In this weeks episode the tables are turned as Charlotte becomes the interviewee and we learn more about her journey with diabetes.

The interviewer becomes the interviewee as we get to learn more about Diabetic and Healthy founder Charlotte Bulpitt.

To help us learn more ,Charlotte asks her friend and fellow podcaster, Steve Witt to become the host for this episode and delve deeper into what it’s like to live with diabetes.

Here are just some of the questions we learn the answers to:

  • How did you discover you were diabetic?
  • How bad did your condition get before you were diagnosed?
  • Does being a diabetic hold you back?
  • What are some of the biggest achievements you have made since being diabetic?
  • What do other people think of you being a diabetic?
  • How does being diabetic effect you mentally?
  • Have you mastered diabetes?

Plus we learn lots more and Charlotte shares some great tips along the way.

Missed anything in todays diabetic and healthy podcast? View the podcast transcript below to get the full show notes.

Life with diabetes has some highs and lows, but just like in a normal life, you can make choices which help to make your life easier, improve your health and wellbeing. In the Diabetic and Healthy Podcast, we show you how to do just that. We’re here to help you put your diabetes worries behind so that you can start enjoying life with a sky high smile on your face. So let’s meet our host for today’s show. Here’s Charlotte.

Charlotte:

Hello and welcome back to the Diabetic and Healthy Podcast. I do hope everybody is well. I’m Charlotte, your usual host, but the tables have turned this week and it’s actually me being interviewed. Interviewing me is my very good friend, Steve Witt. Steve, who’s also a fellow podcaster, is an entrepreneur who’s drive, focus, and determination has led him to create, grow, and run highly successful businesses. So, this is Steve helping you learn a little bit more about me.

Steve:

Okay. So this could be the strangest interview we’ve ever done, but we’ll give it a go. So I’m interviewing Charlotte on her own podcast to find out a little bit about her history and her journey with diabetes. So, I guess I’ve known you for a couple of years now. How long has it been?

Charlotte:

More than a couple. Fifth? No, 13 years, 12, 13 years maybe?

Steve:

Since I was about 10 then.

Charlotte:

Sure.

Steve:

Yeah.

Charlotte:

Let’s go with that.

Steve:

We’ll go with that. So I’ve obviously watched you along your journey. I’ve seen you along the way and watched with interest your diet habits, your fitness habits, and everything in between, and bizarrely, I’ve met quite a few diabetics along the way and seen how they’ve done it. So I thought it was a good opportunity to have a chat with you about your journey. So if we go right back to the beginning, if that’s okay, if you can remember back that far. When were you officially diagnosed?

Charlotte:

I was officially diagnosed very shortly after my 18th birthday.

Steve:

So that was a few years ago now.

Charlotte:

Any more digs?

Steve:

No.

Charlotte:

Any more digs? Can we carry on?

Steve:

No, just for reference for everybody else, that’s all. So officially diagnosed just after your 18th birthday, but when did you first start knowing something was wrong, feeling ill, whatever the correct sort of terminology is.

Charlotte:

The first time I knew something was wrong, I was 13 years old. And I can actually pinpoint the exact day because we went on a school trip to Germany, but it was just a day trip for a Christmas market or something. And I started to feel really unwell and obviously, I just thought I was coming down with a bug, but it was from that day that I never really got better.

Steve:

So you say it felt like a bug and did that come and go? Did it stay on the five years before you officially got diagnosed? That’s a long time. How did that manifest itself? How did you start feeling ill? Trying to paint a picture for everyone listening.

Charlotte:

Okay. So, yeah, I thought I was getting a bug. I just felt, you know when you get a bit of a temperature and you just know something’s not right. So I remember the ferry trip on the way back from Germany was not a fun one because I was feeling pretty sick at that point anyway. And as you can imagine, as it was a Christmas market, it was in the winter, so it wasn’t the smoothest of crossings-

Steve:

And you’re only 13 so clearly it wasn’t the alcohol.

