Being diagnosed with diabetes
January 2020 began with me feeling pretty good. I’d decided to head to the gym to lose some Christmas weight and just feel healthier – as we all do in the new year. However, a few weeks later I started to feel quite rundown and dizzy, with pain in my kidneys. The pain got so bad I ended up visiting the out of hours doctor one weekend. They suspected kidney stones but when they tested my urine, they noticed my sugars were really high. The doctor decided to do a finger prick test, after which he said, “Well I’m not sure what’s wrong with your kidneys but you’re definitely diabetic.” I was handed a prescription for metformin, told to take two a day, and then book in with my usual doctor. A week later I sat at my GP surgery and was told I had an HbA1c of 111mmol/mol. At this point though, they couldn’t tell me if I had type 1 or type 2.
My diagnosis came as a real shock – I was 27 at the time. I didn’t really know very much about diabetes, why it was bad or what it could lead to. I just knew it was something to do with sugar. My grandfather had type 2 diabetes, but he had died when I was young. Looking back, I wish I had known more about it before I was diagnosed, then perhaps I could’ve prevented it. At the time I was in the obese category on the BMI scale and would describe myself as a bit of a couch potato. I work in an office job, which can be a dangerous environment – you spend much of the day sitting at a desk and there’s always cake about.