In July 2003, I had my left hip replaced due to increasing pain and loss of mobility – I was 59 years old. A routine blood test revealed high blood sugars and that I had pre-diabetes. As my health improved, I undertook more exercise and tried to lose weight to combat the problem. Despite losing some weight, I remained pre-diabetic.
I was underwhelmed when I was originally diagnosed with pre-diabetes as I knew little about the disease but was aware of its negative long-term prognosis and maintenance difficulties.
On 24 December 2004, while travelling to Queensland with my wife and children, we were involved in a head-on collision which left me with three broken ribs, a crack in my femur, damage to both knees and my finger was bleeding profusely. After the accident I sank into depression, gradually emerging with the support of my family.
In March 2005 I had a second hip replacement due to the injuries sustained and my levels were found to be very high again.
By the time I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it was a bit of an anti-climax because I had been trying to control it for so long it did not come as a surprise. I also knew very little about the condition – my doctor prescribed a care plan which included regular visits to a dietician, podiatrist and a diabetes educator. I also needed to have regular eye inspections. I started finding after lunch that I would need to put my head on the desk for a cat nap, and only at this point did I start using the internet and reading the available literature which helped me understand this was a result of the drop in my blood sugars. I am now in a better position to take control of my future and live my life.