Introducing Simon talking about Type 2, diet and running
Hi, my name is Simon. I am 35 years old and about five years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. At first, shock and fear – my father had died from a complication of diabetes about a year earlier, so my mind was racing.
I had just come back from a weekend at Euro Disney with my daughter Keira. It had been hot and I was a little sun burnt and I had this unquenchable thirst. I was drinking orange juice by the litre and then obviously the liquid has to go somewhere. Initially I put it down to heat stroke but then after a couple of days I knew I needed to see a doctor.
I was diagnosed by a doctor I’d never seen before; my blood sugar levels were 23 and I don’t think he had much experience with the disease and to be honest scared me to death. I came out in shock and my wife called the surgery and one of the dedicated diabetes nurses called me straight back she eased my mind and booked me in for an appointment to go over everything.
First thing she said when I walked in was you need to lose weight. She hadn’t even weighed me yet lol, then did I smoke and drink? Well yes and yes were the answers to that. I have never been a big smoker, probably 10 to 15 a day and some days none at all. Drink, well I might have been overindulging on the alcohol – never drank at home but when I went out, I went out and I went out quite a lot. My diet could have been better and I did absolutely no exercise. She put me on Metformin went through my diet and all my other bad habits and put my mind at ease so over the next few months I set about changing my lifestyle.
Six months and another blood test later I was told my levels had come back normal so what I was doing was working. However I decided I was no longer diabetic (fool) and from then on and pretty much for the next four years I intermittently took my pills, I ate what I wanted and carried on drinking – I suppose I was in denial. I did at times feel ill and was constantly using the toilet. My annual reviews were coming and I was basically ignoring what I was being told.
Fast forward four years or so and as I’m sure you can imagine my diabetes is uncontrolled. I’m now on Gliclacide as well as the Metformin and on my last annual review my nurse basically and bluntly said I will die young and gave me six months to get my levels down or she was putting me on Insulin. It was about the same time as the London marathon was on and I was watching this on the TV with my wife and daughter and I saw quite a large chap run by the camera and I thought I’d love to run that, so I looked into it and applied. The only problem is I lack motivation and they don’t tell you until October if you’ve been successful and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to get myself anywhere near ready for an April marathon so I decided to look into running the Great North Run in September.
I managed to get a charity place and since May I have been running in training for this event plus with the added focus on the London marathon. My blood sugar readings have since plummeted, I’ve changed my diet massively, I’ve stopped smoking and have stopped drinking and I am now down to 17st 3lb. I feel a lot fitter and healthier. My daughter is over the moon and so proud of me as is my wife running for a charity and raising nearly £1400 in a week gives me something to focus on because I don’t want to let any of my friends down.
Thanks for reading