Charlotte:

… and no, no alcohol involved. So yeah, I just thought I was getting a bug. The next day I was just extremely tired, had no energy. And from there that kind of continued and escalated. So a running theme was the lack of energy. So, originally, I was diagnosed with glandular fever. I think it was, maybe they thought that was a bit of an obvious diagnosis just because it was going on for a few weeks at this point and it was just this extreme fatigue.

Steve:

Yeah.

Charlotte:

So yeah, glandular fever and then as it continued, they said, “No, actually it’s ME,” or what is now known, I think, as CFS, so chronic fatigue syndrome. The frustrating thing about that is there is actually no official treatment for it anyway. So it was kind of a bit of, “You’ve got this. There’s not much we can do. Go away.”

Charlotte:

And that just continued, obviously had a massive impact on my life because I just wanted to sleep all the time, was the main thing. And then everything just started to get worse. So I had a lot of nausea and, due to the nausea, I then got a lot of anxiety about going out and being in busy places because I always had this fear that actually I was going to get in a public place and I was probably going to be sick.

Charlotte:

And then I got some of the things which I now know were really, really obvious symptoms, so extreme weight loss. So overall, by the time I was diagnosed I had lost about three and a half stone.

Steve:

What were you to start with? I’m actually asking her weight.

Charlotte:

How rude. I was about nine and a half stone and I went down to six stone.

Steve:

So, that’s pretty extreme.

Charlotte:

Yeah and I’m just under 5’8″. So yeah, six stone is massively underweight.

Steve:

And how far into this sort of five year period was this?

Charlotte:

I would say I struggled to gain weight. I’d say I was always slightly underweight from when I got ill. I started to lose weight gradually and then in the last few months, it just dropped off and I was kind of, I’d say I was panic eating at that point because I was losing all this weight. I didn’t want to lose weight. And I was drinking weight gain drinks. I was eating like five or six bowls of cereal a day. It was really like I didn’t stop eating. I don’t need any comment now Steve, because I know you know I like my food, but this was like, this was another level.

Steve:

I’m muting myself right now, just in case.

Charlotte:

Yeah, yeah.

Steve:

But were you being sick and getting rid of it or was it just-

Charlotte:

No, no, I wasn’t getting rid of it. I was just eating and eating and eating and losing weight. It sounds like the world’s best diet, but it was too much. And then came this extreme thirst and I think if you haven’t experienced this, you really can’t describe how horrible this is because you probably listen to me now going, “Oh yeah, I was really thirsty,” and you think, “Okay. Like that’s not that bad,” but this is a thirst that you cannot quench. Like I was drinking about 40 pints of squash a day.

Steve:

That’s pretty extreme.

Charlotte:

Yeah. I would go to bed at night and I’d have maybe five or six points of squash lined up on the bedside table. And it didn’t matter how many I lined up there, I still would have drunk them all before I went to sleep. So then I’d go downstairs in the night and I’d drink milk and I’d drink like fizzy pop and I’d drink water and it was like desperate to quench this thirst.

Steve:

And were you still going to the doctor’s at this point? Or what point did you think this really isn’t quite right?

Charlotte:

I had been going to the doctors throughout and unfortunately for me, this was just down to a case of a really bad doctor and I, obviously in hindsight, I should have asked to see a different doctor. But at that age, I think you just listen to what they’re telling you. You just believe them. They’re the expert. And if it was now, obviously, I’d question it. But at the time, I just listened to what they said.

Steve:

So at what point then, did you actually get a diagnosis of being diabetic?

Charlotte:

I had been away on holiday and became so extremely ill that I pretty much said goodbye to my parents on the phone. So I was not in a good way. I don’t know why I went on holiday. I was ill all the time, so I think I just got used to being ill all the time. But I’d gone on holiday, I went to Corfu and there was a heat wave just to help matters. It was about 45 degrees. My mouth and my throat became really infected and I wasn’t able to even get water down. So in that heat, that was quite a big issue.

