9th August 2018
Learning about his diabetes has helped to empower one man to change his lifestyle and enjoy a good quality of life despite the diagnosis.
Dáire was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes less than six months ago. At the time he felt tired, not as focused and eyes were a bit blurry. One day he noticed his breathing was a bit ‘out of whack’ and had pains in his body so he went to his GP for those concerns. The GP did a full blood check.
From his blood results, the GP diagnosed Dáire with Type 2 diabetes. Initially, he felt overwhelmed, disappointed and a bit shocked but he had thought Type 2 diabetes may have been a possibility as diabetes runs in his family. He felt he was putting things off and delaying making a healthy lifestyle change.
The GP did a full assessment of Dáire’s lifestyle choices including food choices, alcohol, physical activity and they made a plan for what he could do to get back on track. Dáire was sporty in school and, over the years, his appetite and eating habits increased but his exercise reduced and work became more and more sedentary.
“With the diagnosis, reality struck home and I felt I couldn’t put off making healthy lifestyle changes anymore and now I am trying to tackle those lifestyle changes,” he explained.
“I had my eyes checked and was happy with the results. The GP discussed the blood results and I felt that I was lucky because I knew what the causes of concern were and I am trying to address these now. I know he won’t do it overnight. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
Dáire’s doctor recommended he should attend the local diabetes group education programme X-PERT.
“I met the dietician Sarah in the clinic so that helped to meet her before the course. The course took place in the same building as the GP practice and was very local which encouraged me to go. I have no car so had it not been so local it would have delayed me going to the course,” he said.
When asked what he learnt by attending X-PERT, Dáire explained, “X-PERT helped me understand what diabetes is. I learnt a lot about what to eat, healthier food options and the alcohol guidelines. I increased my awareness of my own food choices and modified my own eating habits. I have lost weight and started the habit of walking to and from the health centre.
“It was a great service. I want to thank Sarah, the dietician. She was a great educator and very knowledgeable and helped me understand. I sometimes forgot things that were covered in a session so I liked to look at the book we were given in between sessions. The penny sometimes dropped after the session by reading the book. I feel more in control now of the diabetes.”
He insisted that the X-PERT course has helped improve his quality of life.
“We also learned from each other in the group and often other people have the same problems and same goals. You are not on your own. There is backup and there are positives solutions to your problems. After X-PERT I feel I know who to go to for more support if I need it,” said Dáire
When asked what advice he would give to someone newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Dáire replied, “Go to a doctor incorporated with a diabetes group course like X-PERT. The doctor does their bit and passes onto the next person who may be the dietician and she may pass onto the next person. Everyone needs to work together with the person with diabetes.”