Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Diabetes in the workplace

The article included below in a rare break from fictional writing 
has been wrote specially for my works as a big feature on Diabetes
as a few of you may or may not know I have been suffering from 
this condition since the summer of 2011, which ironically came 
just as I was starting to make inroads with my writing in general.

Without going into tons of detail about where I work, there is 
a big group within my workplace called the Health and Well Being
group whose aim is to educate people about health conditions etc
and when the focus moved onto Diabetes, it was only natural I
volunteered to write the article below (which I believe will be 
getting published on their intranet in a reduced form in April
or May 2015).


Borrowing shamelessly from, Diabetes is described as a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly that over a prolonged period can lead to serious long-term health complications eg. causing cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes to name but a few.

Until I contracted it in at the end of the summer of 2011, I dismissed as something that mainly affected elderly people and very young children. My father contracted it in 2000, and I know both his father had it and his grandfather had it, but in hindsight I still knew very little about it until I collapsed at work unexpected and woke up in hospital. I had been having some problems going to the toilet and was over-heating somewhat with a little weight gain, but I dimissed as the beginning of a middle aged spread which I would soon work off when I joined a gym (which I was planning to do so).

I was totally wrong.

At hospital, when I woke up, I was told I was now Diabetic telling me I had a reading at around 28.9 mmo/L (Non-diabetic peoples readings according to are recommended to be 4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L before meals and under 7.8 mmol/L two hours after a meal)) and told simply it could have easily done quite serious damage or at worse, actually killed me.
In the near 4 years or so now since that day and I contracted Diabetes, I have met a number of other people who also have to live with Diabetes like myself including some who were a lot less lucky than me. I know of one person who lost their eyesight almost totally, another a foot and a third who refused to pay attention to medical advice, and died within 18 months of being diagnosed.
In my case, it forced major changes to my whole life in particular upon returning to work.

Admittedly, I am far from perfect in what I eat now, but the changes I made included  eating food in the right proportions, balancing what I eat very carefully (keeping an eye glucose levels and eating as low fat a diet as I possibly can), and generally learning to look after myself.
Instead previously of just buying food in supermarkets if I fancied it, I learned how to pay more attention to everybody I bought, mapping out with a attention to detail on some days it actually felt like I was mapping out a chapter in a novel, which I guess is probably very close to the truth.

Without doubt, it is a constant struggle, that goes without saying but it is not a condition that I let hold me back in anything I do. I certainly cannot live the kind of lifestyle I used to live, but with some adjustments it has made me much more aware of myself and the way my body works than I ever did.

I still miss those Cheeseburger and chips treats every lunchtime thou – lol.