As many of you know already I am not a diabetic, so what am I doing helping people to manage their sugar habits? I’ll tell you.
I trained as a nurse in London in the 1980s. Diabetes was one topic I really didn’t get, I couldn’t work it out so you can imagine how I felt when I got near the end of my training and found out my last placement was in the diabetes ward! Talk about being out of my comfort zone. Well, you know what the experts say about getting out of your comfort zone. I had to face it and learn fast.
Being taken out of my comfort zone was one of the best experiences of my life.
The ward sister was fabulous and the medical consultants were both really supportive. Nearly all the patients on that ward were diabetics and I was a third-year student. That meant I had to teach other nurses in their first and second years of training, so I had to know my stuff.
We had just about everything. Comas from high blood sugar. Comas from low blood sugar, gangrene, leg ulcers and amputations, kidney failure and dialysis, retinopathy and neuropathy all caused by long-term high blood sugar.
The challenge I loved was the youngsters coming in in a coma from high blood sugar. Often after experimenting with alcohol for the first time or when they left home and were learning to fend for themselves. We got them back under control and talked to them about looking after themselves outside the hospital.
Then of course, there were the newly diagnosed non-insulin dependent diabetics, now known as Type 2 Diabetes and the ones with symptoms from long-term high blood sugar.
One of the things I loved to see was those symptoms beginning to heal because we’d helped them to get their blood sugar under control.
I learnt that nutrition for diabetes is so important
When I learnt about nutrition for diabetes I realised I could do even more to help people to manage their sugar habits to deal with diabetes. So that’s why I do this. That’s my back story.
I love to see the change in people when they work with me. It’s awesome.
What is your diabetes story?