Faces of diabetes tell their stories
IT wasn’t a midlife crisis that caused Emerald local Matthew Hilditch to change his lifestyle, but being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Matthew, along with 59 other Queenslanders, are sharing their stories as part of the 60 Faces of type 2 diabetes stand in Brisbane’s King George Square this week.
Held as part of National Diabetes week, the installation features life-size images and personal stories as 60 Queenslanders are diagnosed with the disease every day.
Matthew was diagnosed at 34-35 and stressed the disease is irreversible.
“Foolish is the best word to describe how I felt,” he said of being diagnosed. “You don’t expect to have a failing body in your mid-30s.
“It is daunting to come to grips with something that is incurable and self-inflicted.
“I did not know whether I had it in me to make a positive change and the uncertainty was a series of terrible thoughts making it worse – the unknown can be very daunting.”
Matthew said because he lived his life at “a million miles” it meant that basic rules regarding meals and eating times were broken.
“I always knew I ate the wrong foods and at the wrong time but my diagnosis has certainly prompted a positive change,” he said.
“It forced a change to the things I knew I should be doing - making healthier food choices, working out and ‘smelling the roses’.
“Now I’m careful what I put in my body, I drink more water, I eat at set times throughout the day, and most importantly I get to teach these things to my five and seven-year-old sons.”
Teaching his sons to make good food choices was important to Matthew, along with promoting physical activity through taking part in sports and activities.
Matthew said it was better to teach his boys to be smart and aware of being healthy now rather than when it was too late.