Diabetes mellitus and enjoying life – an encounter with Juddy who just commenced her diabetes journey…

A journey of a thousand miles start one day; starts with a step and then another.

Juddy, 52, was recruited into the diabetes convoy when she complained of fatigue and blurring of her vision. Her blood glucose on the eventful day was 346mg/dl.

The news of her diabetes status was so depressing and overwhelming. She asked many why’s….
Why me?
Why now?
God, how can?
What have I done to have this?
And many other unanswered questions….

Juddy had a very humble beginning. She claimed she had suffered all her life – from childhood, she grew up as one of six children of a widow, passed through thick and thin to acquire secondary and university education, toiled with her not affluent husband to acquire wealth and the ingredients of weaith.

Just when she and her husband seemed to have wrestled themselves away from poverty, diabetes reared her very ugly head.

“So, I cannot enjoy myself”, Juddy wondered.
“I cannot enjoy my wealth and all I have laboured for. As a child, my parents could not afford eggs, meat, ice-cream and the other delicacies children enjoy”.

Just when Juddy can afford all these and more, diabetes mellitus stepped in and her primary care physician has placed her on a strict ‘diabetic diet’.

What a life?

The question, then, is….

Can the likes of Juddy who live with diabetes mellitus really “enjoy their lives?”.

Can they “enjoy their wealth” while sharing the same roof with diabetes?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to propose the motion that Juddy and her cohorts can enjoy life – enjoy it abundantly and to the fullest while living with diabetes.

Ask me, how?

Firstly, starting with what to eat and what not to eat, there’s no much difference again in what to eat between someone living with diabetes and a normal person. A person living with diabetes eats basically the same diet as any other member of their household with a caveat that a person living with diabetes should eat small but frequent meals. Consumption of food/beverages rich in refined sugar, alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking which are not good for persons living with diabetes are equally not good for anyone else (irrespective of diabetes status).

Secondly, every aspects of life where enjoyment can be found are freely accessible to persons living with diabetes. Such aspects of life include playing, exercising, dancing, creating wealth, travelling, praying and worshipping God, politicking and taking up leadership roles etc. Persons living with diabetes enjoy all those and more.

Tell me, is there any aspect of life that persons living with diabetes are excluded from enjoying?

None!

And, finally…

Fortunately, type 2 diabetes mellitus which constitute 85 – 97 percent of all persons living with diabetes develops mainly about the age group of 45 – 65 years. By this time, most people would have had their babies and had enjoyed their lives. Other illnesses apart from diabetes rear up their ugly heads about this time too. So, diabetes mellitus is not alone about that age.

Diabetes mellitus demands only some level of discipline and that sufferers should be moderate in everything. Moderation in what they eat, drink and in other lifestyles activities is not asking too much.

With these few points, I have established one fact. That people living with diabetes do, can and should enjoy life. Yes, they enjoy life as long as they are willing to pay some price.

There is no free lunch anywhere in the world! There’s always a price, an opportunity cost for any desired end or position in life. For persons living with diabetes, the price is self discipline and moderation in ones lifestyles. These are not too big a price for “enjoyment of one’s life”.

10 important steps one should take when rendered fatherless or motherless by diabetes mellitus

A loved one living with diabetes mellitus is an actor/actress in the diabetes drama. He/she will quit the stage one day at a certain minute and hour. If you have the golden opportunity of being a caregiver to such person living with diabetes, then, be ready for more responsibility when the loved one living with diabetes passes on.

Underlisted are 10 important steps a caregiver of a person living with diabetes should take after the actor/actress had quit the stage or kicked the bucket.

  1. As soon as it happens, that a loved one living with diabetes has passed on, cry, weep and mourn the person as much as one deems enough. Don’t hold back the grief reaction. It’s natural to express such emotions when a loved one joins the ancestors.
    So, please,one should do the needful and move on with his/her life.

  2. Resolve that you will not live with diabetes. Confess positively as regards not going to live with diabetes. There’s power in spoken words as written in the Bible (Proverbs 23:7) that “whatever a man thinketh and believeth” becomes his reality sooner or later.

  3. Thank God for everything as we have been admonished to be thankful to God in every situations. After all, an actor/actress will eventually quit the stage at one point in time despite the ovations he/she is receiving. There’s a time for everything…a time to sow and a time to reap, a time for birth and a time for death etc, etc.

  4. Be consoled that it’s usual and normal that one should bury one’s dad or mom. The converse is abnormal. A dad or mom should not bury the child! After all, it has been shown that the essence of Medicine is not to prevent death but to make it possible for people to die in order…in other words, first come, first served.

  5. Take proactive measures to actualize one’s resolution not to live with diabetes mellitus.
    How?
    When made fatherless or motherless by diabetes, one should read extensively about diabetes mellitus, noting the causes, risk factors, associated illnesses, prevention and lifestyle measures to delay or prevent diabetes mellitus.

