Diabetic & Me

Lewis Butler

Lewis Butler

Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.

Hey everyone! My name is Lewis Butler. I’m 26 years old and currently living in England. I have Type 1 diabetes for a total of 2 months.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in February 2020. I currently work in IT where I specialize in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. I love meeting new people, sports, and the outdoors.

Ever since being diagnosed I have connected and interacted with many T1D’s who are supportive and it allows me to see how other people deal with it. It has given me the confidence to share my T1D journey.

The type 1 diagnosis did come as a huge shock to me and has been hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I have this disease for the rest of my life. I am fortunate enough to live in the UK were healthcare is free and I don’t have to pay for my medication and any other kit that I need.

“My diagnosis did come as a huge shock to me and has been hard for me.”

Your treatment

How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?

Luckily I have amazing friends, family, co-workers and an amazing diabetes team at the hospital who are always available to provide advice to me at any time and give me great support.

Currently I use the long acting insulin Tresiba and the rapid action insulin Novorapid at every meal and for corrections. I like to stay active and follow healthy habits as this helps.

I think I manage my diabetes well because my sugars are well controlled. I am always keeping my blood glucose readings in range. But the mental issues with diabetes have been hard for me as there is allot to take in and to be aware of. Especially with just recently being diagnosed, which I know will get easier in the long term.

Lewis Butler
Lewis Butler

Can you recognize the symptoms of a low/high blood sugar? Do you test often and can you tell a bit more about your experiences with low blood sugar?

Yes, I can recognize them. I get shakiness, dizziness, jelly legs, start sweating and hungry.

I currently check my blood sugars at least 8 times a day. At the moment I currently have to prick my fingers.

I use fast acting glucose tablets, Haribo candies or which ever snacks I can lay my hands on.

Food and diet

How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?

I always make sure I have 3 meals a day and try to keep to the same times each day, but I currently work shifts where some days this is not possible.

For breakfast normally around 8am I either have cereal (Bran Flakes) or I will have scrambled egg and toast.

Lunch is either at 12am or 1pm depending on how busy I am with work. This is often a chicken dish or I will have some tuna. Sometimes I may have some leftovers from the night before. I always make sure I have snacks during the day. Either some fruit, cheese or granola bars.

Dinner I have around 6pm or 7pm. Normally I have some kind of meat dish with either salad, vegetables or rice/pasta. I never skip any meals.

I love pizza! I have also started baking allot with my best bake being peanut butter cookies. I like eating out at Italian and burger restaurants.

I don’t vary my insulin dose if I eat something different. I try to follow the same routine no matter what I eat. Or I will avoid bad food all together.

I try to drink at least 3 liters of water a day.

I don’t find being on a diet restrictive but I do find it annoying when people ask me about eating certain food. Before being diagnosed I have always had a healthy diet so I don’t mind it. There is definitely a misconception around people with type 1 diabetes and the food we can eat. We can eat what we want but got to ensure that we inject the correct amount of Insulin to cover the carbohydrates in the food.

Lewis Butler

Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?

I think that for anyone, a plant based diet can have positive and negative effects. Obviously more vegetables, less carbs and processed foods is healthier for anyone.

Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?

Adding carbs information to restaurant menus would make life so much easier!!

“You can refuse food you don’t want and blame it on diabetes – no one will ever argue!”

Exercise and work

Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?

I try to exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week. I either go to the gym or I go for a run of 5 or 10 kilometers at the coast.

I currently work in IT. The job sometimes has an affect on my blood sugar readings depending on how stressful my day has been.

Lewis Butler

Final

Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?

No, I just always make sure I have a balanced and healthy diet.

The hardest part is the general toll it takes. You have to think about everything in a different way to someone without diabetes. Whether that is food, exercise, keeping hypo treatments with you at all times, collecting supplies from the pharmacy and more. It is tiring at times.

The best part is free prescriptions for life, meeting awesome people and you can refuse food you don’t want and blame it on diabetes – no one will ever argue!

I can get really frustrated when things aren’t on track, and sometimes worry about the future.

What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?

It can be challenging and tiring and not being able to comment on the condition because they do not understand it and how it affects each individual.

As a recently diagnosed type 1 diabetic I have reached out to fellow diabetics who have said it gets easier and have provided me with allot of advice. Since I have been diagnosed I have learnt so much. You will too.

Do your best to look after yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for support and utilise your medical professionals’ expertise.

What would you ask the other diabetics?

What’s your funniest diabetes related story?

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

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Hey! I'm Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.

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