Charlotte:

So I saw a doctor at the hotel and was on really strong antibiotics. I got home and my parents just looked at me and were like, “No, this is not okay. There’s definitely something really wrong with you.” And I saw a different doctor. I went to the surgery, because I kind of got an emergency appointment, saw a different doctor and that afternoon I was rushed into hospital. So it was literally just a case of seeing someone else and them going, “Do you know what? There’s definitely something wrong with you. And we’re going to do loads of tests. And if those tests don’t find it, we’re going to do more tests. But, trust me, we’ll get to the bottom of this.” And I remember that being a massive relief.

Steve:

So how long were you in hospital for?

Charlotte:

I was only in hospital about a week. They’re very keen to get you home and doing your injections by yourself. And yeah, just getting into a routine with it, really. So, it was a week so it was quite quick really.

Steve:

How quickly did they diagnose you once you were in hospital?

Charlotte:

Oh, they diagnosed me before I got there.

Steve:

All right.

Charlotte:

I had blood done, blood taken when I saw the doctor.

Steve:

Yep.

Charlotte:

And she automatically did a blood sugar amongst other things and I got a phone call that afternoon. It was a really bizarre phone call, actually, because it was a doctor, another doctor I knew, not the one I’d seen but one that lived locally to me and he rang and he was saying, “Charlotte, are you really thirsty? Are you really tired?” You know all these things.

Charlotte:

And I was like, “Well yeah, I’ve been saying this.” And he said, “Oh, can you just pop your mum on the phone for me?” And what I didn’t know at the time, because obviously they didn’t want to panic me, but he basically said to my mum, “You need to get her to hospital as quickly as you physically can because we don’t know how she’s still walking around.”

Charlotte:

Your blood sugar should be between, well, between four and seven is perfection and mine was reading over 40 at that point.

Steve:

And how long had it been like that, do you think?

Charlotte:

I don’t know. I suppose, in a way, it would be unlikely that it had been like that since I was 13 because I probably couldn’t have kept going that long, but it must’ve been something that was creeping up and then obviously got more extreme towards the end.

Steve:

So for anyone who’s missed the story so far, what’s your official diagnosis?

Charlotte:

Type 1 diabetes.

Steve:

What percentage of people suffer from Type 1?

Charlotte:

10% so, out of everyone that’s diabetic, 10% are Type 1.

Steve:

Right. Okay. So you’ve been diagnosed, you’ve been to hospital, they’ve taught you what to do at this point in hospital, given you a crash course?

Charlotte:

To begin with, it was just a case of getting my blood sugars down to a safe level. Literally every doctor I saw was just stunned that I was talking to them and holding a conversation with them because they said that I had something that’s called DKA, which is diabetic ketoacidosis. It’s a long, scary word, but what it means is where my body wasn’t producing insulin. So you were saying like where was this food going? Was I being sick? It’s actually that your body can’t use it correctly. So instead of it going in and being used for fuel, it just circulates your body. So it just circulates your blood stream, hence, blood sugar. So, it just turns into sugar in your blood so your body starts breaking down all your fat and then your muscle to try and find some kind of fuel. But that creates an acid in your blood called ketones. And that’s what diabetic ketoacidosis is basically, your blood becomes acidic.

Steve:

Okay. So, it took five years for you to get diagnosed. Is that common? Is that what most people experience?

Charlotte:

No, no, not at all. So with Type 2, potentially, yes, because Type 2, everything’s a bit more gradual. Type 1, because the symptoms are so extreme and it happens quite quickly, it’s normally picked up within a few weeks.

Steve:

Okay. So, you’re very special in that respect.

Charlotte:

Yeah.

Steve:

So you’ve been to hospital, you got diagnosed. How quickly did life change for you? Back to normal? What happened next?

