Stuart’s Blog – Living With Diabetes29 July 2020
This blog is from Stuart Jenkin, the Vice Chair of our Board, about how he copes with his diabetes. Many Service Users and some of our staff also live with this disease, which affects approximately 3.8 million people in the UK. COVID19 research and statistics highlighted that there is increased risk of contracting the disease for people with underlying conditions such as diabetes.
“It came as a bit of a shock to find that I had been diagnosed as a Diabetic at the age of 40 but explained why I had become very tired and was drinking lots of water. I have been living with this disease for over 20 years but have tried for it not to dominate my life. I know that if I do not have good control that the damage it will do to all my major organs, feet and eyes will be severe and cause health problems. There is extremely good guidance on how to manage your diabetes from health care professionals and charities which I would encourage everyone to take advantage of.
For me the regime I have adopted is to make sure that I have regular check-ups plus a blood test at least once a year but hopefully every 6 months to obtain proper health care guidance on how I am managing. Secondly, to eat sensibly having a balanced diet without excesses such as too much alcohol at any one time (but I do enjoy a drink) plus eat at set mealtimes rather than snack. Thirdly, I undertake lots of exercise such as swimming, cycling, walking and golf. With the diet and exercise I manage to maintain an acceptable weight but like most people probably could do with losing a few more pounds. Fourthly, to ensure that I correctly take my medication when advised to do so. Managing diabetes in my view is not a science but an art form as each person’s situation is different but it is important that we all find a way to have good control of this potentially debilitating disease. Eat well, exercise regularly and enjoy life.
There is a plethora of information and resources about diabetes available online. A good place to start is the Diabetes UK site.