My diabetes kit Josh Golding


and at home at weekends. The schedule

meant he played tennis every morning

and did his education in the afternoon.

When he was 18, Golding went

to Cowley Community College in the

United States, partly funded by a tennis

scholarship. "It was in Kansas," he says,

"and had great tennis facilities. I was a

bit more on my own when I was there,

none of the other students had diabetes

as far as I know, but then at that stage

I was quite closed to talking about it. I

came back to the UK a couple of times a

year and did my clinic visits back at Milton

Keynes during those trips. I came back

when I was 21 by which stage I would say

that I'd gone a little bit off the grid at that

point in terms of my control."

Family matters

Golding is the youngest in his family with

four elder brothers and sisters, so he says

that there tends to be quite a lot going

on with family events and get-togethers.

However he says, "I am the only one in

the family with diabetes. I found that

continuing to learn has really helped

me; self-education was definitely a way I

found of coping and continues to benefit

me, and I think it helps others if I continue

to communicate my experience. I love

sharing that information. I'm involved in

a local children-with-diabetes group in

Milton Keynes. I mention my diabetes

when I'm teaching the children at the

tennis club I currently work at. I think it

helps them to understand that they can

overcome obstacles too."

Now 25, Golding plays tournaments

and coaches tennis at a tennis club in

Milton Keynes. "I am a tennis player by

profession and coach the sport as well.

A typical day involves coaching groups

from 3pm, then I do children's coaching

from 5pm to 8pm either in groups or as

individuals. To a great extent I have to

fit around the schedule and I try to plan

ahead, so if I'm playing a talented player

I reduce my insulin to 30% as I know I'm

going to be running around and hitting the

ball a lot! I just see it as a challenge. I test

as much as I possibly can."

"As far as I can see, living with diabetes

and doing a sport is a very healthy way

to live. I think that doing a sport keeps

you aware. It can help you keep on top

of the rest of your life, including diabetes

if you happen to have it. The first time I

meet someone that I'm about to coach

I explain that I have diabetes and I might

have to do a blood test sometimes. They

are usually quite curious. If it's a child,

then the parents are also forewarned just

so they are not taken by surprise. Not that

it's a big deal, but I don't see any point

in hiding it. So far everyone's been okay

about it. I think diabetes is basically quite

good to me. It's a healthy lifestyle. If I'm

out playing tournaments I do the same

drill as when I'm coaching, but with even

more blood tests, doing one pretty much

after each game. That might be around

30 in a two-hour match. The blood test

meter I use is an Accu-Chek Performa

Nano. It's small and easy to carry around

a very simple to use."

At the moment Golding is using an

Accu-Chek Spirit insulin pump and he

says, "I adjust my dose a lot depending

what I'm doing, and I find that that works

for me. I have pretty stable blood sugars

most of the time. If I go for a night out and

drink beer I might give myself a little bit

more insulin, but then I will drop it right

down again for the morning. My HbA1c

has stayed at about 7mmols for years; it's

very steady."

" I mention my diabetes when I'm teaching the children at

the tennis club I currently work at. I think it helps them to

understand that they can overcome obstacles too."


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