Understanding diabetes key to managing it properly

The GPs and nurses at Karori Medical Centre have been working with Sally (not her real name) to manage issues with her medication and metabolism.

Sally is a 65-year-old mother of 2 who has recently come to New Zealand from Singapore. She has had diabetes since she was 56 and her parents also had diabetes.

Sally has been adjusting to higher daily insulin injections. Practice nurse Jacqui Levine and her doctor guide her through the process and explain what her blood sugar readings mean. She says it really helps her make changes and stick to the rules when she understands what’s going on, and when the doctors and nurses are so positive and encouraging.

‘When I was first diagnosed in Singapore, they didn’t tell me anything and for the first 6 years I didn’t know what to do. So I didn’t make any changes to what I ate and my blood sugars didn’t come down. There was nothing there like the education they have here.’

Sally says having diabetes has really affected her quality of life.

‘I just feel tired all the time. The most I can endure is 2 hours of even simple chores like weeding the garden and then I need to rest.’

Karori Medical Centre staff have discussed with Sally changes to her diet and she’s attended community talks by a nutritionist that were arranged by the centre. She says she found these very helpful and has learned how to balance her diet to be less hungry.

This story is part of Karori Medical Centre – Supporting patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Read the next story in this series: He Tama Wairua, He Tama Tinana – reducing risk, changing lives.

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