continue to do so. I hope that in sharing my varied experiences, as well as reading about other peoples, on this site will help me achieve better control over my diabetes.
Ciao for now….