I can still remember, it was about two years ago when I came to know I have type 2 diabetes. I got diagnosed on a routine check, my HbA1c was 6.7% and fasting was 118. I thought it’s not very high and might gone up because I had little extra sweets on Diwali that season, and I will be fine soon. However, one of my close friend who is diabetic, suggested me to take an opinion from a doctor. Then I consulted the doctor who told me that my sugars are not that bad, but I am a diabetic. As soon as my doctor told me I had type 2 diabetes, my mind went blank. Really? It’s not possible. What did I do wrong? Why me? As, I had no family history and I knew nothing about the disease at the time I was diagnosed, so this really came as a shock to me.
My doctor also told me that if I start making lifestyle changes at initial stages, then there are good chances of me controlling my diabetes by diet and exercise alone. However, he also told me that over a period of time medications may be eventually needed. The doctor gave me three months to change my diet and start exercising before trying medication. So, I tried whatever I could do. After three months, my numbers started getting better but not quite where my doctor wanted them. So, he started oral medications for me, but told me clearly that medications alone can’t control diabetes that’s why making healthy changes in lifestyle is mandatory.
Trust me, it seems like a last chance for me to turn things around but I didn’t know, how? It already took me long to accept my diagnosis. So, I gathered all the courage, I had, and decided to take the first step toward managing the disease. I pledged that I would do everything in my power to live a healthy life for me and for my family.
So, I started searching for options where I can find some expert support who can guide me how to start with and make changes in my diet or exercise? That is when, while searching on the internet I came to know about such diabetes support group called “Diabee” on Facebook which has a community of thousands of people like me. They also have a personalised diabetes management program. I took a 3-month program and renewed it for another 3 months. My personal coach guides me on almost all the aspects of diabetes and lifestyle. I interact with my coach almost on daily basis with the help of Diabee mobile app, chats and receive diabetes education on different topics on diabetes through weekly telephonic sessions.
I also discuss my concerns and share my experiences with other member of the diabetes support program. Trust me, connecting with other people who share same feelings and concerns is one of the positive way to learning new things, overcome fears and get rid of disappointments. And, it is a lot easier to carry a heavy load, if you can share the burden with people who reminds you are not facing this alone. You know what, when I look back now and understand it was just the beginning of a better life.
Now, I feel more motivated and confident about understanding and managing my condition. Let me tell you, just after 3 months of enrolment in Diabee Program I found positive changes in my numbers. My HbA1c has reduced to 6.1 and I also lost 3 kg of weight. It really felt great. You know, change is difficult, but it’s only you who can make it happen. Earlier I used to eat whatever I come across or easily available. But, now I start making my own meals and always make healthier choices whenever I eat out. I have also become very regular with my exercise routine and I make sure that I walk at least 45 minutes every day. With my busy routine of bank job, I take some time out for myself. In those small 5-10 minutes breaks, either I walk or do some chair exercises.
Even though the diagnosis scared me at first, I realize this wake-up call ended up being a blessing in disguise. I would say, it’s natural to feel scared when you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, but try to embrace this challenge and use it as motivation to work hard to get what you want and deserve. Strength is beautiful, you have to be strong to get through each day living with diabetes. Just because diabetes is serious doesn’t mean you always have to be. That’s why, I always surround myself with people who support and understand me and I try to stay happy, spread smiles and laughter.
So, my message to all the people with diabetes is simple – just watch your numbers and listen to your body. Be creative and engage in humour. And, if you don’t like a high blood sugar reading, then you need to do what you can and you move on. Always remember, success is not about achieving big things. When you have diabetes, every improvement counts whether it is lowering your HbA1c by a percentage point or losing a kilo or two or making healthy food choices or every single step towards a healthier life.