ROUTINE, challenge and courage are the three words Barry Goodall lives by for good health.
More than 60 years have passed since his type one diabetes diagnosis: routine has been vital to manage his condition; he accepts the challenge this can often be difficult; and, he has the courage to keep living his life to the fullest, rather than be dictated by the disease.
Diabetes Victoria this week honoured Mr Goodall with the Kellion Victory Medal for 60 years’ surviving, but importantly living, with diabetes.
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An active Mr Goodall, now aged 72, was four years old when his parents first noticed the signs. He still remembers an insatiable thirst.
“When mum would put a bowl out for the cat, I would grab the cat’s milk to sip. When the tap was dripping, I wanted to climb up to the sink,” Mr Goodall said.
Hospital stays were common as Mr Goodall adjusted to his condition and again as a teenager when he moved on to synthetic insulin. Mr Goodall said Ballarat Health Services staff have taken care of him on his whole diabetes journey and he still enjoyed checking in with the BHS diabetic education centre.
Medical technology to help treat and monitor diabetics has dramatically changed in his lifetime. Mr Goodall started on glass syringes, constantly needing sterilisation in methylated spirits, but has now long used injection pens.
While younger people living with diabetes might have access to new, computerised technology, his advice is the same: listen to your body.
“Keep at it,” Mr Goodall said. “If you’ve carry jellybeans on you, you’ve always got a handful if need. Even when I’m over at the senior citizens club and someone says I’m looking a bit hot, I always check my blood sugar to make sure.”
A keen walker, Mr Goodall lives independently with a busy social schedule, including ten-pin bowling. His sister Glenda Baume checks in at least three times daily.
Mr Goodall thanks his parents for their devotion to portion controls and limiting sweet treats during his childhood – and always racing up to school with a jar of sugar when needed.