My older brother had type 2 diabetes which was particularly difficult for him because he had serious learning problems which impacted how he treated and monitored his condition, despite help from the family. He was in a diabetic coma at one stage and wasn’t expected to live, but he got through it. After a number of years and various infections he sadly passed away. That was my introduction to type 2 diabetes.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in late November 2010 and at the time the only symptoms I had were pains in my feet when I walked any distance. When I went to visit the doctor about a sprained ankle, I mentioned the pain in my feet and that’s when the tests started.
As a result of his examination and blood tests I discovered that I had very high blood glucose and dangerous cholesterol levels, peripheral neuropathy in the feet and a heart condition requiring a stent. The diagnosis saved my life.
If I had not had surgery to insert the stent, I was told that my first heart attack would most likely have been my last. It’s the active lifestyle that I now lead which is keeping me safe from needing a triple bypass operation.
My diagnosis was followed up with education programmes that ensured I was eating the right foods, monitored my condition, and consulted health professionals frequently to be on top and in control. Ask your doctor about it or surf the internet and look into it, because it could happen to someone you love.
I am now retired, I enjoy bush walking, cycling, going to the gym and normal social activities. Diabetes is not a death sentence – I am fitter now than when I was diagnosed.