The life with diabetes – Interview with Will Halle

Will Halle is a co-founder of Deadline.live. At the age of 13 he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

How did you feel when you found out you have type 1 diabetes now?

Tired. The day I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes was much like any other day. I had been to school, played basketball, came home… except today I was going to a doctor’s appointment. I had been feeling off for quite a while, so long that it had just become normal and I didn’t think much of it. So when the doctor said I had diabetes, I guess I just accepted it. I already knew what it was as a friend was diabetic and so was my auntie. 

It wasn’t so much being rushed off to hospital, finding out my sugar level was 60mmol (apparently record-breaking or something)  that made me feel anything. All I wanted to do was go home, the hospital wasn’t exactly a nice place to be. 

The real feelings came after being sent home. Realising that for the rest of my life I’d have to inject myself and check my sugar levels. That wasn’t a great feeling. I missed a lot of school because of it. For a few months, I just tried to ignore life. 

After a while, I accepted that I was stuck like this and there was nothing I could do. The only real feeling that’s left with me is annoyance. Diabetes is incredibly annoying and is with you 24/7. 

Why did you think it is a good idea?

As soon as I thought of it. I’ve always been aware of the situations that could happen if I were on my own and had a really low sugar level. There’s only so much checking and preparing you can do, one day something is going to go wrong. That’s life. Instead of hoping that the day of a severe low sugar level never happened, I created a solution for if it ever did.

How often do you feel like diabetes is limiting you?

All the time. I can’t think of a single task that isn’t affected by my diabetes in some way. Even going for a 10 minute walk I have to think of what it’s going to do for my sugar level. The last few years I got really into lifting. I managed to get to quite an advanced level (350 lbs bench press if anyone cares). However, the journey to that level of strength really highlighted its effect. Whether it’s needing to eat before a certain lift, or having to wait as I just checked my sugar level and if I grab the bar my finger will start bleeding again, it all adds up. And that’s life with diabetes, lots of small things that add up which accumulates to quite something.

Do you feel like you have your disease under control?

Yes. I’ve never really had my diabetes uncontrolled. Through my teens I was just lucky, somehow, even though I was never checking my blood level, it stayed normal. As I grew up and started checking far more often it’s stayed the same way. I’ve never had a check-up where I was told I need to lower my sugar level. If anything they’re worried about it being too low.

How often do you exercise?

Roughly 3 days a week. Mostly lifting, occasionally cardio. Lifting is perfect as you need rest days, and rest days are always nice.

Have you ever not done something because you thought it might increase or decrease your sugar level?

All the time. Especially around food times. The thing about diabetes is it works well if you have a routine. As soon as you interrupt that routine things can go wrong fast. For example, if you’ve just eaten lunch and someone unexpectedly asks you to go for a walk, even on the nicest day of the year someone with diabetes will think twice.

Have you ever experienced a hypo?

Yes, they’re quite common. Most of them are quickly fixed by eating something sweet. A good excuse for chocolate.

Do you think Deadline.live can improve the lives of not only diabetic people?

Definitely. It’s only really focused on diabetes right now because that’s what I have. It would definitely work for any chronic illness or for anyone that has a condition that others may need to be aware of. The personal safety side of the app would also be a good fit for someone walking home alone at night and wanting to feel a bit more secure.

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