Diabetes sufferer gets back on his feet

When Nowra man Grayson Scott accessed health services in 2009, years of poorly managed diabetes had left him in constant pain and facing amputation of his foot.

Today, thanks to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local's Care Co-ordination and Supplementary Services (CCSS) program, the 45-year-old is standing on his own two feet in more ways than one.

"I told them that there was no way my foot was getting chopped off," he said.

"I've had diabetes for about 10 years as well as some other health issues. But about three years ago my foot started really giving me hell, and I went out dancing one night and they ended up covered in these huge blisters and I could hardly walk. It was making me real sick.

Shoalhaven deaths higher than national levels

"But the doctors and nurses, well, they've helped me out immensely. I had an operation and they were able to save my foot and they've since helped me with my other health issues - and many other things too."

As well as having a history of unstable diabetes, Mr Scott he has suffered for many years from diabetic maculopathy, neuropathy in both feet, hypertension, arthritis, pancreatitis, liver and kidney dysfunction, anxiety disorder and chronic pain.

The Aboriginal man was also homeless for a time while waiting for public housing.

"I used to sleep in the graveyard or under the Nowra bridge, or I'd sleep at friends' places," he said.

However the co-ordinated, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach by Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local has helped him get back on track.

The CCSS team took it one issue at a time - firstly co-ordinating housing for Mr Scott with NSW Housing before shifting the focus to his health.

Illawarra residents fat, sick and stressed out

After a history of non-attendance at appointments, he was connected with community transport and given a calendar to keep track of his appointments.

Support from other resources helps him with day-to-day activities, such as sorting out his finances and getting his driver's licence.

Meanwhile, his ongoing healthcare has resulted in a dramatic improvement in his blood sugar levels, his ulcers have healed and his pain has stabilised.

"I'm eating better and exercising more and the pain's more manageable," he said.

"I've always been a bit of a loner and independent. But to be honest, I'd be lost without all the help I get."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop