Posts Tagged ‘diabetes uk’

Tomorrow (April 7) is World Health Day –and one of the major themes this year is



Exercise is a key element in the battle.

Walking as part of an exercise campaign has been important to me–doubly so since my three precious stents were fitted four years ago.

I asked my cardiologist, Monsieur Lefevre (the least feverish man you could meet), why the blockage I had in my main artery showed no symptoms–no shortage of breath when out on my walks. “It dulls the nervous system,” he said, thus turning off the alarm mechanism.

“Keep on walking!” he advised, after the procedure.

And I do–every day, for about 25 minutes.

I’ve written three or four blogs about walking, but this is my favorite:


The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.
Thomas Jefferson




All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I was walking six times a week, usually for about 40 minutes. I tried to do a circular route, which suited me better.

[Now I usually limited myself to 25 minutes or so, every day]


I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.
–   Abraham Lincoln

I liked the freedom of it, and starting from home–no time spent travelling to exercise. And there was no equipment needed—just a good pair of shoes and warm clothing. I usually took the same route–which never felt the same two days running–so to speak!– varying with the weather and changing  seasons.



To find new things, take the path you took yesterday.
–   John Burroughs

Then one day I overdid it–and my left knee felt bad.

I had to stop for a while and missed it. I used an exercise bike–but it wasn’t the same.

Gradually my knee healed and I started walking again–but less. Now it’s three or four times a week– preserving old knees.

If one keeps on walking everything will be alright.
–   Soren Kierkegaard


Thoughts come clearly while one walks.
Thomas Mann


It is not talking but walking that will bring us to heaven.
–  Matthew Henry


Straw men stretching after a walk…


 Type 2 Diabetes is a devil.

It’s a sneaky beast, a lurker and a patient one.

Diabetes UK estimates that there are about 549,000 people in Britain who have diabetes but have NOT yet been diagnosed.

Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled–from 1.4 million to almost 3.5 million.

It’s diagnosed with a simple blood test. (I had NO symptoms!)



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It’s a while since I posted a Diabetes update.


Recipes and cat tales are so much more uplifting.

But given my recent history, this new study deserves an airing.

After analyzing the medical records of almost two million people in the UK, the National Diabetes Audit found that people with diabetes have almost a 50% higher risk of a heart attack.

About 22,000 people with diabetes in England and Wales died prematurely in 2010/11, the report says.

“The finding that people with diabetes are almost 50 per cent more likely to have a heart attack is shocking; this is one of the main reasons many thousands of people with the condition are dying before their time,” said Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

About seven weeks ago, my cardiologist at the excellent local clinic wasn’t a hundred percent happy with the results of a couple of my stress test results.

(These were routine tests suggested by my G.P.–given my Type 2 diabetes.)

The local cardiologist sent me to the Clinique Pasteur in Toulouse, where late one Tuesday afternoon in October I found myself flat on my back, naked, in what felt suspiciously like an operating theatre.

(This isn’t my preferred theatre experience!)

Shortly after sensing something creeping up the inside of my right arm, a masked face pushed through the hygienic barrier, regarded me with two quietly friendly eyes and uttered words I shall never forget:

“Vous avez un blocage de l’arterie principale coronaire.”

[You have a blockage of the coronary artery.]

His tone was so reasonable, I heard myself replying in a similar tone:

“C’est sérieux, Monsieur?”.

He remained calm in spite of what he had just heard, and didn’t shout:


Instead I was relieved to hear him say he was going to insert three stents–then and there.

The seriousness of the situation only registered fully with me the following afternoon just before we left for home.

The doctor showed us a video of my heart and arteries BEFORE and AFTER.

Oh my word!

For the procedure my blood had been dyed to show up as black.

In the BEFORE version, a black (blood-rich) artery snakes across the screen to the rhythm of the heart–black except for a small section where the FAT black snake became a very THIN black snake running through an otherwise pale (no blood) tube.

Le blocage–a narrowed artery!

In the AFTER video–three stents in place–the black snake is restored to its glorious fatness.

I had none of the usual symptoms of narrowed arteries— shortness of breath while walking, pains in the chest.

I asked the Quietly Spoken One why?

He said diabetes masks cardiac symptoms–numbing the nerves.

So, j’avais de la chance, je crois!

[I reckon I was lucky!]

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Balance ” is the in-house magazine of Diabetes UK. It is well produced, readable, informative and is available on-line.

I’m interviewed in the latest edition.

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