Charlotte:

It was pretty immediate because I remember that my overall feeling was relief. Just that someone had said, “You know what, this is what’s wrong with you and this is what we’re going to do about it.” So I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t upset about being diagnosed with diabetes at that point. I was just pleased I had been diagnosed with something. And then I think I kind of went into autopilot and I listened to everything they told me. I tried to do everything by the book. It just took over my life and it was just a case of every day trying to manage this condition and do my injections and work out what I was eating and do enough exercise and yeah, it just kind of took over from day one, I suppose.

Steve:

So I know it’s only a few years ago, but think back to when you got diagnosed. What were you thinking, feeling at that time, now that you had been given a label and you knew what was wrong with you? Obviously, a sense of relief but scary or did you think life was over at that point because you’ve got diabetes or what were you thinking?

Charlotte:

Not initially, not initially. I think, as I said, I kind of went into autopilot and I just wanted to get it right. I was just quite fixated on it, they give you all these scary statistics about what will happen if your blood sugars aren’t perfect. So you’re kind of really striving for perfection at that point. And it wasn’t until, I say maybe six months down the line or thereabouts, that’s when it actually hit me. And it was like I woke up one day and thought, “Wow, this isn’t like I’m doing this until I get better. Like, this is it. This is it forever now.” And that was probably my lowest point. And that was a really scary time because I don’t think I’d accepted it until that point.

Steve:

And what did it take to overcome that? I mean that sounds like quite a daunting experience, that realization that forever you’re going to be injecting yourself every single day, multiple times per day and you’re not going to be normal, so to speak.

Charlotte:

Yeah, exactly. And yeah, that’s how I felt. I wasn’t ever going to be normal. This was me now. I had a lot of other things going on at the same time in terms of, I had some other things happen when I was diagnosed. So, for example, I lost all my hair. So, 18-year-old girl with long blonde hair going to bald girl was not great, so that definitely hit me quite hard as well. Yeah, it wasn’t a good time, all these kinds of realizations coming and I wasn’t sure if my hair was going to grow back, so that was another thing I was stressing about.

Charlotte:

But then, in my head, I think I just, I don’t know, I just thought, “This is not productive. Like the way I’m feeling about my condition is not going to change it. It’s with me whether I stress about it or not, so the best thing I can do is become an expert on it.” And I just thought, “How can I manage this condition if I don’t know enough about it?” So I then kind of, I suppose changed, decided to put my energy into learning more about it so that I could look after myself.

Steve:

So I think that’s quite inspiring. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people who think, “Wow, that’s pretty impressive.” But how quick did that sort of mental change come about? Was it just a click of a finger or did it take a while for that realization to come about?

Charlotte:

I’d say it was a few months of being very low. I’m not going to lie, of thinking why me and why diabetes and just hating it every time I had to do an injection. And then it really was like I woke up one day and thought, “No, I can’t let myself go down this road and feel sorry for myself. There’s so many more terrible things that you could have and could have to deal with.” And like I said, my mindset wasn’t helping my situation and getting stressed out about it, if anything, it was making my blood sugars a lot harder to control. Because stress has a big impact on your blood sugar levels. So yeah, it was like a big moment of this is not the right road to go down. I need to learn about this condition.

Steve:

And how were your sort of friends and family during this, were they supportive? Did they understand it where they sort of know what was going on?

Charlotte:

My parents were, again, very relieved and I think initially, they were just impressed with how I took it all on the chin. I didn’t moan about it and I just got on. But as I said, that was because it was coming later. It just actually hadn’t hit me yet. But yeah, they were just really relieved that I had a diagnosis, I think. So they’d obviously seen me deteriorate so much.

Charlotte:

Friends didn’t really get it and I didn’t, at that point, I didn’t want to bore anybody with it. I didn’t want to tell them about it and try and explain things. It was just a case of Charlotte has to do injections now and that was it really.

Charlotte:

I specifically remember one friend laughing when I told her I was diagnosed with diabetes and she just laughed and said, “Oh, well you’re not going to be able to eat chocolate anymore.” And that was quite a kind of typical reaction.

Steve:

How little did they know how, eh?

