So this is exciting…
This evening at 9pm I will be appearing on BBC Radio 1’s Surgery as a guest to talk to Aled (known in a former life as Chris Moyles’ producer) and Dr Radha about life with Type 1, off the back of World Diabetes Day on Thursday. I know, right?? The extent of my on air appearances so far at work have been getting soaked while taking pictures of Innuendo Bingo on a fairly regular basis, and David Hasselhoff telling me I was cute during a ground-breaking feature called Smell My Finger. So this is sliiiiightly different…
Good luck everybody.
If you’ll allow me to get all worthy for a minute…
I’ve always felt so strongly about getting across the implications of living with type 1 beyond the injections and the counting and the blood tests. From personal experience and the feedback I’ve received over the years on the website, it seems the real issue young people face when dealing with this disease is the way it worms itself into every aspect of your life – going out with friends, boys, holidays, sleepovers… all the things you do as a typical teenager, suddenly clouded with this extra consideration that has the potential to cause a right shit storm on any given day. I didn’t want to have that schema in my brain – I wanted to worry about sneaking into the 12 film at the cinema without being ID’ed, marrying Gary Barlow and keeping my back catalogue of Top Of The Pops magazine in pristine condition. End of. Oh, blissful ignorance of a time before I knew what the hell hypoglycaemia meant. I most certainly did not want to walk about with a bag full of needles and a big ‘I’ve got a horrible annoying condition that makes me different from everyone else’ sticker on my forehead.
Dealing with the finger pricks and the numbers game has long been the main focus of attention in diabetes care, but it’s so important that the emotional, psychological and social aspects of dealing with a disease like this are addressed, and young people are made to feel comfortable about speaking up when things get a bit tricky, or weird, or worrying. I know from the heart-wrenching emails I’ve received previously that this isn’t always the case – type 1 can be a very isolating condition that few people fully understand. I also think it’s quite a paradoxical disease in the sense that walking past me on the street, or coming in and out of my day to day life you would never know that underneath it all I have a condition that affects – and is affected by – every move and decision I make, every single day. On top of all that, we’re constantly made aware that the consequences of not giving this blaaaaady thing the attention it deserves are completely life threatening.
What a great little game this is, no?
So that’s why, when a couple of months ago, Aled suggested I come on and talk about this stuff I jumped at the chance. Am I going to change the world in an hour? Absolutely not. Am I going to make a tit of myself and get my words mixed up? Almost definitely. But if I can make someone sitting in their room with type 1, or any kind of on-going disease or illness feel a little less sad about what they’ve been lumbered with, because somehow this idiot girl on the radio is doing weird and wonderful things despite dealing with a packed up pancreas, then who am I to turn that down??
Plus, what a cool thing to do! I’m very privileged to have a job I love, and work with an amazing bunch of creative people. This kind of platform doesn’t just roll your way, so let’s do some gabbing on the radio yeh?
If you did want to listen, The Radio 1 Surgery is on at 9pm tonight :)
Oh, and here’s a fun pic of me and Aled (well, technically two pictures), taken during our Access All Areas month back in February. Aled waving at the picture I was taking, and the headcam livestream capturing me taking the picture. WEEEEIIIRRRDDD.