"I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetic when I was 21 and was put onto tablets which progressed to insulin when I became pregnant. I was also diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. I went back to tablets after the birth of my second baby, but was prescribed insulin again when I was 44 when my condition worsened.
My kidneys started to deteriorate further in 2007 and my insulin requirements rose steeply through overeating and lack of excercise (Pam, pictured right, before losing weight).
After an appointment at the hospital and given a stark reality check, I began to turn my life around.
With the help of the wonderful diabetic team at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, I started to eat sensibly, excercise by walking to and from work (5 miles) and try to stem the damage.
The weight started to come off (Pam, pictured left) and my insulin requirements rapidly reduced. It hasn't been easy, but last September (2009) my Diabetic Consultant at the hospital discharged me back to my GP - I had lost five stone in weight, was now taking NO insulin or diabetic tablets and felt fantastic.
Yesterday I went to my six monthly kidney outpatients appointment and the consultant also told me he was discharging me to my GP as my kidney readings were now so stable he saw no reason why I needed to come to the clinic any more.
As you can imagine this makes all the hard work SO worth it. No more injections and stable kidney functions. I still need to visit my GP for six monthly bloods, yearly diabetic checks and carry on with my new healthy lifestyle, but I intend to do it because I really have turned my life around."
Words by Pam