  6. One should become an instrument of change. For instance, having been close to a late dad or mom, one should warn his/her siblings that they are all at risk of being afflicted by type 2 diabetes. That type 2 diabetes mellitus can be delayed till old age or prevented should be emphasized to the siblings, workmates and friends of the person made fatherless or motherless by diabetes mellitus.

  7. Such a person who became fatherless or motherless because of diabetes and who was involved in the care of their late parent should use the self-care skills acquired to assist people living with diabetes. For example, they should become volunteer diabetes educators and impart diabetes self management education to people living with diabetes.

  8. One should donate all weapons of self care used by late parents to needy persons living with diabetes. Such armaments of self care include glucometer and strips, insulin injections, Combi-9 strips, ketone metres etc.

  9. Such a person whose dad or mom died from diabetes mellitus should start a charity or diabetes support group especially if he/she has the financial resources and or political clout to do so.
    After all;
    “We are the world
    We are the children
    We are the ones to make a brighter
    So, let’s start giving”.

  10. When such a person meet someone living with diabetes, he/she should offer love, compassion and hope. Hope that it’s gonna be alright is an important ingredient to keep on with the race.

In conclusion, having lived with or cared for a dad or mom who eventually succumbed to diabetes mellitus offers one a privilege to touch the lives of those afflicted by diabetes. With the current increased number of people living with diabetes mellitus in the world, people rendered fatherless or motherless by diabetes should be in the forefront of the war against diabetes mellitus.

A simple way to calculate your ideal body weight…

Obesity in children and young persons is on the increase world wide and obese persons have much more chances of being afflicted with diabetes mellitus than the non-obese persons.

It is because of the strong link and relationship between obesity and diabetes mellitus that prompted this post on calculating one’s ideal body weight. You will love it….

For everyone, whether living with diabetes or not, that one’s weight is 56kg, 70kg or 85kg doesn’t convey much meanings. It doesn’t tell you whether the weight is normal or too much.
What do I mean?

Your height must be taken into account to make a conclusion on your weight. To do this, you need to calculate your BODY MASS INDEX (BMI).
BMI is calculated as follows:

BMI = weight (in kg) divided by height (in metres) squared.

For example, if Mrs Smith weighs 70kg and her height is 1.50 metres,
her BMI will be:
70 divided by 1.50 x 1.50
That will be 70/2.25
Therefore, her BMI = 31.1kg/m2

Conclusions from BMI:
BMI is <18kg/m2 = underweight
BMI is 18-24.9kg/m2 = normal
BMI is 25-29.9kg/m2 = overweight
BMI is 30kg/m2 and above = obesity

Please, calculate your BMI now. I will be happy if yours is normal. Mrs Smith above is obese.

Your ideal body weight refers to the weight at which if your height and gender is taken into consideration, your BMI will be normal (ie between 18-24.9kg/m2. It is the healthy weight for you!

There’s a simple formula I will show you to calculate your ideal body weight.
Your ideal body weight is :

Males: 50kg + (2.3kg x number of inches above 5 feet).
Females: 45.5kg + (2.3kg x number of inches above 5 feet)

Note that this formula applies only to persons who are more than 5 feet in height ie 60 inches or 1.52metres.

The calculation is simple, isn’t it? Go ahead now and calculate your ideal body weight. Make it a new year resolution to achieve your ideal body weight in 2018. Make sure you have, also, calculated your BMI.
Thereafter, hit the COMMENT BOX for whatever clarifications. I am there for you. Wishing you the best in 2018.

Achieving a good blood glucose control? Find out in 3 ways….

Diabetes mellitus is a life-long illness, at least, for NOW. As part of the total diabetes care, blood glucose control is very important. It has been shown that good blood glucose control over a long time goes a long way to minimizing or preventing the chronic complications of diabetes mellitus.
Someone living with diabetes should strive to achieve good blood glucose control. How will that person know that he or she is achieving a good blood glucose control?

There are 3 ways to know that:

  1. Presence or absence of symptoms of high blood glucose such as excessive urination, excessive feeling of thirst and general body weakness. Someone living with diabetes who has a good blood glucose control will not have those symptoms. This is what the person will observe before results of tests confirm it. However, absence of symptoms is not enough to show that one’s blood glucose is well controlled….as some people may have poor blood glucose control and still don’t have symptoms of high blood glucose.

  2. Level of blood glucose and presence or absence of glucose in one’s urine. Blood glucose levels refer to the fasting values and the levels obtained 2 hours after the main meals. Therefore, blood glucose should, ideally, be checked (preferably by self) four times in a day; fasting and 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fasting blood glucose should be between 80 –
    130mg/dl while the post meal values should not be more than 180mg/dl. However, these target blood glucose values depends on patient’s age, life expectancy, duration of diabetes, presence of other illnesses in the patient and patient’s preference.
    Again absence of glucose in one’s urine sample suggest good control. Blood glucose checks are superior to checking glucose in urine.

