Living with diabetes: A patient shares his personal journey of dealing with the disease
Name: TK Manmadhan, age 74
Profession: Zoologist (Retd)
“l’ve been living with Type 2 diabetes for more than 35 years, and at age 74, I’m still going strong. I have not let diabetes take over my life, and this would not be possible without the support of my better half M Sathi whose role is diversified into my personal dietitian and caretaker after I was diagnosed with diabetes.
I was a sturdy man – 6 feet tall and weighing 90 kgs in my thirties. All of a sudden, I started to lose weight, began feeling unusually tired, lethargic, excessive hunger, thirst – in fact, I had all the classic symptoms of diabetes. Sure enough, I was diagnosed to be Type 2 diabetic.
The initial days were hard to handle. I lost the sweetness in my life due to regular medication, and I had to make a big compromise on my food and take up regular exercise. It had really become a big point of concern. I soon learnt to manage the condition without too many issues.
However, in 2010 I met with a small accident where I injured my big toe. That’s when I was advised to start using insulin to heal the wound, and speed up recovery. I started using insulin regularly, and with self-monitoring devices, I found that it was manageable to a great extent.
My current medication includes – Insulin Human Mixtard, Glycomet GP1 1g, Telma 40, Atrofit and multivitamin supplements, which I order online.
A well-planned diet and regular medication goes in a long way in handling diabetes efficiently, so that patients can lead a normal lifestyle without any hindrance and comorbid conditions
My diet is also modified with plenty of fibre-rich foods. I am careful to maintain the intervals with timely snacks that include soups, buttermilk, salads, sprouts and fruits. My interest in gardening is also a great stress-buster, apart from keeping me physically active. I spend nearly spent 60 minutes daily which is good for my mind and body.
Manmadhan’s personal tips to manage diabetes:
- Maintain proper meal timing with healthy snacks to prevent blood sugar spikes.
- Go for fibre rich complex carbs, vegetables and fruit in your diet
- Include moderate physical activity that interests you on a regular basis.
- Self-monitoring blood sugar at home at regular intervals is a good habit.
- Proper foot care with regular foot examination is a must to check for any unnoticed cuts or changes in the feet.
- Follow your medication as prescribed with regular physician visit as advised.
Manmadhan’s advice: “In order to deal with diabetes, the right knowledge goes a long way in managing it effectively.”