Róisín’s Transition story
My name is Róisín and I am now in my mid-20s. I have diabetes and have attended the adult clinic since I was 16 years old. I remember feeling a little anxious before my first visit to the clinic because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what they were going to be asking me. For that visit, I brought my Mam with me for support but after that I was happy to see the medical team alone. I talk with the team myself and that is probably the biggest difference between the child and adult services. I also noticed at the first visit that I was the youngest person in the waiting room, the ‘baby’ of the clinic, but I got used to that!
After the first visit I felt relieved as it all went very well and I now knew what to expect. At my other visits since then I always see the nurse and sometimes the dietician. Then I see the consultant but it’s not the same doctor each time. They seem to rotate a lot so I could see someone different each visit. The nurses seem to stay the same and I found it helpful to get someone’s name and contact details so that I could contact the clinic if I had any questions. They are very obliging and always get back to me when I get in touch. It took a little time for the team to begin to recognise me but over time I got used to the team, the team got to know me and I got to know them. I began to feel more comfortable and knew that I could talk to them if I was having trouble with anything.
At the start I found that they used a different medical language that I was not used to and I would have to ask them to explain something to me again. Now, when I go to a clinic visit, I take notes with me so that I am prepared to ask questions and I make sure to get all the answers I need so that I can fully understand my condition.
When I was younger and things were not going well for me, I skipped some appointments which helped nobody!! In my defense, I am ‘only human’ and at that age there was lots on my mind and diabetes was only one aspect of me. As I got older, I was able to tell the team that I had slipped, acknowledge it, and with their help, move on to managing better. I know that even if things are going bad I need to take on responsibility for my condition and attend the clinic. Having this condition I know I need to keep myself well and my family and friends give me lots of moral support. I especially like when they come to appointments with me and then we go for coffee or lunch afterwards to talk.