East Staffordshire Borough Council member Councillor Bernard Peters is urging those living with diabetes to ‘get together and talk’.
Cllr. Peters, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 50 years, said:
"I have to have four injections and also take four or five blood tests a day to measure my blood sugar levels, but this has not inhibited my life and I have come to live and deal with the condition — for example I can go to the gym and do a workout but have to make sure I have glucose, in this case a bottle of Lucozade, at hand.
One of the key points I want to get across during this week of awareness is that people do not need to hide or be afraid of diabetes. They should talk to people about what they have and let them know the ins and outs — it will not only help them live with the illness but also educate those around them, such as family members who may have to deal with issues that arise from the illness.
People also need to make sure they adjust their lifestyle to accommodate diabetes — slight changes can mean that most people can live a relatively normal life. I recently read some statistics that a third of people keep quiet about their illness because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves.
“But they have to realise that it is important that people know what is wrong because Joe Public could easily mistake diabetes complications as a heart attack or an epileptic fit. The message I want to get across is that people need to take ownership of their illness, alter their lifestyle to fit with their diabetes and talk to others about their condition.”
[AS: Good job, Councillor Peters! :)]