Ibrahim* found a way to tell his family what he needed from them.
About five years ago I received a shock with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. I had been feeling unwell for a long time and I was overweight and very unfit. I was 43 years years old, weighed about 17 stone and I’m not tall, so for a guy of my height that’s a problem. I was also drinking a lot of alcohol and smoked about 20 cigarettes a day. I was on medication for anxiety, blood pressure, depression, heart palpitations, cholesterol and acid reflux. To be honest, I felt ashamed to be so ill and withdrew into myself and found it very hard to accept help from my family and friends - my home life became quite strained, particularly with my children. Initially after my diagnosis I had a fair bit of help from the medical team but to be honest, after a while I felt quite abandoned and unsupported. I’ve seen the diabetes team and my doctor about twice a year, but there didn’t seem to be a way out for me and I have felt moments of deep despair.
After meeting my health coach for the first time I became aware of how I had mentally shut myself off. I discussed my family situation and we talked about ways I could involve them in helping me come to terms and start to manage my illness. We talked about my diet and what levels of exercise I am getting and what I felt would make a difference to me. My wife has always done the cooking in our house and I normally eat what she puts on the table, which is sometimes not good for my diabetes. So together with my coach we agreed how I would support her to produce a menu that’s more appropriate for my condition. I've also started going to the gym with my son.
I feel like a new person! In three months my diet has improved beyond recognition and I’ve lost nearly three and a half stone. I’m now much more confident and feel in control. I still have bad days but I have also joined the online communities in My Health My Way and I sometimes share my experiences with other people there, which I find really helpful.
It doesn't matter if you don't know what you want or what could help you; a health coach will discuss your situation with you and help you decide what's important for you.
KYOH provide all the key components for the successful implementation of self-management support, including face-to-face health coaching, a comprehensive online coaching platform and all the training and supervision needed to establish a high quality supported self-management service.
*People have kindly agreed to share their stories but names (and other identifying details, where appropriate) have been changed for privacy purposes. Note to participants: if you would like us to make an amendment to your story for privacy or accuracy purposes, please contact your coach via the relevant service. Photographs courtesy of John Birdsall Social Issues Picture Library.
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