#DiabetesStories featuring Richard AKA 'Creeky'

Emerald man Richard, AKA ‘Creeky’, was on top of his diabetes management until a truck accident at work damaged his spine. Now that he can’t exercise, he is finding diabetes management more difficult.

We spoke to Creeky as part of our #DiabetesStories series, where we take an up-close and personal look into someone's life with diabetes.

Read on to hear his story and the important message he wants to share with the community.

Richard says he’s never had much difficulty managing his type 2 diabetes.

He found that with regular exercise and a managed diet, he was able to maintain an average blood glucose level of around 8mmol/L without medication.

But everything changed for Richard just over two years ago, when he was involved in a bad truck accident at work that damaged his spine.

His injuries mean he can’t do the things that once helped him manage his diabetes.

Richard is on medication now, but he can’t exercise and that makes managing blood glucose levels difficult.

While he tries to stay positive, his injury, his new medications and the ups-and-downs of diabetes management make it tough. He often experiences feelings of depression.

We asked Richard, "What do you do when you're struggling and what advice would you share with others who are experiencing the same?"

"I talk to someone, and I recommend people who are struggling talk to someone as well," he said.

Richard also says he leans on his Credentialled Diabetes Educator for support and they are always there when he needs someone to talk to or vent to.

"Not just people living with diabetes, but people around you, in your networks, outside of the community," he said.

Richard told us about his interest in birds and bird watching. It’s helped him meet some great people who support him.

He also said the Diabetes Australia Facebook page has helped him immensely in times where he's needed a little extra support.

Richard said it's best to be open with your loved ones about your feelings and tell them when you are having a bad day. This helps them understand so they can be extra patient with you on those days.

"Don't be afraid to speak up about your needs and be open with people around you, because they are there to support you and there is nothing wrong with leaning on people to help you through. Be kind to yourself and know that you are not alone."

Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story, Richard!

If you or someone you know is struggling with their diabetes management, don't be afraid to reach out to our Helpline on 1800 637 700