Tag Archives: Type2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes with Complications -20 years

13 Jul

Next up in the series of guest posts is Fenella Lemonsky

I was diagnosed by accident. I had always struggled with my weight. I had a history of multi-impulsive bulimia which meant overeating mixed with typical bulimia since adolescence. Back then we didn’t have a diabetes online community like gbdoc or NHS leads like Dr Partha Kar, DSN leads who worked across the board and engaging people with diabetes themselves whether T1 or T2. Hospital & primary care senior  managers kept their doors shut.

I was about 27 years old and went to see a gynaecologist about very heavy bleeding. At the time the heavy bleeds didn’t worry me beyond understanding dysmenorrhea. I mean T2 diabetes never ever crossed my mind. The gynae ran bloods and 6 pm December 23rdI get a phone call to say my glucose was 28.

It was a very traumatic 24 hours although  my GP and practice nurse ( now Siobhan Harrington is CEO of Whittington Health NHS Trust) were good. However the struggle post diagnosis to get into a good Hospital consultant clinic was frustrating and upsetting. The GP believed he knew best however I had complications with mental health and found metformin very difficult. I was seen by one GP who was rude and ignored my MH difficulties with an eating disorder & emotional instability. Other GPs really got it’, the support was unconditional. However I was able to get into a good hospital consultant multidisciplinary team clinic. The consultant a tough academic was honest with a twinge of gentleness in his body language and voice. The DSN & dietician kind and never ever made me feel ashamed. I found  the podiatrists ( and still do) helpful but I had an issue  with stigma upsetting . Once arriving very early eating toast & peanut butter the podiatrist in the broom cupboard room said ‘ that won’t do your feet any good ‘ when I had my first ulcer. However it was a good move elsewhere and the best thing as  overall the diabetes podiatry service was friendly and clinically effective.

The hard inspiring work by the consultant clinical health psychologist I felt  so good but the feet problems  pushed me  over the edge. The move to a new clinic at a new hospital was a fresh brilliant start. . It was a time of huge NHS transformation in diabetes care.

I’m now in a good team at another Trust however the history is complex. A very  good MDT However podiatry whilst much better as completely different it’s very hard for me, I had really highly skilled podiatrists however they were turned into ‘operational managers’. It’s the transformation thing. The young new podiatrists will hopefully not leave for management now they have good diabetes skills.

Chronic foot ulcers & infections over the years and finding a balance with juggling multiple insulin injections. Then adherence and finger pricking. Sliding scales, Victoza in the mix.  Not easy however important I mention the pain consultants whose support has been outstanding. Negotiations over pain management not easy. Any higher opioids push me into delirium and dissociative states so the delicate balance of breakthrough pain relief in pain relief in chronic diabetic neuropathy important . I’ve had private health care and the luxury of consultant time without in/ out door going and the one to one privacy was a remarkable experience. However he was tough at times too ( ‘you ARE go8ng back on Lantus’….and that was painful to hear as I was told my foot ……) and it was never a walk in the park. Yet the clinical skill in NHS is outstanding however the overload of diabetes services is huge, the growing Type 2 Group only means more hospitals will have to think about how they support and empower earlier on. The employment of peer support like in mental health should not be discounted. In mental health this has been going on for years successfully.

I had a successful NHS career in both academic and NHS Trust / DoH work. I effected changes locally and worked with corporate teams who I had mutual respect for . It was a huge shift to give that up . Coming from progressive MH work with brilliant teams to now  just referred back into a specialist personality disorder service due to the complex trauma.

I was unfortunately diagnosed with osteomyelitis & sepsis last year and had my big right toe amputated. A huge shock as my blood glucose levels were very good. HBA1cs of 7-9. However I know it was the 15 odd years catching up . The add on of retinopathy and eye bleeds was the most frightening however an outstanding team support me and the nurse specialist there and her team smile as I arrive with a bag of chocolates. Can only be in diabetic retinopathy clinic. The consultant does international aid work in his own time training nurses & doctors abroad in war zones. He smiles as he walks up the corridor saying ‘ hi!’ with a cheeky grin. In the room he says ‘ can I see your app please .’ Blood glucose results. He’s bothered .

Finding myself on dark days eating the foods that spike my glucose and I shovel in extra novorapid & lantus however the support around me keeps me going .

A very last but not least mention to the community nurses who look after my feet in the week.  I’m about to start on the Freestyle Libre. Not cheap but I’m so anxious to prevent further deterioration. The online buzz around this important tech is inspiring. So yes I’m not on a pump but I still need tight control. It will help. Huge thanks to you all. Each and every one of you.

Thanks for reading this.

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Jason’s Story

15 Apr

Life is funny, one day your fitting into the smallest clothes you’ve ever been able to get into in your life and you look at yourself in the mirror and you think you look great, the next day your over 1,000km from home you’ve slept 12 hrs in five days and you just want your warm bed at home. Funny how things change so fast.

Infection is funny, you develop an infection your not quite sure of, being Gen Y you decide you don’t need a doctor you persevere and use doctor Google, he has all the answers, eventually after a period of unbearable pain you man up and go see the doctor, he gives you antibiotics and sends you on your way problem solved!!!

Wrong, it dissipates for a time and then comes back with a vengeance but you decide you don’t like doctors so your not going back, your young stupid and full of pride and ego.

But deep down something is amiss gradually over time you become more and more angry and snap at people at the drop of a hat, you start eating more and more and more drinking more and more water. People close to you suggest you might have diabetes, but you don’t want to hear it, afterall the mere thought of such a thing is scary, you saw what pig headedness did to your father with his complications from type 2 diabetes eight years previous.

