“It Can Happen To Anyone”: You Can’t Afford To Ignore This Pune Girl’s Struggle Against Type 1 Diabetes

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2nd November 2014 is the day when my life changed completely.  I had been ill for a few days. I was taken to the hospital and my blood tests were done. The result would define my life completely. When my blood sugar test was done, the reading was 395. It was pricked again, just to confirm, and the reading was 400. I was admitted to the hospital that very minute. Frankly speaking, I was really clueless about what was happening.

The next four days in the hospital were full of needles. What I remember today of those days is only the pricking and piercing of the needles. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Late Autoimmune Diabetes In Adults (LADA). The only factor that defines my life today.

At 24 years of age, lying there on the hospital bed, I was unaware of this storm which would have a permanent effect in my life.  However much I wanted it to end, to stop… It would never go...

So the reality hit me when the doctor paid a visit. On the day of my discharge he demonstrated how to take insulin on my own with the help of an insulin pen. In short, how to pierce myself with needles everyday. He told me in simple language, “You can’t forget taking insulin as you can’t forget to breathe.” The finality of the situation dawned upon me at that moment and I decided, “This is it! I am going to be strong, I am going to fight it out and I am not going to let diabetes take the better of me. If I have to live with it I will live with all the happiness, positivity and normalcy till my last day. I will never ever give up. One day I will be SUGARFREE.”

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It’s a promise I have made to myself and I am working towards making that promise a reality till this moment.

People are not aware of what Type 1 Diabetes actually is. I  wasn’t aware about it myself.

There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 & Type 2.

Type 1 Diabetes firstly, is not a disease but an autoimmune disorder caused by the destruction of the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. It can happen to anyone at any time. It is because our body, our pancreas, specifically, stops co-operating. The cause for it is unknown. It is not genetic. It is not something to sympathize about or pity about. It is a continuous battle.

Type 1 diabetes makes up an estimated 5–10% of all diabetes cases. The number of people affected globally is unknown, although it is estimated that about 80,000 children develop the disease each year. Within the United States the number of people affected is estimated at one to three million. It typically begins in children and young adults.

It is estimated that India has about 97,700 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). A study of 30 children with insulin-dependent diabetes with age at diagnosis ≤15 years, conducted in 1992, reported a prevalence of 0.26/ 1000 children. The peak age at diagnosis was 12 years.

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Blood Sugar Chart

Category

Fasting Value (mg/dl)

Post Prandial (mg/dl)

Minimum Value

Maximum Value

Value 2 hours after consuming glucose

Normal

70

100

Less than 140

 

Early Diabetes

101

126

140 to 200

 

Established Diabetes

More than 126

-

More than 200

 

The main purpose behind writing about this is not writing about my own battle against Type 1 diabetes, but raising awareness about it.In the beginning it really used to hurt. Every time the needle found its way into my body it used to hurt but I always used to think, “1 count less to the unknown numbers.” Many a times, there is bleeding, bruises and blackening of skin. I really get tired sometimes because of the fluctuations my blood sugars go through. I get mentally tired because I have to be alert all the time. I have to think twice before eating anything. It gets tough to manage. Sometimes negativity engulfs me but what keeps me going is hope. I have held on to it dearly. By God’s Grace I am in a much better position where I can do things independently. The road, no doubt was tough, difficult and uncertain. But I was no less tough. What was difficult was seeing my family go through hell - we all were together in this journey. I died everyday seeing my family suffer due to my sufferings. But I am not someone to sit back and cry. I will never give up.

I know a day will come when I, along with thousands of others, will be free from diabetes. And that freedom will be full of SWEETNESS.

Lastly, I don’t want anyone’s pity or sympathy for my condition. What I want is support and understanding towards us all suffering from T1D. We all need a cure, but before that we need awareness. #weneedawareness

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