The group was founded in 2003 with much help from the local Lions in La Cala de Mijas. News was reaching us of newly diagnosed diabetics who were rarely given enough information at the local doctor’s surgery. They were often told “you are diabetic! Take these tablets!” Language barriers didn’t help and so two Lions, Anne and Frank Bowles formed the Diabetic Support Group. The aim was to create a forum where diabetics and their families could meet in a friendly and supportive atmosphere with others living with the same issues. Although it comes as a shock to learn you have diabetes with good control you can teach diabetes to live with you. The importance of self-management has been on the education of diabetes and related issues…….e.g. foot care and risk of amputation, heart and stroke problems, eye care etc. Unfortunately an appointment to the relevant departments for specialist tests is not always offered although the diabetic is entitled to these extra examinations. With good luck we were introduced to a specialist in diabetes – Dr Francisco M Gomez Trujillo of the Beafranin Clinic in Fuengirola. Having studied in the USA and lectured all over the world in 2003 he was saddened by the level of expertise in diabetes care generally in Spain and was hoping to re-educate local doctors working from his newly-formed local clinic. Over the years Dr Gomez has willingly helped many of our members with emergency information and care etc and his help has been invaluable. 19 years later the situation is slow to improve at the various health centres but this may be because there is so little time to offer the patient as the busy doctors have only 4 minutes to explain a condition which could take years to fully understand! In our team we have other specialists to whom we can turn – Dr Matti Tolonen a nutritionist who gives us regular updates on natural medicines helpful for diabetics. Dr Antonio Cuesta a specialist who is researching in genes and the inherited risk of diabetes and our nurse practitioner Finola who is an important member of our team at our meetings…….not forgetting Di Mather our very kind receptionist. We are so grateful to all these people together with Fay from Angels Nursing who also comes to our meetings to offer advice, blood pressure and glucose tests. As well as the information offered, our members are encouraged to talk about their condition and hopefully relate to other members suffering from similar problems. Our regular speakers offer informative talks on many subjects including dentistry, hearing loss, eye care, foot care, physiotherapy, chiropractics, emotions, nutrition and weight control, glucose monitoring, physical activity, medication, reducing risk and the latest technology and news for diabetics.
If you would like to come along to one of our meetings we hold them at Bar Tuta Jardines Botanico, La Cala de Mijas, 11am on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month.
Our helpline continues to be a success in supporting diabetics. We are willing to meet anyone who is interested to learn more about diabetes – as well as those with this condition – outside our normal Bi monthly meetings in La Cala. For more information about us scroll through our booklet below, by clicking on the pages.
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