Talking About Complications

There’s always a veil of doom and gloom when we think about diabetes complications. But diabetes-related complications is a part of diabetes that we need to acknowledge. Our latest Global Postcard flies in from the UK, where the Grumpy Pumper shares his complication story and his quest to break down the taboo and shame associated with diabetes-related complications.

Talking About Complications: A story by Grumpy Pumper

My name is Grumps and I have a “Diabetic Complication”

It already sounds like a confession, doesn’t it?
Like it’s something I did wrong.
Like it’s my fault.

It’s bloody well not!

I did all the right things…..

Daily foot check – picked up a blister.
It had burst.
So, I cleaned and dressed it daily.
It healed over and looked ok.

After a few weeks, I noticed a slight discharge (I love that word. It’s almost as good as oozing)
I kept an eye on it and the discharge got bigger.

I did what anyone would do: I gave it a little sniff…..
Hmmmm. That didn’t smell the best….

I did what anyone would do next:
I had a little poke about….
The skin broke and it wasn’t the best thing I’d ever seen!
Somehow under the skin it had got some kind of infection.
It is festering (now, I really do LOVE that word).

To cut a short story long, I got it looked at by the nurse who referred me to a podiatrist.
Five months of weekly dressing and treatment by them, along with me keeping it clean and dry, it was healing well. Slowly but well.

Then, it got infected!
Feck knows.
But it did.
Full on, proper, plumb purple and swollen.
I got it looked at.

It’s getting sorted.
It will be ok in time.

Why am I telling you all of this?
Well, I posted some pics and told my story on social media, and it started a conversation.
People wanted to talk about their complications.
Some for the first time!

Funny, isn’t it?

We share openly about our lives with diabetes.
No subject is off limits.
The kit we use, the food we eat, even about diabetes and sex (in my case, a short story….)
We post pictures of CGM or Libre on various body parts.

Complications are almost taboo.

They shouldn’t be.
They are not our fault.
We can’t guarantee avoiding them.
We can just try to minimise the risks.

Complications are a hazard of what we have,
Not a failing of what we do!

So let’s #TalkAboutComplications.

Live Long and Bolus,


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