It was the morning of the 5th of November and I was sat in the car park of my gym. I was staring blankly at the phone I held in my hand. I had just finished a phone call with the emergency department at my local hospital where they told me I had diabetes. Looking back all the signs were obvious, but at the time it was an immense shock.
The night before this I headed to my local GP’s practice after work to tell them about how I had been feeling and to ask them what it could mean. A few things had been happening that had started to raise alarms:
- I was going to the gym a lot, still am for the most part, and was eating a hell of a lot of food. But, I. JUST. COULD. NOT. GAIN. WEIGHT! When I say a lot, I really do mean a lot. I was counting my calories at the time and was regularly hitting 4,000 a day. I was basically eating 2 lunches, sometimes forcing down food until I felt sick, and drinking mass gainers in the evening while stood over the sink because, guess what, they made me feel sick too. I couldn’t get enough sugary snacks either, Haribo Tang Fastics, Jam Tarts, Bakewell Tarts, Fanta Fruist Twist, you name it and I was ingesting it, in copious amounts. In my naivety I was eating more and more of these sugary bastards as I continued to not gain weight, in the hope I would, but only worsening the damage I was doing to myself.
- In fact, for most of my adult life I had weighed around 15 stone or 95kg. At this point I was around 12 stone or 75kg. I’d done Insanity recently and was doing a lot of cardio and guessed that it was down to that. Truthfully, at the time I kind of liked how ‘lean’ I was. Looking back it’s clear something wasn’t right though.
- My energy levels were at 0. Despite this fact I was managing to drag myself out of bed some mornings at 6am to go to the gym, was working out 5 days a week and was putting the hours in at the office. But it meant that, when I got home from work at the end of the day, I was running on empty. A couple of times I barely made it up the stairs before falling asleep on my bedroom floor. Once I laid down on the floor at a family lunch and woke up an hour later with no idea what was going on.
- I got thrush, a number of times. This was something I’d never had before and something I found really embarrassing. Like an idiot I let this embarrassment get the better of me and, rather than seeing a qualified professional, I treated this on my own with creams and tablets I ordered over the internet. They worked, but it kept coming back.
- I was pissing and drinking water a ridiculous amount. I’m talking hourly trips to the toilet where I was draining like a prize winning race horse. I was putting away a litre of water in the morning alongside a couple of cups of tea and coffee while still feeling absolutely parched.
- My eyes were always painfully dry too, I was dousing them with drops every couple of hours but before I knew it they were back to scratchy and itchy.
- Talking of eyes, I got a couple of eye infections. In quite quick succession actually. Of everything I’ve just listed you may find it hard to believe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
So, What Happened Next?
I went straight to Frimley Park hospital with my dad where I immediately saw a specialist who took some blood and got me to piss in a pot. My BG was 30 and my urine was full of ketones. This is when they told me I had diabetes. I was then referred directly to the Acute Medical Ward where I spent the day with a line in my arm having more bloods taken, pissing in more pots and receiving insulin. Slowly but surely my BG came down and the ketone level fell.
By late evening the doctors and nurses were happy that I knew how to test my BG and inject insulin. I was then passed some needles, a sharps bin, a tester, some cassettes, some Novorapid and some Lantus, some leaflets and a testing diary and I was sent on my way. My gorgeous sister had popped to the pharmacy during the day to grab me another tester so I had two. The rest, as they say, is history. I was meant to be going to London that evening to see some mates and enjoy some fireworks, I didn’t.
Why Start This Blog?
I remember, when I was first diagnosed, how helpless I felt and how aware I was of the fact there was so much still to learn. I mean, I still feel like that sometimes even now. However, I’m also aware of how much I’ve learnt over the past few years and I’m hoping that, by sharing his, I may be able to help others feel less worried and get more of a handle on what’s going on with them.
There’s so much information out there but I want to be able to offer first hand, matter of fact advice on what diabetes means day in, day out.
I’m also aware that, for the most part, there aren’t many young men who blog about, or share their thoughts about, their diabetes. If I help one young man understand that they’re not the only one this is happening to, that this really isn’t the end of the world, that there’s still certainly a life to be lived then I would call On Diabetes a success!