Denise's story

Denise Millington, 49, suffered the symptoms of type 2 diabetes for 2 years before seeking medical help, but her own diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have. eventually helped her to identify that her son-in-law had a similar condition.

It started some years ago. I used to go to the shops with my friend and all of a sudden I would feel really dizzy and as though I was going to faint. I used to say to her, 'Gosh, I feel really weird. I need something sweet or chocolaty.' As soon as I ate something sweet or chocolaty I felt better and that continued for about 2 years.

My friend told me I really needed to get it checked out. But I didn't feel it was life-threatening and I thought, 'Why bother the doctor with this? I just feel a bit dizzy, but if I eat chocolate I'm fine.' I didn't think it was anything serious. But her constant pushing made me go to the doctor's, just to shut her up, so I could say, 'I've been now and everything's fine.' But she was right.

I had to go on these tablets and I thought that it would all just blow over - not even realising that it was for the rest of my life.

I had the tests done and my doctor confirmed that I was a diabetic, but not one who has to inject insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. and he told me that we would have to keep an eye on it.

I actually felt relieved knowing what it was because it was really confusing for me when I felt weird. I had to go on these tablets and I thought that it would all just blow over - not even realising that it was for the rest of my life.

It was a bit frightening at first, thinking that you've got to be popping these pills for ever. But I wasn't too concerned because it was just two tablets a night and I thought, 'Oh well, that's no hardship.'

Once I got myself established on the tablets everything eked itself out. I didn't notice a difference immediately, because it took a couple of weeks for them to get into my system, but then I noticed that I wasn't getting the dizziness and I wasn't feeling the need for sweet things anymore. It gradually made my life better because I wasn't fearful of going out in case I felt faint at any moment. So it did make things a lot easier.

However, over the 3 years that I have had diabetes, I have had to have my dosage increased. I have never had to go on insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., so I am pleased about that, but I take five tablets every morning and six tablets at night, which is a burden, especially if you are going out anywhere for the night and are staying over. You've got to think not only of the tablets you take at night, but the ones in the morning as well. You feel like you are shaking, rattling and rolling because you have got to carry all these pills around.

This does upset me sometimes. I think, 'I'm a bit of a freak because I've got to take this every morning.' It does make me feel as though there is a lot wrong with me because I have to do this.

I try to outweigh it by saying as least I haven't got heart trouble like my mum had or I haven't got problems with my lungs like my dad had - he had TB and died at an early age. At least if I control my exercise and take my tablets I'm going to be OK, so in that way I try to look at the positives.

The other positive was when my daughter came to me saying that she was concerned because her boyfriend was always wanting to go to the toilet bathroom and drinking a lot. I was able to tell her that it was the first stages of diabetes. He was then diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.