Rod has a powerful personal story explaining why Australia needs a Diabetes Amputation Prevention Initiative
Rod was a typical outdoorsy bloke who loved getting in the 4WD on the weekend and heading up the Western Australian coast to throw a line in at Wedge Island.
Unfortunately, a delayed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes which lead to several diabetes-related amputations has made it much harder for him to get around.
“I had a foot ulcer which got so painful I couldn’t walk. I ended up in emergency where they tested my blood glucose levels and immediately diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes,” Rod said.
“Then they told me I’d have to have part of my foot amputated – it was a double whammy.”
The idea that type 2 diabetes could lead to something like a foot amputation was completely shocking to Rod.
“I thought type 2 diabetes was more like the common cold. I had no idea it could lead to an amputation,” Rod said.
“I’d felt unwell for a while, however my GP sent me home to rest. Looking back I probably had type 2 diabetes for a number of years before being diagnosed.
“To be honest I wasn’t in the best health. I was overweight, eating a lot of junk food and drinking and smoking too much but I just never imagined the consequences.
“We need to get better at educating people about type 2 diabetes and the various complications and encourage them to take action when things are preventable.”
Rod says he has turned his health around losing more than 50 kilograms but there was still more to do.
“I’ve still got an open would on my foot. I’ve had a swimming pool in the backyard for two years but I haven’t been able to swim in it,” he said.
“What’s passed is passed though, I’m looking after my type 2 diabetes and I’m trying to get on with my life. I’ve got two kids and a wonderful wife and I want to stay healthy for them.