When I was about 6 years old my Grandmother, Doris, had a bad nose-bleed so bad that after several hours she was taken to hospital, the eventual diagnosis was diabetes! Nana had, for her at least, suffered quite a shock and back then in the mid 1970’s the probability of further complications, loss of sight or needing to have limbs amputated was relatively high, the option to live a normal life was considerably less than it is today.
The shock to Nana, was a blessing in disguise, from that time to this very day my Nana has been one of the most disciplined diabetics there ever has been, for well over 30 years she has taken a blood sugar test, weighed and calculated her carbohydrates and injected herself with insulin – recording her actions and results 3 to 4 times a day.
Her personal discipline has enabled her to test and use some of the newest and most advanced technologies for diabetes, with her consultant, at the time, wanting her to be an early adopter due to the rigor of her personal discipline and attention to detail.
Her commitment to healthy living also included many aspects of exercise – unfortunately she has now given up sea swimming – due to old age (she’d have probably training with me otherwise). She gave up riding her bike, well into her eighties, when she fell off in the rian, breaking her hip. But it wasnt until she’d passed 85 before she gave up her water aerobics! – Today at the age of 91 she still lives on her own, pays bridge once a week and makes a daily walk to ‘burn off those calories’ and keep her weight under control!!!!
However, in addition to all of the above, the reason for dedicating this swim to Nana, is due to the love of life she has taught her whole family: her 2 children her 5 grandchildren and her 9 great grandchildren, the love of friendship, the love of beach holidays and sea swimming, the love of card games and most of all the love of family, by blood or by marriage Nana is rightly proud of the close and supportive family she has natured and nurtured, we know you love us Nana and I hope you know we all love you dearly too.
For several years, Nana has been a keen supporter of my fundraising and every time she’s given generously, she always mentioned… “you said, you’d do your next challenge for Diabetes”
Well, better late than never! – Nana, this one’s for you!