I was 4 years old when my life changed forever, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I had the classic symptoms. I was weeing all the time, I was drinking loads, I was tired, I was losing weight, but the doctor didn’t think I could possibly be Type 1 Diabetic because I was a healthy 4 year old girl, but luckily for me, my mum insisted I was tested and she got her own way.
Here I am now, 32 years old, 28 years a Type 1 Diabetic and I’m premiering my one person show called Pricks at the Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018.
If you haven’t guessed already, Pricks is about Type 1 Diabetes, it’s not just about Type 1, it’s a funny and moving story about family and caring for each other better. It may sound self-indulgent, as technically I am the inspiration behind my own show, but it really isn’t a self-indulgent piece.
I had to make a show about Type 1 Diabetes as clearly it’s something I’m very well informed on but it’s also something, which I know from my first-hand experience that comes with a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions. I have spent over 28 years biting my tongue over really stupid comments like; “should you be eating that?”, “is that the good diabetes?”, “so you can’t eat cake then?” but it really isn’t anyone’s fault that they don’t know what Type 1 is. There’s a distinct lack of education in it. The GP’s I work with tell me that they’re not very well educated on it, their Diabetes education is mainly on Type 2. The “Diabetes” in the media is also 99.9% of the time referring to Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 is a lifelong autoimmune condition brought on by an inherited gene and a virus. I didn’t do anything wrong.
During the making of my show I worked with over 40 other Type 1 Diabetics or parents of Type 1’s, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just my side of the story. The show includes their stories too, as it’s meeting with other Type 1’s that really inspires me to do this and to be honest they make me feel much more normal.
Through the workshops I did, I quickly realised that it’s just as big a life changing experience for the parents too. I took a lot away from those workshops and worked that into the text, to include the parent’s perspective. This has made the show relatable to so many people on so many different levels, it appeals to a very broad audience.
The whole reason for making Pricks was to spread awareness and educate through entertainment, from the feedback I’ve had, it’s going to tick all of those boxes. You will laugh and you’ll probably cry too but you’ll come out of it knowing a lot more than you can ever learn in any lecture, you’ll be gripped, every prick of the way.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1 - 27 Aug 2018 14.15