It’s been a while since I wrote a post where I felt anger was the motivating factor – but as I type I must admit that my baser instincts are in the background.
After a friend recommended I have a look at it I’ve been watching a programme called ‘The fast fix – Diabetes’ – which has been on ITV (if you’re in the UK) this week. (link)
In it a mixture of normal people and celebrity guests have been guinea pigs for a university research project that aimed to prove type two diabetes is not only reversible – but the process can be done without ANY drugs – and within eight weeks.
It sounds good right?
Excellent subject matter!
It is – on both counts.
However the reason that I’m ANGRY is that watching it makes me feel seriously short changed. When I was originally diagnosed my healthcare professionals (probably under pressure – and maybe without the benefit of the latest research to hand) told me the opposite to what I’ve seen in this programme again and again.
From the moment I was handed the news that I was type 2 I was told face to face and within the literature I was given the same lies. These were firstly that whilst I could manage my condition with a better lifestyle the type two that I’d developed would always be a part of my life and secondly that it was inevitable this would eventually turn into insulin dependent type one.
Others outside the medical profession suggested it might have been reversible – and I was battered to death with well meaning link after link after link – but medical science seemed to think otherwise.
not knowing what to do for the best I deferred to the advice of my practice.
Honestly though I have to be truthful. At that point in my life it’s entirely possible (probable even) that no matter what anyone would have said I’d have been the same man with the same behaviours. Back then I had complex emotional and physical issues and I had convinced myself it was impossible to overcome them.
The thing that I’m angry about is that at a time when I felt there was absolutely zero hope the people in charge of my care failed me.
- My initial results were lost and I went misdiagnosed for quite a while
- My appointments for blood tests only materialised if I pestered my surgery
- A diabetes forum at the local hospital remained closed to me after repeated requests for membership over a two year period
- My condition was monitored only every six months (this isn’t a dig at the practice – this is standard for the NHS).
- My blood glucose monitor (standard for type 1) was not something normally offered to type 2 patients – and even though I was prescribed the device I had to argue the case for why they should give me further testing strips so that I could monitor my condition at home.
Now – whilst I recognise that diabetes (something that I fully admit my own poor choices in life caused) puts an enormous strain on an already creaking and burdened health service the truth is that I feel I wasn’t really ‘looked after’ in any meaningful sense.
Instead of being shown step by step how I could fix this condition I was left almost completely in the dark with only the internet and forums to help me understand my problems.
My diabetic nurse was nice but 30 mins with her every 6 months was not a lot – and it was only when I took control of my own life that things started to change.
To be clear – I’m not annoyed that no-one took control for me – because I’m a grown up and it was my choice to eat and drink like a moron for years on end.
What I’m annoyed about is that the advice and prognosis was so shockingly bleak and poor and I feel I was given NO hope and NO reason in my mind to try.
My daily pill dispenser was going to be FULL forever and that was just a fact of life. Furthermore they’d given me a card entitling me to free prescriptions forever because this was the best they could do. It seemed like the NHS was rolling out a red carpet of money forever because they didn’t have the time to do anything else.
I’d need drugs – lots of drugs and most likely more illnesses would be on the horizon.
They too would need drugs.
I was now a pharmaceutical company’s wet dream and facing a no expenses spared trip to the bottom of the u-bend.
But I digress.
Back to the programme on my telly box.
Out of all the participants (who were subjected over 8 weeks to brutally restrictive calorie intakes and increased levels of exercise) over half found themselves in a blood sugar range that was no longer considered to be diabetic.
Let me just say that again.
Over half of the participants.
Furthermore in a long term study over the course of a year well over 80% of the people subjected to this regime continued to remain unmedicated and diabetes free.
Let me say that bit again too.
Well over 80% of the participants remained unmedicated and diabetes free.
With figures that convincing it’s hard to understand how the western world has largely sleep walked into a situation where it’s convinced itself diabetes is the new norm and is almost as common as getting the flu.
I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist but given the amount of money spent on advertising unhealthy food I can’t help but come to a sad conclusion.
This is that somewhere along the line people are being paid to look the other way while sugar and refined food pushers (I use this word for good reason given the addictive nature of sugar) go about the business of ruining lives for profit.
The last two coffee shops I’ve been into today, along with pretty much everywhere else in the universe is intent on pushing sugar – and often the first hit is free.
Costa and Coffee#1 clearly aren’t selling enough refined carbs. Currently they’re just giving them away.
I refuse to indulge.
My health is too important.
Five years ago I was wetting the bed because I couldn’t stop going to the toilet every 30-40 mins to flush out the blood sugars.
I was constantly thirsty, lethargic, and could barely read anything without glasses.
All that’s gone because of the healthy eating plan and exercise I’ve followed whilst with Slimming World – but this programme proves that you can do it without a group at home if you prefer – for free. Where there’s a will to change there is most certainly a way.
If this much can be done in just eight short weeks to improve health outcomes and to reverse life changing conditions like fatty liver disease and diabetes why is it not being done everywhere?!
I’ve said my piece. Rant over internet.
Watch the programme if you can.
Thankfully life is different for me now.
I’m a healthy and happy diabetes free man with everything to live for, and as well as continually walking everywhere I’m in control of my life and condition.