Andy is supporting Taking Control, our campaign to make sure everyone has the skills and confidence to live better with diabetes.
Before going on a diabetes education course, there were days when I just didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to cope with a lot of things I had to deal with every day.
On the morning of the course, I felt a little bit apprehensive, going into a room of people I didn’t know. I felt like I might be a bit judged for how I’d been living with diabetes.
But it was a lot more informal than I thought it was going to be. I was worried it would be a strict classroom atmosphere, but it was laid back: you could talk to other people.
And I’d never sat down and talked to anyone else about what it felt like to have diabetes. Being able to see they had the same challenges and frustrations and successes really helped me a lot. It felt liberating.
Since the course my HbA1c has been lower and a lot more stable. It's made me feel more confident about living with diabetes every single day. The tools and techniques I learned meant I could apply them in the real world. I can get a pizza on a Friday night and not suffer for it!
I'd had diabetes for 10 years when I did the course. I thought there was very little it would be able to teach me but within the first few hours I realised there was still a lot I had to learn. With diabetes you are always going to have to learn a lot and can't sit back and think you know it all.
I was sceptical before I went on a course, but I've seen a huge change since I did it. It's a week of your life now for the rest of your life. Why wouldn't you want to use that time now to live the rest of your life feeling more confident about managing your diabetes?