I am a 26 year old man suffering from diabetes and it has indeed changed my life!
Diabetes has become a common problem worldwide and unfortunately I am one of the affected. Since, the last 2 years I am living with type I diabetes, and friends I am living well.
Type I diabetes, also known as the juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a type of diabetes in which our pancreas is not able to produce insulin. It is mostly diagnosed in children and young adults. The body breaks down the sugars and starches we eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it used for energy. Insulin is a hormone that our body requires for getting glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of our body. This particular body function is affected in my body and in many people like me who suffer from type 1 diabetes. With the help of the insulin therapy and other treatments, young children and adults like me can learn to manage their condition and live happier, healthier and longer.
How did I know that I am suffering from diabetes?
I was young at that time and I suddenly started feeling extremely hungry and thirsty. My parents got a bit worried and I was confused. Then come along the other symptoms, which included:
- Increased frequency to urinate
- Unexplained weight loss
- I use to be very irritable and had a lot of mood swings
- I use to feel very tired and weak with very little activity also
That’s the time my parents decided to take me to a doctor.
Once at the doctor’s clinic, I went through a few tests. The doctor started by taking my:
- Detailed family history
- Noting my signs and symptoms
- He did my complete physical examination and took a note of all the unusual symptoms which I had been having
- After that I was advised the following test
Once all these investigations were done, there came the life changing report and diagnosis … I was suffering from type I diabetes.
How I got type 1 diabetes?
After having absorbed the shock of knowing that I am diabetic, the question that lingered long in my mind was why me?
There are different factors that can lead to type 1 diabetes and these include genetics and even some virus. I am suffering from diabetes as it runs in my family, so for me, it’s genetic.
This is how I am living with it
My doctor has always encouraged me and my parents by telling us “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger” and this is defiantly true. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the treatment plan started. The treatment goal in type 1 diabetes is to keep the blood sugar levels in the target range. The treatment plan is mostly termed as diabetes management plan and it needs to be followed religiously. For this my treatment included:
- To maintain the required insulin level in the body, I had to choose between insulin injections and insulin pumps. I know insulin injection is not a cure, but a vital life support. Currently, I take insulin injections twice daily.
- I have to monitor my blood sugar level the entire day, especially in the morning- empty stomach and at night.
- I have to regularly work out, this helps the body to use insulin more efficiently
- I have to eat a healthy, balanced diet and have to stick to this meal plan
- I have to have regular, periodic medical checkups, so my visits to my doctor is frequent
I was told that diabetes management plan will help me stay healthy, but it is not a cure for diabetes type 1. So from the date I have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes till today, I am following my diabetes management plan religiously. This definitely helps me keeping my blood sugar levels in control, keeps me fit and safe from any further complications. For any change that I have felt, well, apart from the persistent need to follow the already mentioned regime, I feel fit and active.
With time I have realised that “managing your diabetes is not a science, it is an art”. The idea behind sharing my story is to make many like me, aware of their body. The first reaction is shock and disbelief, but we have to rise above all to make way for a healthier future. It took me some time to come to terms with reality and adopt the many changes required, but today I can proudly say that I have mastered this art.
(The author chooses to be anonymous)