New diagnosis inspires positive change
As National Diabetes Week draws to a close, we talk to Albert, 45, about how a recent diagnosis has changed his perspective, and lifestyle, for the better.
Sitting down after a typically busy day with his family, Albert noticed some chest pain.
“It felt like my heart was trying to bash through my chest,” he said.
“My wife thought it might be indigestion, but it didn’t go away. I ended up going to Cabrini Emergency.”
Extensive tests revealed no issues with arteries or blockages, but a blood test offered the best clue to what was wrong.
“The best thing my cardiologist did was refer me to Dr Dilan Epa, who is a specialist in diabetes,” Albert says.
In the two weeks since, Albert has been on a steep learning curve.
“It’s Type 2 diabetes, which both my parents have. In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that genetically I’m ‘blessed’ with it, or might be one day.”
Albert has risen to the challenge of educating himself, and looks forward to working with the Cabrini Diabetes Education team to arm himself with knowledge.
“I’ve got a meeting with one of the educators, and a referral to see a dietician as well, to talk about diet and how to monitor my sugar levels and keep it stable.”
With a busy role in IT, he is conscious that habits – such as sitting for extended periods – need to change, and Albert’s previous perspective on health will sound familiar to many parents.
“I always put my own health and mental health last. Raising two young boys and working full time, it’s always a challenge. You tend not to focus on yourself.
“I’ve got to put myself first so that I can be healthy. I need to be around for my kids, my boys are seven and 10. They’re keen into sports, so that keeps me busy being a taxi service. I want to be around for them.
“I feel a little bit lucky. It’s better to learn these things and make changes now than to get further down the track and have something more serious happen.”
For more information on Diabetes Education, visit www.cabrini.com.au/services/allied-health/