"I FELT sick, like I had done something wrong”.
Joy Paterson, 63, said when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two-and-a-half years ago, she caught completely off guard.
After having tests for something else, learning she had the illness was the last thing she expected.
"I couldn't believe it and at the start I was devastated,” Ms Patterson said.
"I wasn't overweight and don't fit the stereotype for type for type 2 - but I found out I'm genetic, so there's nothing I could have done to stop it really.
"After going to the first diabetic educator I wasn't going to go in medication, but after going to see a second educator I understood the consequences if I didn't take it and look after myself.”
Ms Paterson said since her diagnosis, her life had changed for the better.
While still living a normal life, she said her eating habits have changed and she has lost 14kg, dropping several dress sizes.
"I lead a normal life,” she said.
"I don't drink or smoke, so I didn't have to change that much.
"But a lot of people don't take it seriously.
"I go to the optometrist, podiatrist and the licence people regularly - if your blood's under (blood sugar level) five you can't drive because you could pass out at the wheel and a lot of people don't know that.
"About 80% of people I know with type 2 don't know what could happen or don't take it seriously because they think they will lose their licence but that's not the case.”
Ms Paterson is urging anyone who has been diagnosed to seek education and information as quickly as possible, not only for peace of mind but also to ensure the best possible future outcome for their health.
"Go get all of the information that you can,” she said.
"If you don't get the answers right away, go get them somewhere else.
"See the hospital or a diabetic educator.”
For more details, click here or ask your doctor.