Living with diabetes is a Payne

Cooriemungle’s Charlene Payne feels great. She isn’t tired anymore, has much more energy, enjoys exercising and sleeps the best she ever has. Charlene was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes late last year and while she’s disappointed she didn’t do a better job of preventing it, she’s also feeling great about life.

She spoke out this week to help Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) mark National Diabetes Week and to encourage anyone else feeling poorly to get checked out.

“There is a history of diabetes in my family and I’ve always known I had an increased chance. My dad had Type 2 and my sister has been diagnosed as well,” she said.

“I could have looked after myself better, been in a better headspace and maybe prevented it but now I have to manage it for the rest of my life.

“At the same time, now I have a chance to really look after myself. I want to be here for my kids and hopefully, maybe, grandkids down the track.”

Charlene, 52, made a tree change in 2010 when she purchased Camp Cooriemungle and moved from Mornington to raise her sons in the fresh country air.

She had developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her first son in 2003 and again two years later with her second son – only this time she required insulin.

“I was overweight and said to myself ‘no, I’m not going to be a diabetic’. So I lost 65kg before I was 40 and swore I’d never get it,” she said.

“Then I went through a messy divorce and stopped looking after myself. The weight came back and I think I knew…there was a nagging feeling that if I went to the doctor I was going to be diagnosed with diabetes so I didn’t go.

“But I had no choice, I was stressed, not sleeping, had constant headaches, stopped drinking water, ate junk and just pretty much felt terrible.”

TDHS has both a diabetic educator and dietician, and both private and public podiatrist services are available to support local diabetics and the community. Please call TDHS reception 5558 6000 for an appointment today, don’t delay!


After she was diagnosed, Charlene started working with TDHS diabetic educator Ingrid Rial who she said had been a great comfort and continued to guide her to health.

“I did really well for a while and had a deal with Ingrid to eat no potatoes or bread because the carbs don’t help, but then I had a few stresses in January and lost my way a bit,” she said.

“Then in May this year I knew I had to get going again, so Ingrid and I came up with a few compromises, we worked on an eating plan and an exercise plan together and I’m doing really well again.

“I feel great, I’m not tired, my 15 year-old gets up with me in the mornings and goes for a walk with me, I keep regular bed times and my body is adapting to eating three meals and three healthy snacks every day.”

Charlene urged anyone who had similar symptoms or generally felt unwell to go to the doctor and get checked out.

“Don’t put it off – if I was in a better headspace 18 months ago I could have staved it off, but now I have to live with it,” she said.

Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system, according to Diabetes Australia.

Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated).

Click here to find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within the next five years.

National Diabetes Week 2019 TDHS

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