Chris Webster

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

My Name Chris Webster. Age 46, Grantham born & bred, Business owner, Husband, Dad and Mate.

I am no athlete or sportsman material, experience in Kayaking was nil until now when I find myself laughing at the thought of what I had just committed to with The Long Way Back. It is a big ask. Taking on something you cannot do, to turn it around & do it! that is the challenge.

We all have personal reasons for being involved. Middle aged, over weight etc…and of course, I would like to be generally fitter mind & body, but I can live with that – it’s a choice I can make. But this is my reason…

…‘A choice’ which I had no control over is Type 1 Diabetes. Not in me, but my beautiful daughter Eleanor. If there was a way, I could take it away from her I would.

Els was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes aged 12, on the 18th of Dec 2018.

We had not immediately noticed Eleanor had become constantly thirsty and then started to rapidly loose weight and then within a few days her body was slowly shutting down as the harmful ketones built up in her.

This is called DKA and if left untreated, its life threatening. Thanks to the Grantham Hospitals Kingfisher Ward Els was blue lighted and admitted to Lincoln Hospital as Eleanor’s pancreas has stopped producing insulin, and she now has to inject herself for the rest of her life to maintain her blood sugars, and this involves relentless monitoring day and night.

If her sugars go too low, she can become very tired, shaky and feel irritable, aggressive, and poorly, and if left untreated she can become extremely sick with seizures and loss of consciousness.

However, if sugars are high, as well as agitated and aggressive, her body must work harder to remove the sugar from her blood. This can lead to complications later in life for her kidneys, eyesight and circulation and her body will producing ketones which will poison her body… the longer she has ketones the more severe the symptoms will get… leading to diabetic ketoacidosis DKA which will eventually cause unconsciousness and can be fatal.

Living with diabetes means constantly monitoring her blood sugar levels, she has to carb count her food then inject insulin accordingly and consider if she is about to exercise as this affects her bloods, as do hormones or being cold/hot or anxious or for no reason at all.

She cannot just take a sweet from a friend without considering the implications to her blood levels.

This monitoring never stops, she cannot take a day off from it, it is truly relentless.

In Lincoln Hospital Eleanor asked “how long would she had it for” … and this truly broke our heart.

This is what we see, but what about the mental & physical challenge of dealing with this for a teenager.?

Eleanor is strong I am very proud of her. She is doing great, and I am very lucky to have her and my Wife Nic.

Thank you for your support