Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.
I grew up with my type one diabetes during my teenage years and I never felt the need to hide it. As I was staying away from my family to continue my college, it was necessary for me to be vocal about my situation. In case if I need any help from others in any emergency situation. With all the ups and downs, my diabetes management has changed a lot over the last 11 years.
We live in a small town with minimal medical facilities. When I slipped into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) I was unaware about what was happening with me. My parents had to travel 100 kilometers to get me admitted to a hospital. Doctors were shocked with my glucose levels which were above 600 mg/dL.
My diagnosis was emotionally hardest on my parents as none of my family members had a diabetic history before me. I have seen them striving hard to be educated on carb counting, giving me injections and to control high and low blood sugar levels. Only my dad knows how hard it was to deal with the financial crisis and managing the family, my mom, me and 2 of my siblings, with his earnings and dealing with all my medical expenses without leaving any gaps.
“Stay strong! Everything will fall in place soon.”
How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?
I get the most support from my family. Especially my mom & dad always stay tuned behind me to act on any situation I am going through. They help me balancing my physical & mental stress. Every time I had to change my doctor, as doctors here aren’t much aware about diabetes. Doctors only suggest me to increase or decrease my insulin levels based on my glucose levels ☹️
To treat my diabetes I give myself injections with Biphasic isophane IP 30/70 (Human Mixtard) insulin, as other advanced treatment is not been available in my place yet 🙇🏻♀️ I also use multivitamin capsules throughout my diagnosis.
Everything has pretty much changed after my diagnosis, where I had to sacrifice all my favorite foods and I wasn’t allowed to play in outside when I was younger as my parents were scared about me getting injured. I still can’t figure out if it’s killing me everyday or making me stronger.
I don’t know if I am managing my diabetes well. It’s really difficult to answer, as my blood sugar levels increase, even if I don’t eat anything at times ☹️ I am following a good life style to manage my type one diabetes.
Can you recognize the symptoms of a low/high blood sugar? Do you test often and can you tell a bit more about your experiences with low blood sugar?
Yes, I can recognize them. I oversleep, overeat and I will be frustrated when my glucose levels are high. When it’s low I will sweat badly, start shivering and feel pretty weak and it’s difficult to even walk.
Every week I test my glucose levels at home using an Accu Chek glucometer.
To treat my low blood sugar I would eat something immediately when and I always carry snacks, which includes chocolate, with me to avoid any serious situations.
In my early stage of diagnosis when I was unaware of my health condition I once took a huge insulin dose to bring my glucose levels down. I went so low that I couldn’t call my mom. I fainted and when I opened my eyes I was in the hospital.
Food and diet
How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?
I eat Idly (a typical Indian food), fruits, juice and salads for breakfast. Roti, a little bit rice and Sabji for lunch and for dinner I eat Roti. Ice cream, chocolates & Biryani were my favorite foods. Now it’s just fruits and veggies.
Sometimes I skip meals and for snacks I like to eat biscuits with no added sugars and fruits.
I increase my insulin dose if I am willing to eat anything that’s not good for me.
I drink plenty of water and fluids (butter milk & fruit juice) very often. On an average 4 to 5 liters per day.
Yes, I find being on a diet restrictive. I just do it to avoid complications.
I get annoyed when people ask me about food I can or can’t eat. Even more if people don’t understand how much a small chocolate or ice cream can affect my health. It was a pretty odd situation in my teens to say no and to explain them why I can’t eat those things, which is pretty normal food to them and can be poisonous to me 🙇🏻♀️
Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?
Yes I think so. My mom always experimented a plant based diet on me and it really kept my glucose levels normal.
Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?
I hardly visit restaurants. It’s really hard to find a restaurant where I can eat a low carb diet and have foods with no added sugar foods. But when I do go out, I would love to go to a place where I will get diabetic friendly foods to eat.
“Never get stressed about your condition.”
Exercise and work
Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?
I do yoga and exercise very often. 4 to 5 days per week.
I am HR professional working for a leading manufacturing company. I am working in night shifts. I am not sure if it effects my diabetes. As per my doctor night shifts won’t effect my health.
Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?
To manage my diabetes better I just try to follow a healthy life style.
The hardest part of having diabetes is restricting myself from eating what I love. Hurting my self injecting 2 times everyday. Pretty much everything seems to be hard at times. Especially on festivals, when I see people enjoying sweets which is deadly poisonous to me
But the best thing is that It made me stronger and keeps me motivated to do something new for my T1D community. I am working on a business project to make diabetic life easy. So that no kid has to suffer like me.
I think the place where I live has much negative impacts. Doctors and people aren’t aware about type one diabetes, which can be deadly dangerous at times.
What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?
At least a basic awareness about diabetes so that they can’t mentally hurt us with offering sweets or forcing me to eat some food which is not good for diabetic people.
Stay strong! Everything will fall in place soon. God has chosen us for this as he felt we are strong for it. Let’s create wonders dealing with diabetes.
Never get stressed about your condition. You are not alone. We are all together in it.
What would you ask the other diabetics?
Did you ever tried adding sweetness to your life after diagnosis? How?
Feel free to answer in the comments below.
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Hey! I'm Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.
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