Our HelpLine – 607 879 450 – continues to be a success in supporting diabetics: We are willing to meet anyone with diabetes outside our normal monthly meetings in Mijas Costa.
Background – The group was founded in 2003 with much help from the local Lions. News was reaching us of newly-diagnosed diabetics who were rarely given the correct information at the local doctor’s surgeries. They were often told ‘You’re diabetic. Take these tablets!’ Language barriers did not help and so we decided to begin our support group. The aim was to create a forum where diabetics could meet in a friendly and supportive atmosphere with others who are living with the same issues. It can be frightening to find out you have diabetes but with good control you can learn to live with it… or let diabetes learn to live with you!
Information is essential for all-important self-management so the emphasis has been on education and information about diabetes and related issues e.g.. foot-care and risks of amputation, and other risk factors such as heart and stroke problems and eye care.
Important also are the social gatherings and fund-raising in order to be able to assist diabetics. Spain is at present behind the times in some ways with regard to diabetes: the medication offered is often not the latest – to say the least – and a visit to the specialist is rarely offered. With good luck we were introduced to a specialist in diabetes, Dr Francisco M Gomez Trujillo of the Beafranin Clinic in Fuengirola, who had studied in USA. He was saddened by the level of expertise in diabetes care of the local doctors and was hoping to re-educate them and provide his own centre. He offers a great deal of information to us as well as specialist consultations with our members. We also have a Finnish Doctor, Dr. Matti Tolonen, a nutritionist, who gives us regular updates on the latest news on nutrition for diabetes, Dr. Alfonso Cuesta and our nurse Finola, who are regular visitors to our meetings.