1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Got back to work amongst other things.

Discussion in 'Success Stories and Testimonials' started by HeliGary, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    How do you know there is a helicopter pilot in the room ? They'll tell you, one of the oldest adages in aviation.

    No prizes for guessing that my diagnosis in Nov 2020 came with some potentially career limiting issues as I lost my medical which left me unable to fly.

    The diagnosis was a bit of a shock as I had literally just passed my 6 monthly Class 1 medical when the Dr realised he hadn't tested my urine for sugar, and there began the very rushed test on a very expensive looking BG meter, and a BG of 15.5 mmol/L.

    That caused some issues with our roster at work but meant I was guaranteed Christmas off.

    Slowly I started to learn about BG / HbA1c and what the numbers meant, and the differences in the numbers between UK and USA being my two primary sources of information.

    We bought a BG meter off Amazon and I slowly started to convince myself that things weren't too bad and perhaps a mistake had been made. Regular 8s and 9s in the morning before breakfast and things didn't look too bad.

    Oh how wrong I was, I went to my GP for a blood test to complete the formal diagnosis on the following Tuesday and results came back on the Thursday, a HbA1c of 116 , and a fasting BG of 11.4 at the same time were pretty conclusive, Type 2 diabetic I am.

    We started to learn as a family about diet and exercised, my missus bought us a treadmill for use in the garage and initially I was resistant and thought it was a waste of money, once again how wrong was I ? I had to complete an exercise stress ECG using the Bruce protocol and that was a big ask , as it was 30 years since I last did one, and I am a bit heavier now than back then.

    I am a pretty determined and stubborn person at times and having worked long and hard to achieve the qualifications I hold, nothing was going to stop me getting my medical back , unless it was already too late.

    I reluctantly got on the treadmill and started to exercise regularly, we altered what I eat and improve my BG , along with the Metformin, I had been prescribed, within two weeks I was getting normal BG readings (sub 6 as a fasting BG overnight) and below 9 about two hours after a meal, I persuaded the Diabetes Nurse (Emma) that I didn't need to increase the Metformin to what would have been 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening, so I remain currently on 1 morning and 1 evening.

    I got away with the Metformin side effects other than for the first two days, it made my stomach ache about 8 hours after taking it, other than that nothing really.

    For the next 6 weeks I ran 5 days out of 7 , read up on the Bruce protocol test I had to do to get my medical back.

    Early January saw me on a professional grade treadmill, and the Bruce Protocol test was passed with relative ease (probably in some part due to the treadmill practice in December).

    Then began the process of persuading Emma that we needed to repeat the HbA1C test earlier than the 3 month point, I had collected so much data using initially an excel spreadsheet and subsequently the mySugr app, that they couldn't really argue that there would be no improvement so we settled on the 8 week point from diagnosis for the 2nd HbA1C test.

    While this was going on we got the Retinopathy tests out of the way and I have kept on running, now venturing outside for the last few weeks, that is much more enjoyable.

    The HbA1c came back 62, which is 54 less than 8 weeks earlier, the expectation is that at the 3 month point my figures will be back below diabetic levels and into normal levels.

    Then the kicker my aviation Dr was on leave when we got the results, he is a good person, I've known him for years, but I expressed my disappointment that having sent out all of the expected dates for tests and results , no one thought to mention this. His PA contacted him and the GP reports were reviewed and sent to the Civil Aviation Authority for review, the CAA is not known for its efficiency at achieving anything so it took another week for them to review the Aviation Dr's recommendations and for my medical to be reinstated. That happened on 3rd Feb and I have hardly had a day off flying since, so I am a happy badger, 10 weeks from diagnosis to reinstatement without any medical limitations.

    Things I have learned;
    The GP surgery seems to trot out NHS advice and treat Metformin like a fire and forget missile against Type 2, with no BG monitoring required, I am so glad I bought a meter and started to work out , what did and did not work for me eating wise, we are all different and this is a massive help.

    Exercise is addictive.

    Weight loss pre diagnosis was probably down to the Diabetes and not me trying, but trying to lose weight masked the symptoms.

    I was 16 stone at my peak, now I am 12st 10. I gave up drinking two years ago , just because I felt like and wanted to lose some weight, I'd lost 2 stone prior to diagnosis, but the 'trying' masked the symptoms.

    No one will drive things along for you, despite how well meaning or professional they appear to be, you are responsible for sorting out your own destiny and that might mean spending some money on meters and test strips, or fitness equipment.

    The CAA guidance is not clear the first 12 times you read it and doesn't actually detail processes and timescales, so you have to ask people in the know.

    Even I can pass an exercise stress ECG, it's not as bad as it sounds and the first two stage or even three stages are like walking (fast but walking).

