Page 0020


continued over

decided otherwise and carried on. He

inspired me immensely.

"I was a child actor for a while

and once I was in a restaurant with a

chaperone who told me, when I tried

to do an injection 'you can't do that

here'. But my dad said to me, 'never be

ashamed of your diabetes.' Then came

along disposable insulin pens and they've

become, a bit like my phone, something

that I'm always trying to find! It's a pretty

awful feeling if I lose it. The great thing

about disposable pens is that you if you

lose one, you just grab another."

Rookie mistakes

Due to his career path, Gourkan has

done a fair bit of travelling and has found

that in some countries diabetes is seen

as, 'an illness; you are sick, disabled, and

should stay indoors.' I once had a bad

hypo in Turkey during a match and it lost

me my job. It was a rookie mistake, but

there was no time to feel sorry for myself.

The football club saw me as a liability and

didn't want me any more. But having Type

I does not mean you can't have a vision of

what you want to do with your life. After

that I came home and decided to get into

the music business. I was very busy. It

was hard to do blood tests and get food

at regular times, or to judge doses. I had

lots of hypos and some were quite scary;

I'd drop to the floor and was apparently

was losing my hypo symptoms.

The great news was that by then fivesecond testing had turned

up and was

a joy! So, over time there have been

slow but sure improvements, including

testing not hurting much at all these days.

Diabetes technology has continued to


"I've found that stress causes

mayhem for my diabetes control but I've

found that technology is really important

as it helps you cope, taking away some of

the anxiety about living with the condition.

It took me five years to get an insulin

pump, I kept pushing but was told 'no,

not just yet'. I continue to get a lot of help

from my dad. I was offered the chance to

go on a DAFNE course (Dose Adjustment

for Normal Eating). But I didn't want to do

it, I thought, 'I don't want to talk to other

diabetics'. Of course, the opposite was

true, as it turned out. When I finally went

on the course it was great and I loved the

people I met."

At this time, Gourkan was still having

what he referred to as 'demonic hypo

episodes.' He was attending the East

Surrey Hospital who put him on an AccuChek Insight insulin pump. "I was so

pleased," he says, "I loved it if people

asked me about it so I could tell them

and raise awareness of what it was like

to live with diabetes. At the end of the

day you have to do what's best for you.

Not everyone needs or wants the same

thing. It is the same with comparing your

HbA1c, what's the point? You are running

your own race and need to look after you.

Health is your wealth."

Health wealth

Gourkan admits that he hates to see high

blood sugar results when testing or using

CGM. He now attends Warwick Hospital

where he asked for CGM and was given

a Dexcom G6 just two weeks before

attending the Input Fusion conference.

He still has difficulty with his control,

but he says that, "Thanks to the efforts

of - among others - Dr Partha Kar, who

helped spearhead getting the FreeStyle

Libre sensor technology onto tariff on

the NHS. He, and others, are working

to get more technology to more people

with diabetes. We will all just have to keep

taking small steps in the right direction." "You are running your

own race and need to

look after you. Health

is your wealth.

- Jonsel Gourkan


  1. Desang Diabetes Magazine, free online diabetes magazine
  2. Medtronic Minimed 640G insulin pump
  3. Page 0003
  4. Accu-Chek Insight insulin pump for Animas users
  5. Diabetes UK Swansea Type 1 Tech conference November 2019
  6. Page 0006
  7. Home test HbA1c A1C Now
  8. Page 0008
  9. BD, Becton Dickinson, injection kit, injection technique, injecting insulin, injection education, fr
  10. Page 0010
  11. Dexcom CGM, continuous glucose monitoring
  12. Partha Kar, Desang diabetes news
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Desang Range of Diabetes Kitbags, Desang Classic Kitbag, Desang blood test diary
  16. JDRF Input Fusion, diabetes technology
  17. JDRF Input Fusion, Professor Partha Kar, diabetes technology
  18. JDRF Input Fusion, diabetes technology
  19. JDRF Input Fusion, diabetes technology
  20. Page 0020
  21. Kaleido insulin pump, patch pump, ViCentra diabetes
  22. Page 0022
  23. Trividia Health UK True Metrix blood glucose monitoring (BGM)
  24. JDRF, INPUT, diabetes technology, access diabetes technology
  25. Omnipod Insulet insulin pump with insulin pods, podders
  26. ABCD DTN Diabetes Technology Network, Flash Glucose Monitoring education programme
  27. Abbott Freestyle Libre, Flash Glucose Monitoring
  28. Desang Diabetes Magazine, free online diabetes magazine
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Ascensia Contour Next One Diabetes blood test meters
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  34. Chef Anjula Devi, Manchester United, Indian food
  35. Chef Anjula Devi, Manchester United, Indian food, female indian chef
  36. Making Carbs Count
  37. Making Carbs Count white beans, Fenland Celery, carb counting for diabetes
  38. Accu-Chek Insight insulin pump for Animas users
  39. Accu-Chek Insight insulin pump for Animas users
  40. Desang Diabetes Magazine, free online diabetes magazine

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