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|01 Born 1963. Moved around Birmingham. In Great Barr 22 years with wife & 2 children. Sikh parents came from India 1950s. Had English food. Now I travel, eat European food.|
|02 Father factory-worker. Parents not practising Sikhs. Average at school. Moving schools hard, but mixed well. Always wanted to be truck driver. Did other driving until got HGV licence aged 21.|
|03 Saved for licence, then revoked after diagnosis. Got it back & have medical yearly. Wife has helped me for 24 years. |
Told had thrush, but hospital diagnosed diabetes. In hospital 2 weeks. Nervous at first…
|04 …but no problems since. Told to have checks & keep sweet handy. Now have card in several languages saying I`m diabetic. Learnt injecting. Tested urine with diasticks. (Now use machine.) Dietician helpful re carbohydrate units.|
|05 Weighed food at first, not now. Different food from wife. Weekly treat. Diabetes in family. Meet lots of it…|
|06 Family members on tablets before insulin. Sister worries & has poor control.|
|07 Appealed when licence revoked & got it back, but other diabetics refused from 1994 – unfair. If I can cope, they can. Depressed when revoked. Boss supported appeal.|
|08 Boss diabetic himself. Away for weeks in Europe. Cooker & fridge in truck. Time changes no problem. Get by in languages. English drivers helped each other.|
|09 Can`t afford to eat out often. At first weighed & measured in truck. Ocasionally shared truckers` stew. Told others re diabetes.|
|10 People know more re diabetes nowadays. I`ve no problems while driving. Look at ingredients on tins. More traffic causes stress.|
|11 Stress increasing: employers` pressure; illegal immigrants; drug-trafficking; customers` demands. Still enjoy it. Stress doesn`t affect diabetes.|
|12 Never had hypo at work: good control. Cab has fridge-freezer, microwave, cooker. Truck-stops abroad better than England.|
|13 Get on well with drivers, but Brits don`t wave & help each other as they used to. |
Dextrose to hand. Foldaway bike. Gym at weekend. Nowadays get anywhere within hours.
|14 Walks with son. Foldaway bike recent. Dr. Wright advised NovoRapid & Glargene. Reluctant to change, but improvement – eat less in evening. Dr. Wright a friend.|
|15 At first at General Hospital, but went private because couldn`t manage weekday appointment. Also have GP checks. No problems. Diabetic lad at work has problems.|
|16 I advise him, but he doesn`t eat right. I take food, & insulin supply in cooler. No need to see medics abroad. |
Get on well with doctors & diabetic nurse in England…
|17 …take them wine. Drink wine myself or sugar-free beer. Test blood sugars 3 or 4 times daily, more often than colleague who copes less well. Other drivers amazed I`m allowed to drive.|
|18 Will finish in 5 years, replaced by cheaper Eastern Block drivers. |
Healthier than 10 years ago, because of exercise & care. Diabetes has made me healthier.
|19 Other drivers overweight, heart attacks (though now depots installing gyms). Brought up sons to avoid junk food.|
|20 Advice to newly diagnosed: don`t worry but be careful. Proud of control & of HGV licence. Medics should say don`t worry. (I was worried at first.) Take care of feet.|
|21 More insulin if ill. Exercise if want more to eat. Lost weight on new insulin. |
In spare time, exercise, & hope to fundraise to repay those who`ve helped me.