Well what a very surreal day/experience … I’ve tried to compose myself and come to grips with information I am just finding out(today). Some of you may know I have recently been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease. My cardiologist was the one to point me back to my GP for further investigations. I have also been having further cardiac testing. My old records from Hospital ‘A’ had to be requested by my new Hospital ‘B’ and have only just arrived. I was informed today that as far back as 1995 I have had consistently high sugar readings and that contrary to what I have been previously told I have “in all likely hood” been diabetic for a substantial number of years and that I have been lucky to get away for so long without any major events. (I have been officially diagnosed for 1 year, but accepted the fact that I had been undiagnosed for a good number of years …but a minimum of 15 ?!?!?) My previous Cardiologist (Hospital ‘A’) insisted that my arrhythmias that I suffered were of a benign nature(of an Autonomic Origin), my new cardiologist simply cannot believe I was not made aware of my sugar levels and the interplay between them and certain arrhythmias and heart disease. He almost didn’t believe me that I simply wasn’t told until I said to phone my GP and ask them when I was diagnosed! I also pointed out that the lack of medication from the previous Cardiologist should also indicate that I was not made aware and was considered low risk, that seemed to drive home and vindicate the fact I simply was not made aware of high sugars back then. I get to find out just what has happened and is about to happen in a few weeks time at consultation. The new Cardiologist says that this will change a lot of the aspects of treatment and unfortunately brings me into a high risk grouping that is no longer considered ‘benign’. Because of worsening symptoms and the appearance of PVD investigation for CAD is now something that has to be taken into consideration. There are a lot of things running through my mind at the moment but the overwhelming question is why wasn’t I told about my high sugars back in 1995, why didn’t my GP’s at the time make me aware of this … were they even told? Are hospital records and GP records held on different systems ? Is there indeed a definitive unified patient record or are the records just local to the practitioner you go to for a consultation ? How many others suffer this kind of health ‘management’ ? Just how good is the detection for diabetics ? What my wife has pointed out to me has me extremely worried. My current GP that ordered the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test was the one to point out my 6-7mmol/L fasting blood tests from my previous GP Practice that I switched from a number of years ago. This to our recollection was the first blood test performed at the new practice. He informed me that it was wise to perform the OGT given the higher than average fasting results. As a result I was diagnosed as diabetic. I really hope this is not down to some GP/Cardiologists interpreting the numbers as nothing to worry about without informing the patient because at the moment that’s exactly what it’s looking like. I really am lost at the moment as to what to do/think. At the moment I have no choice to wait for the consultation and listen to what has to be done. I guess I should be thankful that my new Cardiologist is aware, vigilant and good at what they do, but boy I could do with hearing some good news for a change. I find it so frustrating that at the time you most need to be helped because your ill you have to become your own best health advocate and to be your best health advocate you have to be fit and healthy as well as understand the ‘systems’ referrals and specialist areas of investigations that you will need. Just really needed to vent folks. All the best. Richard.