I have been pondering over this question a lot these days and its safe to say that after 3 years of a particular incident that happened to me, I can definitely see how it changed me in myriad of ways.
Being diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 at the age of 30.
I was never the one who took life too seriously; Who took health too seriously. In my earlier years, I partied like any teenager, took risks like any 20 something. Never worried about the repercussions of those on my health.
Things changed the year I turned 30. It was scary, because suddenly you have the realisation that you are not as young as you think you are. You have crossed 1/3 of your lifespan ( hopefully if you make it to 90 ) or perhaps even half of it.
Even then, the seriousness of that fact hasn’t sunk in just yet.
It took me a random blood sugar test as a part of regular vitals check to be jolted awake though. Having a fasting blood glucose level of 294 mg/dl and later on the result of HbA1c test of 14% , the diagnosis was crystal clear.
Of course, With family history of diabetes, Having PCOS from years, And bad lifestyle habits had put me at higher risk, I still did not expect it at this early age.
I am still going through the stages of grief because of my diagnosis I guess. Surprisingly, at first, I was quick to accept the fact that I’d be living with this for as long as I breathe. A little bit of anger was there, But largely it was self criticism. How could I have let this happen?
Two stages were down, Three more to go.
I bargained with my self that If I make enough changes in my life, If I incorporate disciplined exercised regime, then everything would eventually be OK. It was difficult, for someone who enjoyed her sweets and chocolates, a sudden withdrawal from all sugary stuff affected me a lot. The good thing I did was to take up running as an exercise and it got me happy, healthier for that time being.
Exercise and Diet, Along with Medication, made the subsequent HbA1c tests go down to 8% and 7%.
There was a motivation in the beginning, to feel better, which made it easier to cut off sugar entirely at one go. But that motivation dwindled after 6–8 months. Even the running stopped due to the summer season that ended all outdoor running activities in my city. I took up yoga, that helped though I lacked the self discipline that was needed to be really helpful in long term. For a few months, I followed everyday. But that started to go down too.
I went into denial phase. There seemed a no end in sight for this fight. I was numb and in shock for a while. The reality of this disease hit me then far worse than when I was first diagnosed.
Health deteriorated and HbA1c went up again. This time leading me to Stress, Anxiety and a sort of depression. Physiological changes in the body had also made everything worse. Six months back health tests showed that I had severe lack of Vitamin D, Iron and Vitamin B12. Later on at a discussion with my doctor, we came to realise this could’ve been other way round too. Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with elevated Anxiety and Stress. That could have led to higher cortisol levels and blood glucose. On top of it, I started waking up to terrible neck and shoulder pains.
My diet plan had gone awry as well. Because of the continuous pain, eating made me nauseous and I didn’t have enough energy to do anything. This affected my life, my relationships and my work. It was turning into a vicious cycle.
This was not how I wanted to continue living. Medicines helped big time with this. B12 injections, supplements for iron and Vitamin D first helped me get out of the fog of anxiety, stress and depression. Next I got onto better eating habits again. Then I took up meditation, which on most days is still quite calming. On other days I struggle to focus.
From last few months, I have taken up swimming too. Its helping me stay positive and lessen the anxiety. The biggest take away from this is that I’ve been successfully fighting my hydrophobia and that’s making me feel victorious. every single day.
2 months back, I finally found the determination to enrol in a Gym. That has added to the feel good factor after seeing the progress in terms of strength and stamina and I hope to continue with it for a long time.
Having been diagnosed a diabetic has changed me in many ways. I can clearly see there is a vast difference between a Before and After me.
I’ve had my days when the fight has proved to be too hard. But in the end, I’ve came out stronger, more self aware, more positive over all.
The biggest change has been to realise I have a unwavering resilience that helps me get back up on my feet every time I fall.