Charlotte:

Yeah, exactly. I did have very close friends. I just didn’t, it was like I didn’t want to bore them with it, so it was just, “Oh yeah, Charlotte’s got diabetes. She has to inject herself now.”

Steve:

So let’s jump forward to today. You’re a, I’ve written down in my notes, you’re a Type 1 sufferer, but what is the correct, how do you describe yourself? You’re just a diabetic? Is it a condition, an ailment, a disease? What’s the correct or how do you like to be described?

Charlotte:

Well, I know that the politically correct way of saying it is a person with diabetes, so rather than saying a diabetic, so it’s the same with like epilepsy. Apparently you’re not meant to say an epileptic. You would say a person who has epilepsy. I am not precious about what I’m called. I don’t mind at all being called a diabetic because I am a diabetic. I don’t say I suffer with diabetes. I say I have diabetes and it is, I think officially it’s a condition, so it’s actually an autoimmune condition.

Steve:

Some big words. What does that mean?

Charlotte:

It’s been recognized as an autoimmune condition because they’ve worked out that the body basically attacks the insulin producing cells. So, it is like your immune system turning against you some way.

Steve:

Interesting. So, you’re a podcaster talking about diabetes, you’ve got a support network, websites, Facebook pages, everything. Does that mean you’ve mastered diabetes?

Charlotte:

No. Never. No. And that’s kind of the point actually, because I don’t think there is perfection. I don’t think you can master it as such. I’ve just found a good way of living my life with diabetes. I don’t think you can get perfection because what you’re trying to do, in effect, is you’re trying to mimic a really complicated process that your body should naturally be doing. So, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’re never going to mimic that perfectly. You’re never going to do what your body should be doing for itself perfectly. But you can still live a healthy life with diabetes. And that’s kind of what I’m trying to get across.

Steve:

So I know you fairly well. I’ve observed you, watched you, been a friend for years. So I know you have good days and bad days, which is sort of the point to get across as much as you’ve got your podcast and you’re a big support for people who have diabetes, it’s not perfection, is it? There are good days and bad days.So what does, lets start with a bad day. What does a bad day look like?

Charlotte:

What does a bad day look like? A bad day, the worst days start with a hypo, normally that’s never a good start. So if I wake up in the morning, very confused, very sweaty, sorry to be gross, everything’s in a bit of a fog and then you think, “Ah, yeah, it’s a hypo.” That’s never a good start to the day. So that involves going downstairs normally and getting a glass of Coke or eating some dextrose. But often it then just doesn’t set you up right for the day, so it’s very easy to over-treat a hypo and then your blood sugar spikes and you end up kind of chasing your tail. And I can have days where my blood sugars will just then yo-yo throughout the day. You’re trying to find some kind of balance and they’re going up and down and up and down and it’s just exhausting. And you get what I call a hypo hangover.

Charlotte:

So after a hypo, the only thing I can compare it to is a hangover. You’re in a bit of a fog. Like everything is more hard work. It gives you a terrible headache and life goes on. And if you’ve got a busy schedule, trying to manage your day and do what you would normally do with your blood sugars bouncing up and dropping down and bouncing up and dropping down, yeah. That’s what a bad day looks like. A bad day is exhausting. And those are the days that it is really hard to stay positive as well.

Steve:

And how frequent are those days?

Charlotte:

Less and less, to be honest. The more I learn and the more I try to live a healthy lifestyle, the less those bad days become. But I mean, earlier on, they’re pretty frequent.

Steve:

And how was it for people around you?

Charlotte:

I feel sorry for them.

Steve:

So do I. Joking, joking.

Charlotte:

Should we ask you, “How is it for the people around me, Steve?”

Steve:

I would say it’s actually fine because we know you now. I think in the early days, it would have been confusing as much as anything else.

Charlotte:

Yeah.

Steve:

I’m thinking you’re just a grumpy so and so, but no, knowing it’s not you, so to speak, I think it’s never an issue and it seems to be a lot less frequent these days anyway.

