Sweet life

I have been a diabetic close to 6 years now and life with diabetes has always been an attempt to choose between sweet taste and sweet life. Reining in the unbridled freedom and choice in food habits will always be a big challenge. Being in a white-collar job always encourages the cozy and comfortable sedentary lifestyle but it is harmful for diabetics. So there is a lot of emphasis on physical activities to spend calories. Surprisingly, injecting insulin(s) twice a day didn’t feel very bad or awkward to me as it would for most, as it was comparable to taking vitamin tablets for vitamin deficiencies.

Keeping the blood glucose level (I will use ‘sugar level’ to refer to the same) under control is somewhat like treading a thin line between two extremes. When we try to pull it down, it doesn’t respond/over-responds and vice-versa. ( ‘Hypoglycemia’/’low sugar level’ and ‘Hyperglycemia’/’high sugar level’ are the dangerous extremes that diabetics should guard against. ) I have always been unable to resist the temptation to eat sweet food and on the pretext of eating such stuff “occasionally” I ate them too often to harm my health a lot. Diabetes, often dubbed as “mother of all diseases”, causes a lot of health complications to vital body organs and functions when left uncontrolled. Sadly I have kept blood glucose level uncontrolled most of my diabetic life till now.

I often think about the health hazards that I am opening myself to and try some form of control, but not once I’ve been able to practice more than a few days. Recently I made up my mind not to eat anything sweet so that I can aim for better control. Initially it felt like a ‘mission impossible’ considering my previous futile attempts, but the maturity that I have attained with my health condition made me last long enough to find out that such abstinence wasn’t so difficult after all. This has given me immense confidence in handling my health condition. I feel more responsible for my health which in turn has made me take full control. I have bought myself good shoes and started working out at my office gym. Even though I am just 2 days into it, I am confident of turning it into a valuable habit that is going to help my health a lot.

Diabetes healthcare in India is still mostly non-existent in countries like India when compared to the developed nations like the US, UK where the diabetics get excellent healthcare, medical insurance to cover the huge expenses incurred in buying insulin, glucose meters/monitors, test strips and etc. It will take a long time to have comparable healthcare in India but from my experience with Diabetes, I confidently say that we can still lead a safe, healthy and long life with diabetes with some conscious, regular effort. As with any step we take forward, there will always be obstacles, but with confidence and focus we can always overcome them. In fact, my diabetologist often says that “Diabetics can live a longer and healthier life than the non-diabetics if they live a disciplined life which gives them the longevity”. So I am extremely happy to have a chance to live a sweet life. I hope that my words can motivate diabetics to live a sweet life and non-diabetics to switch to an active, healthier lifestyle to keep diabetes away.

From P with love

Keirthana wrote a nice hypothetical conversation between two unlikely characters, go ahead read it 🙂

“Hi IS,

How are you? I know you will not be feeling too good after what happened. I am writing this letter because I want you to get to your senses and also get over what happened. After having been friends-for-life type of a friend with me, what made you get so mad at me that you hit me so hard and crippled me? Did I do anything to hurt you? I do not remember doing any such thing.Even if I had unknowingly erred, you could have come and talked to me to have sorted it out as we usually do with our daily problems.

I suspect that you did not attack me acting on your hatred for me, but due to the provocation by someone new to our circle, X, because I know I did not give you any reason to hate me. What confuses me is, how could you have been so tricked by someone new to our place into attacking me, your friend. I know very well that you are the best defender against cunning people as X. It was you who taught us that we meet both friends and foes in our daily life and not to trust outsiders so easily without making sure that they are indeed friends. After all that you taught us, how could this happen? How did you fail to notice that all she did was to create a rift between us? How did you lose your senses and attack me blindly? See what we have come to. It is me who is crippled physically for life and you who is crippled emotionally because of the guilt of attacking your friend.

I am not saying all this to make you relive all of that and experience agony, over and over again. I am just saying this so that none of us make the same mistake again at any point of our life.Yes, I am not mad at you, for you are and will always be my friend. None of our other friends are mad at you. For, we all know, deep down in your heart, you never meant to attack me. Yes, we know it was not your fault. So cheer up my friend. All we need now is proper cooperation between us and unconditional support from our other friends to recover. Together, let us show the world that we can do much better.

Yours,
P

This is a letter written by the pancreas to the immune system of a person having Type 1 diabetes. Juvenile diabetes aka Type 1 diabetes is caused due to the inability of the body to produce insulin.The exact cause is unknown, but most likely there is a viral or environmental trigger in genetically susceptible people that causes an immune reaction. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, thus destroying them.”

This was inspired by my being a Type 1 diabetic and am glad that me and my diabetes are the inspirations for such wonderful creativity. 🙂 The original post is here.