The results of the glucose test show you’ve developed diabetes, Type 2 diabetes.
Just so many words. That’s all it took to change my life.
It’s not that I hadn’t heard of diabetes. My grandfather was diagnosed with Type 2 before he was 40 – that was around 1950 – and I grew up hearing “Grampa can’t eat that because of his diabetes” and “We need to get some saccharin because Grampa uses it instead of sugar.”
As a child, then, I came to understand “having diabetes” meant you couldn’t have any sweets. You ate plain porridge, and plain fruit, and passed by the cakes and puddings and biscuits. No jam on toast, no chocolate, no donuts, that’s what diabetes was.
What I didn’t know about was the secondary complications like blindness. Kidney failure. Heart disease.
For the first six months after my diagnosis, wrapped in denial, I did little to improve my health. When the practice nurse recommended the NHS diabetes information course, I reluctantly signed up.
It turned out to be the first step on the road to what I like to call my recovery.
During the first class they handed out a list of resources, one of which was Diabetes.co.uk. At home I looked it up – and the rest is history.
Since that day four years ago I’ve learned a lot. It has been, and continues to be, a journey of discovery: of trial and error, of experiments, of successes and (temporary) setbacks.
I’m inviting you to come with me, at least for part of the way. I’ll tell you about where I’ve been so far, and share some ideas and information. I hope you’ll post comments and feedback, so you can participate too, sharing your own thoughts and experiences.
We’re all in this together. Let’s help one another along.
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it.” –Winston Churchill
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Kasey Coff is an American living in Cheshire. Just turned 60, she was diagnosed with Type 2 in 2008 and focuses on “lifestyle control” as a means of diabetes management.