Charlotte:

Yeah, yeah.

Steve:

Plus we know how to avoid you.

Charlotte:

That’s good to know. Sorry?

Steve:

Plus we know how to avoid you.

Charlotte:

Yeah, exactly. So yeah, just avoid me on those days is probably the best advice I could give. Find Charlotte on a bad day, leave her alone.

Steve:

So, they’re less than less frequent. What’s a good day like then?

Charlotte:

A good day I would say is when I have a really, really busy day and my diabetes doesn’t interfere with that. So, obviously I still have to keep an eye on my blood sugars, and obviously I have to do my injections, but when it’s doing what it’s told, it doesn’t interfere with my day, like at all. Like I’m managing it, but it’s like it’s running in the background and I’m still able to do everything and I’ve got energy and I feel healthy and yeah, that’s a good day.

Steve:

So you must know quite a few other people who have diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2. How do you think you compare to them?

Charlotte:

I don’t think you can compare. I think everyone’s experience with diabetes is very unique. Everyone’s diagnosis is very unique. The way people feel about it is very unique. I don’t think you can compare one person with diabetes to another because it’s like anything. I think we’re all just very, very different.

Steve:

And I know you’ve accomplished quite a lot over the last few years. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment? Because I think it’s quite important to share that with people who might be sort of new to diabetes and think, “That’s it. I’m a sufferer now.” So yeah, they’ve labeled themselves and don’t realize that life does not need to be that much different. So yeah. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Charlotte:

My biggest accomplishment I would say is having my son. So, I have an 18 month old, 19 month old now called Arthur and he is by far my biggest accomplishment because, well, even without the diabetes, I didn’t actually think I could have children. So it’s a big accomplishment from that side of things. But with the diabetes, the way they drill it into about the control that you have to have during pregnancy to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and that your baby is healthy, I just thought this is like an impossible task.

Steve:

Yes.

Charlotte:

The control that you have to have is unreal and it is at a level where for that period of time, it does take over your life and you really have to put everything into controlling your blood sugar. So the fact that I did that and I had a beautiful healthy son at the end of it is by far my biggest accomplishment.

Steve:

And other accomplishments?

Charlotte:

Other accomplishments would be completely different to that. So, that’s like an overall life accomplishment. I think you know what I’m going to say is I did a, well I didn’t do one, I actually did three bodybuilding competitions.

Steve:

So I mean I think that’s a pretty big accomplishment for anyone, let alone someone who’s got to be so mindful of what they eat, drink and always being so conscious of everything, to achieve what you achieved there was pretty special.

Charlotte:

Yeah, it was. Yeah.

Steve:

Because that’s not just an overnight thing, isn’t it? I mean, that’s a long drawn out process.

Charlotte:

Yeah, yeah. It was. It was, I mean, for each competition I did maybe a three or four month bulk, so you go into bulk and I won’t bore you with the details of bodybuilding, but you go into a bulk where you build lots of muscle and then I did like a three month cut where you basically do everything to strip off your body fat so that you can see the muscle that you have built during your bulk. So yeah, it’s a long process and there’s a bit like with diabetes there’s a very small margin for error. So, you’re weighing everything, you’re eating at certain times, you’re working out at certain times, yeah, it’s full on. You knew me while I was doing this, so you’re aware how full on it actually was.

Steve:

Totally. Obviously, I was leading you down that path to say that because I think it just shows what’s possible for anybody but the, I’m not saying it’s easy to do that, it’s very much mental conditioning as much as anything else, isn’t it?

Charlotte:

Oh, 100% yeah, 100%. And I think you know this, that the main reason I did it was because somebody commented saying, I was basically saying I’d watched a program on it and found it fascinating like that people could get this control over everything and sculpt their body and I just found it all really fascinating and someone just blase said to me, “Oh, but you can’t do that because you’re diabetic.” And that was enough. That was just fuel.

Steve:

Which is brilliant and you know, I think you also became a physical trainer as well, didn’t you?