And, finally…

  1. Check or measurements of one’s glycated haemoglobin (aka HBa1C). This should be checked at least, two times per year for all persons living with diabetes. For those persons who have had poor glucose control, HBa1C should be checked up to four times per year. It’s a good measure of blood glucose control in the prior 2 – 3 months and the level should not be more than 7%. Therefore, if your health care provider ask you to do your HBa1C, he is perfectly in order.

With what we know now, where do you or your loved one living with diabetes belong? Do you have a good blood glucose control? The choice is yours and the rip offs are there for you too.

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Top 10 actors (…and actresses) in the diabetes train

Life is a stage. All of us are actors and actresses. Living with diabetes is a journey. It’s not a destination. Today, someone living with diabetes is here but by tomorrow, the person is there.

In the diabetes journey, there are potholes, bumps, gullies, valleys and hilltops. To keep the diabetes train on course, several actors have been enlisted.

Not just two or three.

  1. The person living with diabetes is the main character and the chief actor. He or she is at the driver’s seat. He or she is the reason for the journey. He or she is at the centre of the stage always. Once the person living with diabetes quit the stage, kick the bucket, the diabetes train will come to a halt and the rest actors will go their ways.

  2. The caregivers to the persons living with diabetes are the train conductors. They assist the train driver, serving the same roles as bus conductors. They provide all the immediate needs of the train drivers on a daily basis and as long as the train is moving.

  3. First degree relatives of people living with diabetes and they include their spouses, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Many a time, they provide money and other resources to fuel and maintain the train. They, also, play the roles of caregivers in some cases.

  4. People made motherless or fatherless by diabetes mellitus are important actors and actresses. They’re filled with a passion to deal with diabetes mellitus. Once beaten is twice shy! Yours sincerely was rendered fatherless by diabetes mellitus. That may, partly, explain why I am at the forefront of this journey.

  5. Health care providers are important actors in the diabetes drama. They are at the centre of the actions and are like coaches to the team.The more sophisticated and skillful they are, the smoother the journey may be.

  6. Pharmaceutical organisations producing, distributing, marketing and retailing drugs and products used in diabetes care are important stakeholders in the diabetes journey. Water, diesel, fuel etc are essential ingredients needed to keep the train in motion. They are provided by the pharmaceutical industry.

  7. Non governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations and other diabetes support groups are key actors and change agents in the diabetes journey. They’re involved in diabetes self management education and support.

  8. People in government are not left behind in the diabetes journey. Policies, regulations and laws that shape the rail line of the diabetes train is provided by government and it’s agencies. Their actions or in-actions can make or mar any good intentions of the other actors.

  9. The media organisations are part of the team. They signal the arrivals and departures of the diabetes train. Information and education are critical to good diabetes care and advocacy.

And finally….

  1. The rest of us who are currently without diabetes mellitus. They are like the passengers in the train. They can make or mar the journey. When these actors play to instructions or act as directed by the health care providers, less of the citizens will be victims of the diabetes drama.

These top 10 actors and actresses constitute the team and the squad in the diabetes journey. A team has better chances of being victorious when she plays as a team. If we play well as a team, why must the International Diabetes Federation, IDF. projection of 700 million people in the world to live with diabetes by 2045 come true? What do you think?

3 quick steps to recognize and confirm that someone living with diabetes is currently having low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)

Hypoglycemia (aka low blood glucose) is potentially fatal if not recognized and treated promptly. Self care skills acquired from diabetes self management education is life saving to patients presenting with hypoglycemia. But,  it’s important that persons living with diabetes and or their caregivers should recognize and confirm hypoglycemia via these 3 steps:

  1. Recognize the symptoms and signs of hypoglycemia which are divided into two :

a. warning symptoms that are due to increase adrenaline and other chemicals release by the body. They include :

Excessive sweating

Feeling of hunger

Feeling of tremors

Palpitations (ie awareness of one’s heartbeat).

Nausea (ie feeling like to vomit),

Shivering

Anxiety

b. Symptoms due to effects on the brain which include:

Confusion

Headache

General body weakness

Irritability

Lack of concentration

Aggression

Dizziness

Drowsiness and

Coma

The warning symptoms are important and should be recognized to prevent effects on the brain. Then, the next step is to:

  1. Check the person’s blood glucose as soon as the symptoms of hypoglycemia (listed above) are recognized in the patient. If the person’s blood glucose then is less than 2.5mmol/l or 45mg/dl, he/she is strongly suspected to have hypoglycemia which is confirmed by the last step which is:

  2. Resolution of the symptoms of hypoglycemia noted in the  person after taking a glucose -rich food or beverage or intravenous infusion. This,  finally, confirms the diagnosis of hypoglycemia in the person.

It’s important that one should act fast as soon as the warning symptoms are observed or complained of by the patients. It’s, also,  important that all persons living with diabetes who are on insulin injections should always have some cubes of sugar or sugar rich sodas /beverages in their homes.  This is a precautionary measure against  hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia experience is a nightmare to most patients who have had it.