A peek into living with diabetes

Living with diabetes can be a challenging feat. From waking up every morning and having to check my blood sugar level, to seeing 142mg/dL(7.9mmol/L) popping up as my fasting blood sugar! Ha! The prick from the lancets can also be uncomfortable sometimes and this prevents me from checking regularly.

Keeping track of my blood sugar is very important but I need to constantly refill my strips and sometimes its price just goes up without warning, like everything else at the moment. Well, I have no choice because I need to check regularly. It is well.

What about frequented both day and night, and fewer hours to sleep well at night? Or feeling very tired during a work day and my boss correcting me over things I normally shouldn’t make mistakes on.

My 142mg/dL(7,9mmol/L) fasting blood sugar, which sometimes switches to 61mg/dL(3.4mmol/L), gives me concern despite using my oral medication (sometimes) as prescribed. Keeping to my medication schedule is impossible when one is in this Lagos traffic.

I heard on the radio that diet modification can assist with managing my diabetes, so I went to the clinic to consult a dietitian. Now my favorite snack, puff-puff and chilled soda are off the menu. Need I also mention that there are some fruits I can no longer take because they are classified as too sweet. Nawa o, this diabetes has issues!

I am overweight and losing weight is a major problem. I am told/heard being obese is a major risk factor for diabetes. To make things worse, my job doesn’t allow much movement, as I have to sit at my desk all day. I have been advised to carry out minimal exercises but with my daily lifestyle, it hasn’t been easy; although I try to take a brief walk three times a week, my diligence is limited to days I don’t doze off after my usually late dinner.

Whenever I walk barefoot or do not adhere to my Diabetes Nurse Educator’s instructions on foot care, like wearing my diabetic stockings, I sustain foot injuries which I have been strictly warned to avoid. Most times, I am quick to detect them or go to the hospital before they become worse.

Eyecare can also not be overemphasised. This is a mandatory exercise for me to check once a year to prevent eye complications. I was referred to an ophthalmologist by the physician managing my diabetes. Luckily, there wasn’t much of a problem, except I was diagnosed with long-sightedness. That prompted the use of a recommended glass. Wearing glasses every day is annoying as I do not like it at all.

Oh my God! sticking to my hospital appointment has not been easy at all. I have always tried my best to meet up but most times, I end up canceling and then rescheduling my appointment with my Diabetes Nurse Educator. Thank God for technology as I now book my appointment online without having to visit my clinic to do so. But the point is that nothing can be as effective as physical consultation.

One of my biggest fears is the complications associated with diabetes. They are so scary. I have a family member that developed a foot ulcer and was eventually amputated due to poor management. Hopefully, I should not come down with any if I properly manage my condition as I have been informed by my physician and Diabetes Nurse Educators.

Believe me, living with diabetes is not easy because I have had to cut down and change so many things to stay healthy. Just like the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” I have to stay determined to keep up with my Diabetes Nurse Educator’s advice and that of my physician.

Recently, I was introduced to a health and wellness club which I joined and my journey with diabetes has become easier and less challenging to deal with. Managing diabetes doesn’t have to be lonely and diabetes is really not a death sentence o! It can be adequately managed by getting the right information, adhering to a structured plan, and visiting the clinic regularly to discuss healthy life choices with a Diabetes Nurse Educator and a Physician.

It is possible to live your best life while living with diabetes!

  • Adeyemi Olukayode of LiveWell Club writes from Lagos and can be reached via 08147716392

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