For some people with a family history of type 2 diabetes, diagnosis in later life doesn’t come as a surprise. Others can go for years without realising that they are living with the condition. 

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can vary from person to person, but can include: tiredness, persistent thirst, frequent urination, numbness. 

In this video clip, participants explain what their life was like prior to knowing they had type 2 diabetes

Acknowledgements

Video 2018 © Copyright Healthily Pty Ltd

DIABETES Before diabetes

Mignonne - Diabetes had always been in my family.

My aunt had it quite badly, my grandmother had it in her late time but neither of my parents had it so I wasn't expecting to have it till I was in my 50's but there I was, I was 38 and I was planning a big overseas trip for a couple of months and I had lined everything up. I had booked all the, you know, everything and I wasn't feeling very well.
I just wasn't feeling well. I can't describe it any other way. It just didn't feel right. I'd had a few infections some skin infections and things and I went to the GP who was, she was really good and sort of, almost like a friend in some ways and I said to her 'I just don't feel welland I don't know what's wrong with me and I'm going overseas for three months and I don't want to get sick when I'm over there.' and so she ran lots and lots of blood tests and you know, examined me in every way. 

Ian - I was not feeling well was doing a lot of exercise I was drinking a lot of soft drink, there was an urge for sugar a lot so anything, ice cream, lollies, but at the same time there was a big reduction in weight to the extent that I lost about three stone because I was doing all the gym work and you know, playing sport but then it was getting to the stage my clothes were hanging off me. I was very tired, you know I even, I remember stretching out in the gym after exercising and falling asleep. 
So it was a real battle to work and it got to the stage I said to myself well 'I better go to the doctors.' and it was, I said I'll do it on the Tuesday after Easter and off I went, walked in and was diagnosed, you have diabetes. 

Chrissie - I was still back home I come from Greece and I was very shocked in the beginning I shouldn't be because all my family all the members of my family both sides, mother and father everybody has diabetes type 2 but I wasn't so much aware of it if you know what I mean. I didn't know what diabetes is and although I knew from the family and extended family, all members had diabetes but we didn't actually talk so much about it. There wasn't such an awareness. 

Henry - It was a chance test that I underwent. I went to a health farm with a friend of mine and one of the routines was just checking everyone's blood and they discovered I had a slight lag in my blood glucose coming back to normal.
So I did actually go off and see a doctor who was very off hand. He just said 'Oh look I think we'd put you into the category of being pre-diabetic and just sort of carry on and just watch things.' The vague symptoms I did have I attributed just to the ageing process. Just say OK, I get thirsty at night occasionally you have to get up at night to go to the toilet but I didn't attribute it to the fact that my diabetes had developed.

Patricia - I was feeling very tired and I went to the doctor and I did get a number of, I had a number of symptoms I was drinking a lot I always drink a lot of water so initially it didn't worry me very much but I was feeling extremely tired but because there was a number of family crisis as well I felt that perhaps there was something a little bit more than just being extremely exhausted. 
So I went to the doctor and sure enough after a number of tests they found out that the sugar levels were quite high and that I had diabetes.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Healthily-diabetes

Last updated: June 2018

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