April InsulCheck Champion
Our first 'Champion' is an 84 year old man, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at aged 65. He is our 'InsulCheck Champion' for April and we want to share his inspirational diabetes story.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I spent 33 years as a Metropolitan Police officer, originally in the lower ranks up to Inspector, working unsocial hours doing shift work. The latter part of my service I was a Chief Supt. in charge of 55 sq. miles of outer London.
During the later years I was on 24 hour call. This was a high pressure job and I drank large amounts of black coffee with 2 spoons of sugar! My weight fluctuated during my service.
In 1988, I retired.
When were you diagnosed? How did your life change?
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 1999, aged 65.
It was a great shock but having grown up during the war, I took it on the chin. In my day there were no such people as councillors. Life did not change much. I still went to the gym once a week and still played golf once a week.
My first treatment was diet and then I went on Metformin. After a heart attack in 2005, I had a stent inserted and was told to go on to insulin. I still am on Novomix 30.
Have you made any lifestyle changes to better manage your condition?
I mainly watch my diet and check my blood sugar regularly with an Accu Check Blood Glucose Meter.
I keep a close eye on what I eat and keep control of my diabetes but do not let the diabetes control me. My six months check with my Doctor shows that my underlying stats are within the limits of a non-diabetic person.
I do not go to the gym or play golf anymore, as my legs will not allow it. But when the weather is OK I walk ¾ mile, first half of the walk is a steep hill and then a gentle downwards slope back. I do all my own cooking and household chores including laundry, so that keeps me active!
I am a fiercely independent…… and try not to let it inhibit me in any way.
How has InsulCheck changed the way you manage your condition?
One evening, my daughter rang me just as I had finished dinner. At the end of the conversation I could not remember whether I had taken Insulin or not.
I then decided to take the injection but it soon became apparent that I had thus taken it twice. As I live on my own I called the ambulance and was admitted to hospital for the night. They kept a close eye on my blood sugar levels and gave me sweet drinks during the night. I was discharged the next day.
Now that I have an InsulCheck, thankfully, there is never any doubt about whether I injected or not!
What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with diabetes?
Don’t panic! There are thousands of people living long active lives with diabetes, including an Olympic rowing Champion!!
It would say that it is important to get organised a keep a routine going.
Also, to check the sugar content of everything you eat or drink!! Things like NO ADDED SUGAR probably means that it is already full of sugar.