Kevin Marsh NHS Nurse
I suppose my background ranges from all sorts! After finishing university for 3 years, I got my first ‘proper’ job, repairing amplifiers in night clubs which progressed into working from 1987-1996 in a nightclub . In 2001, I looked after equipment on the railway and then I was an engineer for 18 years! That was very hands on and hardcore to say the least.
So, what led you into Medical?
The inspiration was simply my family history, who had over 70 years of combined experience. My auntie was a ward sister, my father was a paramedic and so forth. So, after engineering, I went into manufacturing and registered as a nurse with the NHS and have been there for 9 years.
What prompted you to think you needed a Diabetes test?
I was feeling very tired, urinating a lot. I didn’t think I was even diabetic for a long time as my previous tests were fine. I mean, these are just ‘normal’ symptoms – in hindsight, it’s quite scary really.
Describe the first moment you realised you might need a blood glucose monitor?
I had a blood glucose monitor that was fine, the HB1C I believe it was called. My 3 months glucose test was fine, but it came back one day as an evaluated result of 80-81, which meant I was type 2 diabetic. Luckily, I caught this early and I had no symptoms! I started feeling very tired and so I went back to the doctors 18 months ago. A few months after that, they put me on medication because it had not improved. It was called Gluco RX which is very expensive indeed!
What possible solutions did you consider apart from medicine/machines?
I considered modifying my diet, reducing carbs, changing my lifestyle. I actually lost 10kg in this period and my wife bought me a book called ‘Carbs and Cals’? supported by Diabetes UK which gives a count for every meal, I would recommend this.
When were you told you needed to take a monitor home?
A diabetic nurse said that my reading was not evaluated enough to take a fair and accurate reading and that I would need to take a blood glucose monitor home with me. I disagreed at first, but as my stubbornness faded, I got one anyway!
Why were you sceptical?
Having been a nurse myself, I felt that because I was not borderline, and I was being medicated with ‘Metformine’ which included awful side effects, I didn’t really want a monitor on top of that! I am so glad I changed my mind!
What changed your mind?
I wanted to find something that was both reliable and wasn’t extortionate for the test strips, and Kinetik Wellbeing were able to help me!
How Did you hear about us?
I was looking for a suitable meter to replace gluco RX1 that had a fancy USB with no supporting software. I wanted something that was going to take my blood sugars and consumables and price was a factor. So, I found a blood glucose monitor on the Kinetik Wellbeing website that had a reduced cost compared to its competitors and has proved to be very reliable.
Why Kinetik Wellbeing?
To be honest, the primary reason was the cost. The blood gluco RX was extremely expensive for just 50 strips, whereas the Kinetik Wellbeing monitor I saw was partnered with St John Ambulance which prompted me to trust the product more, and for a lighter cost.
How Did We Help?
Kinetik’s customer service was impeccable. James was amazing, helpful and sent me out some new test strips and control solution so that I could validate the meter. I had thought my machine was faulty, but it was environmental factors. After addressing my problem with a solution, James’s personable and friendly nature continued, and I was taken aback (in a good way) by the customer service levels. Being put at ease was exactly what I needed as I was coming to the end of one batch of strips! I now shop with Kinetik every time. The blood glucose monitor I have returns a figure of 145/80 which is exactly what I expect. I couldn’t be more pleased.
What would have happened in the event of NOT purchasing a blood glucose monitor you can use from home?
If I hadn’t purchased a meter, it would have caused me to have low blood sugar twice. My sugars have lowered 3-4 times. This meter is a vital part of my diabetes management. I don’t monitor regularly, but if I feel that I am dizzy, nauseous, thirsty, I WILL monitor. I no longer take the ‘normal’ symptoms for granted anymore. I monitor if I feel I need to, or if a family member feels it’s necessary!
What Measurable Benefits Have You Seen?
Peace of mind, to put it simply. I’m on a drug called Empagliflozin which can have side effects! A group of new diabetes management drugs, blocks the hormone that makes your kidneys hold on to sugar, flushing away any excess sugar. My monitor gives me the confidence to take that drug knowing that if any of the side effects occur, I can take a reading immediately. It helps me to differentiate what a normal symptom is compared to a diabetic symptom so that I can seek medical advice and provide any treatment to any potential issue.
I have tried two or three different monitors before Kinetik but I have always found their customer experience and product quality to be effortless and simple.
If you have a story similar to Kevin’s, feel free to get into contact with a member of our team! Also, for the rest of November, our entire Diabetes section is 20% off. Simply enter the code GLU20 at the checkout. Offer ends soon!