On that day, August 15, 2016, Teejay, a 51 year old successful motor spare parts trader went to the medical outpatient clinic of the General hospital in Akure to complain about his unexplained weight loss despite his good appetite and some feelings of fatigue and general body weakness. All these while, he had assumed nothing was wrong with him but this time, he went to the hospital because he needed the reassurance from the medical officer that all was well.
But, to his greatest surprise, at the end of the day, he was told that he had Diabetes mellitus. Just like that!
Some oral medications were prescribed for him and he was told to come back again in two weeks for a check up. Before the reality of Teejay’s new health status could sink into him, the consulting medical officer rang his bell and shouted “next patient “. The staff nurse working with the doctor quickly ushered in the next patient.
Two weeks later, Mr Teejay kept the appointment and was attended to by the same busy doctor. The situation is not different from the private health institutions where the doctor who doubles as the manager /accountant is also saddled with administrative, personal and clinical responsibilities. Such busy doctor, therefore, does not have the time to educate newly diagnosed diabetic patients and the old ones. Even in Teaching /tertiary hospitals that run specialized diabetes clinic, the task of educating diabetic patients is given a half -hearted attention.
The resultant effect is that the diabetic patients and their caregivers know little or nothing about the illness and what they can contribute to make the tasks of caring for them easier. Because nature abhors a vacuum, such diabetic patients are soon stuffed with false facts and superstitions by the man in the streets and charlatans. They share these false and distorted information with other persons living with diabetes.
However, diabetes mellitus is one illness where patient’s education plays a vital role towards the proper management of the patients. When diabetic patients are well educated, the patients make some significant inputs to self-care. It makes the job easier for the doctors and for the patients less expensive with a better quality of life.
It is in view of the above scenario that this blog was created. To share with our diabetic patients all the facts and information that will make the journey a less turbulent one for the supervising physicians, people living with diabetes and their caregivers. We hope to, as much as possible, demystify the disease entity called Diabetes Mellitus by responding to your questions, comments and worries.