Nope!!! Not me, finally after coming home from
Holidays and going another month of 0 energy and eating and drinking like a horse I finally get the courage to go and get myself looked at…. queue the microphone drop moment when the nurse sprints in, “you don’t have diabetes do you ??” Nope… “mm well now you do..” your blood sugar is supposed to be between 4-8 & yours is 26..

There’s that all consuming life Changing moment, when you realise that your life will never be the same again, you come home and start getting used to your new life and where it will take you.

But it’s not all bad, they don’t tell  you that yes in a years time you’ll get diagnosed with the beginnings of diabetic retinopathy even though your not supposed to have it for atleast five years. That originally way back when you first developed your infection you actually developed type 1.5 diabetes and that it got completely overlooked which explains the retinopathy. A year after the retinopathy you’ll also begin to develop cataracts because secretly you always wanted to be a horse…

But life works in mysterious ways… this life changing event will be the beginning of a whole new life for you. You’ll get introduced to the Australian online Diabetic community, all because you can’t work out what to eat a day after your diagnosis, you’ll come accross amazing blogs like Renza’s diabetogenic and you’ll make life long friends.

And soon before you know it you’ll meet the love of your life and your partner and type 2 diabetic Irina & you’ll both get a second chance at life and love and everything that’s good in the world and you wouldn’t change your diabetes diagnosis for anything because it’s changed and improved upon your life so much and you never want to go backwards.

Life is good, life is interesting, life is full of surprises some good and some bad, but at the end of the day we live each day the best we can and to the fullest

Jason Type 1 Diabetic Sydney Australia

Type 2 – It’s Complicate Too

25 Feb
8.5 years. That’s how long I’ve had type 2 diabetes. I still remember the look of surprise and shock on my gynaecologist’s face, as he went through my blood test results, then:
‘Did we get you checked for BSL  at the start of your pregnancy?’
‘Yes, they were 4.9.’
‘Hmm, I’m afraid your levels are still as high as those after your Glucose Tolerance Test.’
‘What does that mean?’
‘It’s a carbohydrate intolerance and  formally a diabetes diagnosis. We’ll send you to see an endocrinologist.’
‘But how? Isn’t Gestational Diabetes supposed to be cleared, once the pregnancy is over? What is going on?’
‘In a very small number of women, it may stick by, never leaves.’

And there it was. The start of a journey that took me to so many highs and lows.

I was just discharged from a 3.5 week hospital stay, after dealing with pregnancy complications and a horrible loss. I wasn’t sure if my body could handle more blows.

I went home and had a good cry. It wasn’t fair. I was still young, sometimes slightly overweight but always active. Life had already thrown so many curveballs during that pregnancy. This was the last thing I needed.

As I slowly learned to cope, another challenge was waiting for me: the prying eyes, the food police, the never ending comments that left me feeling guilty and accused. Accused of what? Did I cause my diabetes? I was and still am trying my best and doing a good job to maintain the balance. I didn’t need that. It was already hard to keep a lid on my mental health issues, plus a host of other chronic diseases that have been tiring and draining me in their own right. Did I need or deserve these looks of disdain?

It is something when it comes from casual bystanders or ‘friends’. How about health care professionals who have barely met you, but as a type 2, you are instantly branded ‘non-compliant’, ‘closed- minded’ and ‘resistant to change’.

Over the years, my diabetes has changed. I had to see HCPs to seek advice. But that was it. I needed advice and guidance. I needed support and, may be, a pat on the back for a job well done. 8.5 years of diet and exercise controlled diabetes. Surely I deserved something positive. Alas, it wasn’t to be found in this Diabetes Educator’s office. Her claws were out to get me, to get every tiny effort I desperately made to make her see me, make her see my efforts, see my achievements and may be, if I was lucky, to congratulate me.

NOTHING!

Absolutely nothing!

I had just seen her treating her type1 patients with so much patience and tolerance. How can a change from type 1 to type 2 shift her behaviour and approach?

I was not impressed. I was hurt; deeply hurt and offended.

I left her office never to go back again.
__________________________

Irina, living with T2D, Sydney, Australia

Sliding Doors

8 Nov

Have you ever watched the film “Sliding Doors”?

Is about one person’s life as it is, and in parallel, how it could have been if one thing had happened differently.

So

How it is…..

Currently my left foot looks like this (yep, gross, but it will be fine).

IMG_1175

I have Type1 Diabetes and as a result I do my daily foot checks.

I notice a blister and keep an eye on it.

It starts to look a bit rough, so I go to the practice nurse.

She cleans and dresses it.

She refers me to the Podiatrist.

Podiatrist rings same day with an appointment (that I couldn’t make but that’s not their fault).

Great care for an amazing NHS!

 

How it could have been…..

For whatever reason I didn’t get T1D.

I get a blister on my foot.

I don’t do daily foot checks, why would I?

The blister turns bad so I stick a plaster over it.

It gets worse.

I’m a typical bloke so I leave it as I’m too busy to go to the GP.

It’s agony now so I go to the GP finally.

Foot is cleaned and dressed.

Time goes on but it gets no better.

Back to GP I go.

To cut a short story long I get diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes.

My foot issue was the first physical indication I was aware of that I had T2D

I wish I’d know that I was at risk of T2D. I can’t guarantee that I would have acted if I had, but at least Id have had a chance to………

 

Know Your Risk!….

So help yourself, your friends and family but getting them to Know Your (their) Risk of T2D, and if needed, acting on it. Please!

 

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.