I want to be an ambassador because I have a few friends with type 2 diabetes and from my perspective after spending time with them, the majority of them do not seem to know the seriousness of their condition and the future complications ahead for them.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 – I was 54 years old – and like most people at that age, I didn’t think that would happen to me. Type 2, but not type 1.
I immediately started educating myself about it – reading everything I could and changing my diet, because although we ate reasonably well already, there were still changes to be made. It wasn’t until I gained some control that I realised how sick I had been.
Looking back there were signs after a family member died suddenly but I put the weight loss down to stress and sadness. Nine months later I was really sick, so my diagnosis brought a sense of relief. For the past four and a half years I have had an insulin pump which has made a big difference to my control and the amount of insulin I use.
Life now with diabetes has been harder. My husband David died in January 2013 and we would have been married 50 years only two weeks after his passing. I found it very stressful being on my own with my diabetes and got very anxious – but I’ve been doing a lot better and kept well consistently for the last five months.