Russell Ashley

Type 2

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2000 at the age of 47. It was not a surprise because my father, grandmother and uncles had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It didn’t affect my work as far as losing my job but it meant I had to control my diabetes, watch out for hypos and know that I could be cranky and easily upset when I had a low blood glucose level.

The best advice I received from my GP was to attend a Diabetes NSW information session. This introduced me to the NDSS Scheme and also the benefits of membership of both NDSS and Diabetes NSW and helped greatly. It is important to know that both these exist and to understand the difference.

All adventures with diabetes are unique; there were many challenges that came with my diagnosis. At first fitting diabetes into my lifestyle, my work and other medical conditions was a challenge.

Travelling for work had its own challenges, for example waking up on a flight back to Sydney from Brazil to find my blood glucose level was 3.8 added complications to travel, but they were not insurmountable. I have travelled overseas for my holidays with very few problems.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, which is common for people with type 2 diabetes. And that diagnosis added more medication and management and review by my team of professionals.

Management of weight still remains a challenge. I have always struggled with being overweight but recently I decided for better control of diabetes and other medical conditions I would have a sleeve gastrectomy surgery. I have now lost 35kgs and have another 30kgs to go. My HbA1c has lowered and my blood glucose levels are far better controlled.

While my diagnosis with type 2 diabetes hasn’t been easy I am thankful I know I have diabetes and have the option to manage it, because there are so many people out there who haven’t been diagnosed.

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