“I put the CHANGE for good DOWN TO ME”
Diabetic Living Australia|January-February 2022
Diagnosed with type 1 as a 12 year old, 20 years later Becky Feltis has been inspired to look after herself better than ever and, motivated by diabetes, she’s also taken the first steps towards a brand new career.
KAREN FITALL
“My 12-year-old daughter saved my life two years ago. We were driving home and, with my continuous glucose monitoring device on charge at home, I suddenly realised I was having a hypo. After asking her to grab the honey from the emergency pouch I keep in the car, the next thing I remember is coming to in my lounge room, with one of my good friends beside me.

“It turns out that instead of pulling over like you should, I was so low and out of it that I couldn’t think straight. Tanisha, my daughter, managed to direct me home, ring my friend and help get me into the house.

“It was pretty scary, but like anyone who’s lived with type 1 for a couple of decades, it wasn’t my first close call. “On the morning my doctor rang to say I had diabetes when I was 12, by the time I arrived at hospital with my mum, I had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. I spent two weeks in hospital learning how to do everything. It was full on. With that call from the doctor, my life completely turned upside down.”

Embracing technology

“I got my first insulin pump three years after I was diagnosed. When I was 15 I went into DKA again and was rushed to hospital in a coma. My doctors decided then that a pump would be my best option.

“Until then, I’d been struggling to give myself my needles. I remember one day I just refused to do it. I ran screaming, shouting ‘I’m not doing it, it hurts too much!’. I was also sneaking a fair bit of junk food at that time. My mum still tells the story about how she was cleaning my room and found a pencil case full of chocolate wrappers.

“That DKA when I was 15 was probably my biggest wake-up call. The pump took a lot of getting used to after injecting myself but there was a lot more freedom which, for a teenager who didn’t want to be different, was great.

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