Chris Ward speaks highly of the care and support he has received from the Karori Medical Centre as he manages his diabetes. The 67-year-old semi-retired photographer has had diabetes since 1995.
He says many years ago when his GP told him he was at risk of diabetes he completely ignored advice about modifying his lifestyle – until one day he was told he was type 2. But, he says, he still didn’t treat it with the importance he should have done.
‘I think I was just doing what I had to do to pay the bills, and I pushed everything else into the background. You were either too tired or there was something more important to do.’
By around 2000, things were getting worse.
‘I just began to slow up. I didn’t have any energy or desire to get stuck into anything. Any energy I had quickly fell away and my eyesight started to deteriorate. I’ve recently had cataracts taken out of both eyes and I have diabetic damage to the back of one eye.
‘Because things have deteriorated so much, the Karori Medical Centre [Chris’s local medical practice] has had to put a lot of work into me. Practice nurse Heather Wilson maintains close contact with me which has helped keep the issue to the forefront. I have someone I can go to directly who will have a quick answer for me.’
Chris says the nurses have helped him work though the injecting insulin process and he now has much better energy levels.
This story is part of Karori Medical Centre – Supporting patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Read the next story in this series: Understanding diabetes key to managing it properly.