Diagnosed 2 years ago. Duncan takes metformin, gliclazide, simvastatin, atenolol, ramipril and amlodipine. He has had neuropathy in his feet since 2006 and expects to receive laser eye treatment soon.
Duncan’s diagnosis of diabetes happened when he was in hospital being treated for Miller Fisher syndrome. As a former chemistry teacher, Duncan understood the facts of diabetes though with hindsight he feels he may have given the impression of knowing more than he really did. His current work as a careers advisor means he works away from home a great deal which makes it difficult for him to keep his weight under control. He does not check his blood glucose levels regularly, nor has he been encouraged to do so by his GP.
When he was working as a teacher, he probably drank too much, and he’s glad that at least diabetes has helped him solve that problem – he no longer drinks at all. Food is a problem for him though; partly because he dislikes vegetables and bland meals and partly because he lives alone and often buys ready-made meals from the supermarket. He used to lead an extremely active life, coaching rugby at school, leading expeditions and was also in the Territorial Army. He has always considered himself fit and healthy, but acknowledges that too many takeaways and alcohol were bad for him.
He feels his diabetes is under reasonable control, though metformin does not agree with him. In February 2006 his left foot became infected without him being aware. He was treated in hospital for 6 weeks, but he became quite depressed and wanted to go home. Though his foot has healed, he has to wear special boots and tries to keep the weight off his feet as much as possible. He cannot walk far because his foot could flare up again. Being unable to walk much has affected his social life, his holidays and his retirement plans. Duncan is also waiting for laser treatment on his eyes, though he hopes it won’t be too serious. He remains very optimistic, enjoys the company of old friends and is determined that diabetes is not going to dictate how he spends the rest of his life.