IN CONTROL: Cassidy Acutt has learned to manage her diabetes and lives life to the full.
IN CONTROL: Cassidy Acutt has learned to manage her diabetes and lives life to the full. Chris Ison Rokcdiabetes

Cassidy, 17, living life to the full despite diabetes

FIVE years ago Cassidy Acutt was sitting on a hospital bed, she was tired, hungry and very confused.

Her mum couldn't stop crying.

All Cassidy knew was she couldn't have cream buns and she needed to have needles every day.

The 17-year-old has been living with diabetes for five years now and even though she has had her ups and downs she is healthy, happy and not letting the disease stop her doing what she wants.

Cassidy said the one of the hardest things about having diabetes was actually remembering she had it.

"Sometimes when it gets a bit stressful and like everyday stuff's going on, I forget that I have it," she said.

"I forget to do blood sugars or give myself insulin and then I'm going crazy and everything just isn't right."

Cassidy was diagnosed in October of 2010 and the first time she cried about having diabetes wasn't until Christmas that year.

She said she remembers crying after her mum told her to stop eating because her levels were going crazy.

"I think it was purely over food that was it, it was over food," she chuckled.

"I think it was the first time it really hit me, I wasn't really the same as everyone."

Cassidy said there hadn't been too much which had been hard rather it was adjustments more so than major changes.

"It hasn't stopped me from doing anything… when I was first diagnosed the doctors told me I'd have to stop doing stuff," she said.

"I kind of told the doctor no, I didn't want to stop so we worked around everything."

Cassidy had been dancing ever since she could remember and she refused to stop just because she had been diagnosed.

She said with the help of her diabetes educator and her doctor, they figured out different ways to work around dancing.

"The main problem was not having my insulin pump on while dancing because you're only supposed to have it off for two hours at a time," Cassidy said.

"However I had dancing from 3.30pm until 10pm and sometimes I'd have it off the whole time and it got a bit hectic but we worked out different strategies."

One of the strategies Cassidy used was to attend diabetic camps which helped her make connections with other people who had been diagnosed as many people didn't know she lived with the disease.

She said she didn't keep her diabetes a secret but not many people knew.

"I don't keep it a secret because I don't think it's healthy," Cassidy said.

"If something did happen to me I need at least some people around me knowing what to do."

THE FACTS

  • Diabetes is the world's fastest- growing chronic disease.
  • It's the sixth- leading cause of death in Australia.
  • Every day, 62 Queenslanders are diagnosed with the condition including two people with type 1 diabetes, and 60 people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes usually develops in people under 30 years of age.


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