This picture is of the Winter Solstice sunrise over the Humber estuary at Cleethorpes. As I was standing there, watching the beauty of a new dawn and the rebirth of the light, I pondered on how much my life has changed in a single turn or the wheel. 

At the start of the year I was completely dependant on other people if I wanted to go anywhere. I had been suffering from Menier’s disease for 6 years and was not allowed to drive in all that time. Before this I had always been very independent and able to go anywhere alone, but menier’s put a stop to that.

As the year started though I had been feeling much better, had been for a couple of months. I was still getting slight dizziness and constant tinnitus but no longer experienced the disabling vertigo of the past 6 years.

In March, I decided to apply to the DVLA to get my licence back, and by April I was in possession of a brand new photocard licence and a little car! I had regained my freedom! The charge was immediate and amazing! I was able to go anywhere!

My personal life was so much easier, but so too was my work life. I have to attend a lot of meetings, many of them away from my usual work place and this was now so much easier! 

Having regained my freedom though and felt slightly better, I began to notice other health issues, and on getting these checked out, in August I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After 6 years of I’ll health, then recovering this diagnosis was devastating! I could see a future of worsening health inevitably stretching out in front of me and it looked like a bleak prospect.

Rather than sitting back and wallowing in my misery (which I honestly felt like doing) I began to research. I now feel that the diagnosis was the best thing that could have happened! To be honest, I had probably been diabetic for some time without knowing. Once I did know though, and had researched all about it, I set about changing my lifestyle.

I have now lost just over 3 stone (and am still going) and my doctor is delighted as my diet changes have resulted in my blood sugar returning to normal and he now classes me as in remission! 

I feel, and look, better than I have in years! So no matter how bleak the future is, there is always hope and what I have learned is to take charge of my health instead of letting it take charge of me!

So roll on 2017, I’m ready for you! And this time next year, I could be unrecognisable!

Out and hungry

I was out for most of the day yesterday. I was attending a meeting of the Pagan Federation Disabilities Team, as I have recently become the Deputy District Disabilities Liaison (yeah, I know, long title!) The meeting was great, very productive, and also very inspiring! The only part of the day that was not (well, other than the train journey!) was when I went off for lunch.

We all went out separate ways for lunch, just finding somewhere to grab whatever we fancied, or so I thought!

I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and while I know many people live with this condition, and manage it in a variety of ways, I chose, from the moment of being told I had it, to reverse it. Is that even possible? To reverse type 2 diabetes? Something that has always been thought of as a lifelong, and deteriorating condition? I believe it is, and what is more, I have done it!

So what’s the problem? Well …. although I have reversed it, getting my blood sugar levels down to normal from diabetic range, to maintain that, I need to keep up with the changes I have put in place.

So what are the changes? Losing weight is one of them, and I have so far lost 43lb, or just over 3 stone, but that is not the whole of the story. Diabetes is a condition where the glucose and insulin levels in the body don’t work together properly because the pancreas and liver are not doing their job as well as they should (in simple layman’s terms, which is all I understand!) When we feed our bodies carbohydrates, our bodies quickly convert that into glucose, raising the blood sugar level, and if we don’t have enough insulin or the ability to use it effectively, those levels stay high, which is damaging in so many ways. So the trick is, to really reduce the consumption of those carbohydrates. Than means no bread, pasta, rice, potatoes (or any starchy veg) nothing with flour in or grains or sugarĀ  and no fruit other than berries.

The meeting I was at was in Doncaster, a very large town, with lots of shops and food outlets. There we sandwiches, chips, salads with pasta in, crisps, chocolate, cakes, any number of yummy treats, but I could not find a single place where I could just grab something that was easy to eat on the hoof that did not contain any of these high carb foods, and it just made me think, as diabetes is covered by the Disabilities Discrimination Act, shouldn’t someone at least be making an effort, as this diet is now a well recognised way of reversing, controlling and even preventing type 2 Diabetes!

I ended up having a sugar free Latte!