Charlotte:

Yeah.

Steve:

So, the whole process has been sort of life changing for you, which is fantastic. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out and do the bodybuilding and be full on sort of into fitness, but-

Charlotte:

No, absolutely not. And there’s actually, I really want to talk about that in another podcast actually, because there’s loads of reasons I would say don’t do that. I’m not saying it was, the process was a positive thing. It was a big achievement that I did it, but the main thing is I learnt so much from it, from the process and from the competing.

Steve:

I guess that’s part of what you want to share with people on your podcast and-

Charlotte:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Steve:

Well, fantastic. I think that brings us pretty much up to date. Any, well, just one last question. How strict are you on your diet and fitness these days?

Charlotte:

How strict am I on my diet? Fitness has changed very much since having my son. So, as you know, I used to train about six times a week. I get to a gym when I can get to a gym. But in between that, I try to be as active as I can be. So, I’ve mentioned actually in a previous podcast that lazy days are the hardest days to control my blood sugar. So I do try to be active.

Charlotte:

Diet-wise, I have one rule and I don’t diet, so I don’t do diets. I don’t deprive myself of any specific type of food. So, everyone has a completely different relationship with food. But me personally, I know from past experience that for me, deprivation actually leads to binging. If I kind of strip out food and say, “I can’t have this, I can’t have that,” then eventually I will eat that and much more of it than I should.

Steve:

So, it’s okay to have a good bar of chocolate every now and again?

Charlotte:

It is absolutely okay to have a good bar of chocolate.

Steve:

And that’s where I think we should end this interview because end on a high for me. But thank you very much. It was fascinating to learn a bit more. I dare say we could keep going for ages talking about this because I think your story is pretty inspirational and I dare say we can ask you more questions later.

Charlotte:

Absolutely. Thank you.

Steve:

Okay, so I’ve learned lots including a good bar of chocolate is okay, but let’s end on top three tips you give to anyone who’s just been diagnosed to help them maintain a normal life, let’s say, and possibly their sanity as well.

Charlotte:

Probably the hardest one to keep initially because there’s a lot going on in your head. Top three things. I would say become an expert because that was kind of the game changer for me. I don’t mean actually go out and get like a medical degree in diabetes or something, but ask questions and learn and join online communities and talk to people and listen to your diabetes team, as well. Because as much as we can all fall out with our diabetes consultants at sometimes, they do actually know what they’re talking about, as do the nurses. So I just think you can’t manage a condition that you know nothing about.

Charlotte:

Okay. Secondly, I would say don’t expect it to be perfect. So, if you strive for perfection, you’re just going to get really, really frustrated. You could literally do the same thing every day and eat the same things every day and inject the same things every day and your blood sugar still wouldn’t be perfect because there’s so many variables that we cannot control. So don’t beat yourself up. No one’s expecting you to get it perfect. Just do as well as you can do. Take it day by day and just be kind to yourself.

Steve:

Number three?

Charlotte:

Third tip. Okay, so a practical tip always carry hypo treatment everywhere. Like I have various handbags, all of which have a packet of dextrose in them or some Glucotabs and at home I’ve always got like Coca-Cola in the cupboard. But yeah, even if you’re literally just popping out, always make sure you have hypo treatment with you.

Steve:

Brilliant, very useful and the whole interview has been inspirational. Thank you very much for that. I’ve learned lots and I hope everyone else has, too.

Charlotte:

Okay. I hope that gave everyone a little insight into my own personal journey and hopefully a bit of an idea as to why I started Diabetic and Healthy. If you have enjoyed listening, please do hit subscribe and, until next time, have a happy and healthy time.

Speaker 1:

This episode has ended, but your journey towards a healthy and happy life continues. Head on over to diabeticandhealthy.com and join the conversation with other diabetics and their families. All the information in this episode is not designed to replace the advice from the health professional team looking after you and your diabetes. Before making any significant lifestyle changes, do consult them with your doctor.

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