MOH and I are voluntary participants in a diabetes study at Fremantle Hospital and we have to attend every two years for tests, tests and even more tests.
We had to be there at 9am this year and to have fasted since the previous evening. First off blood tests, then weight and height measurements (I have actually grown in the last two years which I put down to my two hip replacements....my surgeon said it would straighten me up thus helping my poor old back a little - they did check the measurement twice and yes, I am a little taller). ECGs (multiple of) and photos of my eyes, breathing tests (had to breath in and out very deeply for 6 minutes and then the usual blow test you do for asthma) and then tests to see how sensitive my feet are. Even had blood pressure tests done on my ankles...never had a cuff on there before and it hurt a little too. Should have had a few more tests but the silly computer went bung so not sure what they would have been.....perhaps find out in two years time.
I am sure there were other things they did to me but can't recall what they were right now; there was just so much going on.
Eventually some lovely sandwiches and a cup of coffee and then a lengthy interview with so many questions. Incidentally, we had already completed about 12 pages of questions, including a list of our current medications, at home before we went to the hospital.
The people in the diabetes unit at Fremantle Hospital are real people people if that makes sense. All have a great sense of humour and are so great. It was good to see Wendy again whom we knew from when we were in the Field Study for 6 years (she is married to our lovely professor - our private endocrinologist ... he was there too of course 'cos he is head of the department).
As I said we arrived at 9am and finally left at 1pm - we were fortunate to find an ACROD parking spot right at the front door of the building....a disabled parking spot for those that don't know what ACROD stands for....so I didn't have far to walk and I had my trusty walking stick.
I must admit the following day I was a bit stiff and achy which I think was from climbing on and off the 'beds' for various tests but being stiff and achy is sort of par for the course with me anyway so no complaints. At least I am alive to feel the aches and pains and that is the main thing I focus on.
Why do we do this and subject ourselves to all these tests? We both feel that anything we can contribute towards research of this insiduous disease must in time benefit future generations and as a dear member of our family also has Type 2 diabetes who knows if grandchildren may also succumb one day. I think it is important for folk to not only be organ donors but help in other ways with worthwhile research projects.
Tracy told us that they would like another 600 volunteers to help fill out the study so if anybody knows of anyone that has diabetes and lives in the greater Fremantle area could you perhaps suggest to them they volunteer to take part in this study.
All being well MOH and I will be back there in two years time....hard to imagine at that time he will be 82 and I will be 80. Nothing like being positive about the future!!