'As bad as it can get' - Chef who fell asleep at wheel pens diabetes book
- Credit: Supplied by David Green
Losing consciousness at the wheel of car is a nightmare for anybody, and it proved to be lifechanging for former north Norfolk chef David Green.
Mr Green, a Type 1 diabetic, passed out and was involved in a multi-vehicle collision near Fakenham.
"For a diabetic, that's as bad as it can get," he said.
"It was the second of two accidents I had, and both were caused by having low blood sugar at the wheel - I basically lost consciousness.
"I was on my way to pick up my dog from the kennels when it happened - three other cars were involved but thankfully no-one was injured.
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"After that I lost my licence, so I also lost my job because I couldn't drive there. If the accident hadn't happened I may well still be living in Norfolk today."
Mr Green, 53, felt there was no other option but to move back in with his parents in Colchester after the accident happened in 2017.
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To coincide with Diabetes Week which runs June 14-20, Mr Green has just released a book called 'Happy Birthday...You're Diabetic' in which he writes in depth about his experiences living with diabetes while working as a chef in north Norfolk for five years.
The book also includes more than 70 diabetic-friendly recipes he has developed over 30 years in the hospitality sector.
Mr Green moved to Norfolk in 2012, initially working at Titchwell Manor.
He said: "Everyone was understanding and supportive of my diabetes and really caring. I went on to work at The Wiveton Bell and The Duck Inn at Stanhoe, before becoming head chef at The Globe in Wells-next-the-Sea.
"I loved living at Binham and working in Wells. I spent many, many days out with my dog on the open sands.
"The north Norfolk coast is a unique place and will always hold a special place in my heart. The Globe, all my chefs and all the other staff were great, so too was my boss, Stephen Bournes."
But Mr Green said his diabetes was always a factor.
He said: "I could go for months at The Globe and have no problems whatsoever when I could keep my sugar levels fairly good.
"Then I would have low blood sugar during a busy service and lose an hour of time. In the middle of summer in a busy Globe kitchen you just don't want that to happen."
Mr Green said it had become much easier for people with Type 1 diabetes to live a normal life since he was diagnosed at the age of 25 in 1993.
He said: "Diabetes never stopped me doing anything but I had some terrible experiences, like waking up after losing consciousness in the middle of a forest. Diabetes is the master and you have to obey it, but don't be scared of it.
"There are things now like the FreeStyle Libre monitor - which is available on the NHS - and insulin pumps, that more people are using. With all the technology that's available now there's going to be fewer stories like mine."
Mr Green went onto work at Arthur Howell’s bakery in Wells, a job he said he loved thanks in large part to the Howell family.
He said: "I wrote the book primarily with other diabetics in mind.
"I want to share my experiences and almost 30 years of knowledge that I have gained living with diabetes. I want to send fellow diabetics a message that it is possible to live an active, happy, interesting, exciting and 'near normal' life.
"But I am living proof of what can happen if you don't do what you have to do. My biography tells this story in detail - with all the highs, lows, lifestyle changes, the effects upon family and friends."