Advice Wednesday Diabetes Panel On BBC Radio Wales

Today it was my pleasure to join the fabulous radio presenter Dot Davies, the Director of Diabetes UK Cymru Dai Williams and type 2 diabetic Rob Lee on BBC Radio Wales' Wednesday Advice show. I've wanted to meet Dot for a while after hearing her excellent tennis commentary on the radio for years, and so myself, Dai and Rob joined Dot on the Jason Mohammad show to make up an expert panel, to answer questions from people about diabetes from all over Wales, to which the response was overwhelming!

If you haven't had the chance to listen to the show before, it's an opportunity for listeners to phone/ text/ tweet/ email into the show on the topic that's being discussed on that day. Today's topic was diabetes, with a focus on awareness, and the calls, texts and tweets flooded in to myself and the rest of the panel. The aim of the guests on the panel was not to give medical advice, but to discuss the pressing matters facing people with diabetes at the moment, to signpost people where possible to helpful resources such as the Diabetes UK Careline and to raise awareness of the condition that is currently affecting 177,000 people in Wales and could see an additional 77,000 cases diagnosed in the next few years (Diabetes UK, 2015).

Dai Williams, Me and Rob Lee

There were many people who called into the show with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and many of them have had the condition for a long time. Which is something that always gives me hope when I
hear of someone who is managing well and are in their 50th year for example of living with diabetes, who've got families, had children and lead happy lives. Because sometimes diabetes is a condition that can make you worry about what tomorrow might bring or make you think when the cure is going to come. But hearing the callers who've had diabetes for over 50 years reminds me that you get to 50 years by taking each day and each blood sugar check and injection one day at a time.

Me and Rob

But on the other side we also had questions from callers about how to get over the initial shock you feel as a young person being diagnosed with diabetes, for example in your teenage years, as was the case for me when I was diagnosed 14 years ago. My advice to parents and to young people who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes is firstly that it's nobody's fault. There's nothing the parents or the child with type 1 diabetes could have done to prevent being diagnosed and as Dai Williams put it, it's sheer bad luck. It also gets a lot easier to manage the condition the longer you have it. And the more you take responsibility and learn to manage the condition with the support of family, friends and medical professionals then the lighter the load feels. I disagree with people who say diabetes will always beat you because I think if you're focussed on looking after yourself well and listening and doing all of the things that come with good diabetes care, there may be ups and downs. But at least you know that you've given yourself the chance you deserve to manage the condition well.

Me and Presenter Dot Davies

I really enjoyed the challenge of being part of the panel today, as I've never done a whole hour's slot on radio before. And I was overwhelmed by the kind messages of support and feedback on social media from people who had listened to the show. I'm really grateful that I was given the opportunity to represent young people with type 1 today, because I've often overheard other people call us the forgotten ones. So it was my pleasure to speak up and be heard and to pass on my advice of living with diabetes on the BBC Radio Wales show.








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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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