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The rollercoaster of Type 1 diabetes – Renate’s story

We all know that living with diabetes – Type 1 or Type 2 – can be a rollercoaster. But are there any tools that help? We asked Renate Benjamin to share her story with us.

When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed in March 2013, three months after the birth of my beautiful daughter. At first I was wrongly diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic and months later as a Type 1. Both diagnoses at first felt like a death sentence to me and the shame was a  big hurdle for me.  

What is the hardest part about living with diabetes?

The hardest thing for me living with diabetes is to try to stay in control of my diabetes. So many factors affect your blood glucose, so it feels like riding a rollercoaster everyday.

I try to give people better knowledge and understanding about living with Type 1 diabetes.

What has made your life easier?

What has made my life easier is the usage of the FreeStyle Libre. I can see exactly what my readings are, if I am in range, going high or having a low. This way I know exactly how to treat my blood glucose.  

“What makes my life sweet is the fact that I have embraced this journey. I am no longer ashamed to be a Type 1 diabetic.”

Renate Benjamin

What advice would you offer to someone who is struggling?

If I could give any advice to someone who is struggling it would be to speak to your doctor or endocrinologist and just take it day by day. We are all in this together. Just try to figure out what works for you and your body and what doesn’t.  

What makes your life sweet?

What makes my life sweet is the fact that I have embraced this journey. I am no longer ashamed to be a Type 1 diabetic. This transition has changed me as a person and I am able to enjoy life with my husband, two beautiful children and close friends.

What to read next?

What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.