    It's easier to achieve these things if you have some support and motivation to do so.

    I know very little about Diabetes, but I am learning every day.

    There are some good people on this website and some great guidance if you search for it.

    Gary
     
    • Winner Winner x 20
  2. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,776
    Likes Received:
    2,397
    Trophy Points:
    198

    An inspirational story, thanks Gary! x
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. BRSBRI

    BRSBRI Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    1,685
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Inspiring story Gary. Wishing you all the very best. Blue side up always as my daughter currently at RAF Brize Norton might say!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  4. Mrsg11

    Mrsg11 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Well done Gary, thankyou, just what I needed to read, very inspirational indeed!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Thank you for the kind comments, another victory today, bought an A1CNow kit and at the 3 month point since diagnosis my HbA1c is now 41 a massive drop from 116.

    I plan to repeat in another month and then I have an NHS lab test via GP a month later.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    #5 HeliGary, Feb 19, 2021 at 8:47 PM
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  6. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    HbA1c using the A1CNow test kit a month later in March is 37, so a 79 drop from 4 months ago.

    Running 4 days a week, now up to 6k on longest runs, with a 5k time around 30:30 and a 3k time just under 18 minutes.

    I’ve just signed up for a 10k in late May.

    Daily fasting BG is 5-6 most days, random tests throughout the day indicate BG 99% under control and when it’s not it’s identifiably my fault .

    All in all being diagnosed type 2 has had a positive influence on my lifestyle and that of my immediate family.
     
    • Winner Winner x 5
  7. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,404
    Likes Received:
    18,807
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Great story @HeliGary - inspirational! Thanks for sharing it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,975
    Likes Received:
    8,546
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Congrats on the normal HbA1c, @HeliGary and also on being reinstated (somehow missed your first post on this thread). Absolutely wonderful achievement. Your story is inspirational.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. PenguinMum

    PenguinMum Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,549
    Likes Received:
    16,017
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @HeliGary what an uplifting and inspirational story. You are amazing and anyone with a recent diagnosis would really benefit from reading your account. I am so pleased you got your wings back. Brilliant!
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Further update , I did my first 10k on Saturday and felt surprisingly good afterwards.

    That progressed into running a 5k on Monday with a new PB under 30 minutes.

    Fasting BG figures continue to fall slowly , now typically 5.2 ish.

    HbA1c test tomorrow, hopefully that shows a continued low trend , if so I plan to reduce Metformin to 1 per day in the next month if GP and aviation Dr both agree.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,776
    Likes Received:
    2,397
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Wow.

    You are doing great, let us know your hb1ac result. x
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    A1CNow test kit says 34 this morning.
    GP surgery test also done so we’ll have results from that hopefully Friday afternoon.

    BP was ideal at 110/75 so we must be doing something right.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
  13. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    GP lab test results with blood taken 10 minutes before the A1CNow result above came back yesterday at 39.

    Proves the two don’t quite match which is disappointing but at least it’s a good indicator of trend.

    I am still pleased with lab results that are;

    Nov 2020 116
    Jan 2021 62
    Apr 2021 39

    Just got to keep on running !
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  14. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Managed a 1:04 10k this week with a furthest run distance of 12K.

    Down to one Metformin a day now and fasting BG figures are in the 5-6 range, so that seems to still be under control.

    Lightest I have been since I can recall at 74.6Kg.

    I have got off lightly compared to some folks on here, so some of this is luck and some of it is pure stubbornness.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I signed up for the Vitality Virtual 10K which is being run from 29 may to 4 June, with the official start time of 10am on 31st May.

    Hurt my knee running two weeks ago , so couldn’t really run until earlier this week and didn’t know if I’d be able to complete the 10k today.

    Managed 59:08 which is a new PB
    , but had to do it at 0500 as I’ve been called in to work today.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  16. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    895
    Trophy Points:
    153
    • Like Like x 1
  17. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    A1CNow kit said 34 yesterday , which I am going to take as a 39 based on the previous mismatch, either way still good.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Ronancastled

    Ronancastled Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    393
    Trophy Points:
    123
    A great & well documented.

    It shows the importance on getting a meter & self testing. I believe a CGM for 14 days would be a great tool for you too.
    It was a real eye opener for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. HeliGary

    HeliGary Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Thanks, I’ve got two CGMs waiting for deployment at the right time , I plan on using one just before dropping the Metformin tablets and one shortly afterwards to compare results .

    Also just found 10 home HBA1C kits for £12.90 each on Amazon, so that’s me set for the next 12 months.
     
  20. Ronancastled

    Ronancastled Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    393
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hold on . . . that's savage value, link please
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook