Getting old – By Andy Broomhead


As much as I might like to be able to deny it, I’m getting old.  The 13th anniversary of my diagnosis is a few months away and it’s finally time to admit I’m not going to be 19 forever.  Whilst I gradually leave my youth behind, it also means I’m starting to take a few small steps into the realm of other diabetes related things.


I had my first clinic appointment of the year last week and whilst it went well for the most part, I came away with one word firmly stuck in my head – statins.


In fairness this hasn’t come out of the blue.  I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my cholesterol level over the past 2 years and I’ve struggled to keep it under control.   And like many people (with or without diabetes) I have a pretty tough time maintaining a healthy weight that I’m comfortable with.  So after a quick conversation with my consultant, I’ll be taking statins to keep the “bad” (or LDL) cholesterol under control.  Whilst my doctor was quite reassuring (“you’ve actually got a lot of good cholesterol but with your current weight we’d advise taking them”), the NHS website is a little more…forthright (“Statins are usually offered to people who have been diagnosed with a form of cardiovascular disease (CVD), or whose personal and family medical history suggests they are likely to develop CVD at some point over the next 10 years”).  So that’s something to look forward to(!)


I’m not sure if this is an inevitable by product of getting old or not.  I’ll be the first to admit my diet can swing from one extreme to another (chips can be difficult to resist though!) and whilst I’ve trained for marathons and half marathons, I’m not as physically active as I was in my early 20s.  I’ve noticed that I’ve also started to become a little more forgetful when it comes to setting a bolus.  Not all the time I’d hasten to add, but there have been a couple of times recently when I’ve set a non-standard bolus on my pump (a square wave or dual wave) and I’ve forgotten to press the delivery button and not realised for an hour or so.


I’ve got a master plan to live to be 118 years old (so I can have lived in 3 centuries) so obviously I’d much rather take the tablets than risk getting coronary heart disease.  I think the bit that bothers me most is that this feels like a defeat.  Not a huge one, but a defeat all the same.


As people with diabetes, we all give over so much of our lives to that constant regulation of our blood glucose and I think that’s something we largely accept and adapt to over time.  It’s not always easy and it can take time, but I like to think that as a community of people with diabetes, we’ve accepted it into our lives.  Now it feels like I’ve finally let a plate stop spinning and as a result, I have to give over a little bit more of my life to diabetes.


I suppose in these instances, it’s good to look for the positives.  This should help reduce my risk of CVD and it also gives me a really good incentive to properly lose some weight.  I’m also hoping it will give me a bit of a kick to start cooking more and reducing my dependence on the local Pizza Hut a bit too!  It’s also reassuring to know that there are a lot of people who have been in this situation before me and who’s wisdom I’ll be able to draw on and hopefully I can manage to keep all the other plates spinning for as long as possible too!

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1 Comment

  1. Stewart H says

    I find that my level of exercise is far and away the most important thing in controlling sugar level stability and positive frame of mind.
    When I was younger it was easy to be fit and active. Activity seemed to find me rather than the other way round. My friends would be going walking, cycling, sailing or windsurfing and I tagged along and enjoyed the feeling of the activity. I am now 55 and find that every year it seems a little more difficult for me to get out and active. Tiredness, aching limbs, bad weather etc. present themselves as really good reasons for not getting off the couch. So this is where I focus my efforts. Each year I work a little harder to get my self out and active in-spite of what my couch potato head wants.

    Go for 118 years with a passion . Develop your stubborn streak and refuse to give in to advancing age. Keep the plates spinning.

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