I remember very clearly the August of 1999 when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was about to start my exams in Grade 12. I went to be feeling confident but just a bit tired. I battled to sleep through out the night. Constantly waking up to use the toilet. Dehydrated constantly. The more tired I got, the more sugar full energy drinks I drank, the worse I got.
At that point I was living alone as my mother had just gotten remarried and moved out of town with the rest of the family, to be with my step-father. On the morning of my first exam I woke up and I couldn’t see… I wasn’t completely blind but it felt like I had a cloth over my eyes.
I managed to get dressed and walked into the road, were I was lucky enough to get a taxi to stop. The driver then assisted me and took me to the Doctor. The ambulance arrived and I was rushed to the hospital were I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. By the time my family arrived I was in a state. I had experienced fear thinking my life would never ever be normal again. Panic that my days were numbered. The thought of never being able to see again. I was devastated to say the least.
With time I accepted that I was a diabetic and it was lifetime disease. I changed my living habits and found I could live a normal life. Life was good again.
20 years later the complications have started. I’ve lost 20 kg in the last months. I’ve been in ICU 3 times in 6 months. I’ve been throwing up on a daily basis. Diarrhea daily. No appetite. Seriously depressed.
But, the last week has been different, i have made a decision to be positive. Drink my medication as prescribed and not dwell on the negative 6 months.
Just by having a positive mind, I can already see the changes. I’m eating again. I’m happier, more energized and more productive than I’ve been in a long time. That is the power of the mind.
Even my sugar levels are more controlled. My appetite is back. The throwing up and nausea has stopped.
Yes, diabetes is a disease but I chose to see it as a lifestyle. It’s lifestyle choice you live by. And if you stick to it you will live a normal life.
Being diabetic for twenty years has had its challenges but because of that lifestyle. Eating healthy. Keeping fit. I look twenty years younger and I love it.