Hi

Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Finally thought I should join the forum after years of lurking!

I am Chris, aged 36 from Wolverhampton and I have been Type 1 since 1986; diagnosed at 14 months old, my former doctor used to tell me that I was the youngest person in the UK to be diagnosed at that point (A very poor claim to fame!)

I have recently started using FreeStyle Libre 2 and I don't mind saying that it is the most positive change in my diabetes management for at least the last 15 years; I only wish that I had started using it sooner. I regulate my blood sugar with a Basil Bolus mix of Novorapid and Lantus, although I may be tempted to use a pump in the future.

I am married with two young kids (Who are far more exhausting than diabetes can ever be!) and work as a railway signalman, having finally convinced Network Rail after 3 medicals that diabetics are capable of performing safety critical work.

I don't resent having diabetes (It is part of me at the end of the day) but I look forward to the day that a cure is found.
 

Peely66

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi Chris,
I was a lurker for a little while (not years though). I was diagnosed at the age of 22 3 years after you so I'm coming up to 33 years with it. I often think that I was fortunate to get it in my 20s as any younger and my family just wouldn't have known how to cope with it! Plus I got a lot of the partying out of my system by then although, come to think of it, I did do a fair bit of partying afterwards too!
I'm on same regime as you Novorapid and Lantus and have just got a freebie LIbre2 from Abbott to see how I get on with it. Do you self fund for that? Did you really want to be a signal man then? As you obviously had diabetes before the job and must have really pushed for it.
Welcome to the forum. Lots of good people on here and lots of great info.
Neil
 
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi Neil,

I find an early diagnosis helped me, in that I can't remember a time of not being diabetic. With regards to Libre 2, they are having a push on it in Wolverhampton PCT at the moment, so it is free (For now at least) but if I had to pay I would do so, it has made such a difference.

I will be honest the job appealed to me for years. I joined the Civil Service straight out of university but the railway was where I wanted to be; I was originally offered a job at a small, single-manned signal box but failed the medical as Network Rail would not allow Type 1's to do safety critical work alone. I later applied for a job at a more modern, multi-manned signalling centre and was allowed to join, indeed there are 3 Type 1's at my location, I have since learned that it was unofficial policy at the time to move signallers, who were diagnosed with diabetes while in service, to such mutli-manned locations to get round the regulation. It is all moot now however as Type 1's are allowed to do safety critical work alone, subject to a stricter medical. Attitudes towards diabetes have improved on the railway in the time that I have been there.

Cheers
 

Cherrelle DUK

Online Community Coordinator
Staff member
Hi Chris, welcome to the forum.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It's really inspiring to hear that you've been dealing this for a while and have managed to lead a fulfilling life from such a young age.

It appears though a few people have struggled with doing shift work and managing diabetes so it's great that you were able to have the career you desired regardless.

Do let us know if there's anything we can do to support you.
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Post-apocalyptic Pete

Glad that you have taken the plunge and joined, and great to read your experience of the changes in policy for employment on the railways. I think access to the Libre has made so much difference to people and is likely to give employees more confidence in our effective management with data so readily available.

I look forward to hearing more from you.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Pale green trolley buses and two railway stations - Low level for us (God's Wonderful Railway) and High Level (LMS) for the Brummies etc.

Things have moved on haven't they!
 

Zedgeezer

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Good to see you've joined Chris,
I am the father of a guy in a similar environment, i.e. Track based worker but diagnosed very young (Under 2 years), and I think this makes a massive difference to both attitude and ability to control the situation. Both my son and I work on track but I have 40 years more knowledge of our company. He is going through serious grief at the moment because when he has a medical from our favourite health provider he was totally in the lap of their decisions. It seems to depend on the knowledge / understanding of the medical officer and whether they understand the Libra 2 system.
When he first applied to join the company at 18 yrs old the enlightened examiner passed him fit to work on the track unaccompanied (apparently, possibly the first time this had ever happened), at a later medical this was recinded to "must be accompanied at all times", then NWR over ruled this for "Audit reasons?" and removed all his safety critical competences, and due to Covid stuff told him until this was sorted out he had to stay at home. This was about 6 months ago and he is still stuck at home awaiting another medical, not knowing what will be decided on that day.
Not a comforting position for a young man trying to go forward in a career, and not a particularly consistent approach from our health provider or employer.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Post-apocalyptic Pete

And congratulations on your delurking :)

We’ve had a few members in recent years who have been struggling with Network Rail and the safety-critical nature of their roles, so we will be glad of your input on the forum if those threads surface again.

We have plenty of folks using pumps, sensors and other fancy gizmos for you to compare notes with too. So if you decide to follow up on the idea of an insulin pump there are plenty of brains to pick :)
 
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