Keeping diabetes in check for 12 years

minute read
October 21, 2022
Two plates with mango cut and prepped for eating.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story.

My aunt’s mother-in-law has had type 2 diabetes for over a decade. The disease runs in her family.

It began 12 years ago when she started experiencing body pain and extreme tiredness. Her mouth would also get dry very often, and her wrist joints and legs began to ache.

At first, she ignored them, thinking they would go away on their own. However, after a few days, she was still in pain and decided to seek medical advice.

For her check-up, she went to a renowned government hospital. The doctor did some tests and diagnosed that her blood sugar level was too high and she had diabetes.

Getting started, and the importance of mental health

Receiving the news that you have a disease is enough to worry any patient, not to mention their family members. However, her doctor was incredible and understood the importance of mental health in dealing with any disease. She knew how important it was when dealing with diabetes to not give in to stress and anxiety.

Her first step was to focus on calming down my aunt’s mother-in-law (the patient). She reassured her that if she took good care of herself and followed her advice, she could keep her sugar level in control and still live a healthy life.

Next, she spoke to my relative’s husband and children. She also told them not to worry and to keep an eye on my aunt’s mother-in-law for the first few days, helping her whenever she seemed sad or depressed.

Changing to a healthy diet

The next thing my aunt’s mother-in-law was told was to focus on her diet. To manage her diabetes, she would need to modify it, eating healthier foods like vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. She was also to avoid sweets and food high in saturated fats and salt.

Taking her medicine on time and getting regular check-ups

Taking your medicines regularly plays a vital role in the treatment of any disease, and this is especially true with diabetes. My aunt’s mother-in-law was told never to miss taking her medicines, as they helped keep her sugar levels stable.

As a type 2 diabetic, she was initially prescribed oral anti-hyperglycemic medicine. The dosage of this medicine has increased over the years, but she hasn’t yet had the need to take insulin.

She also goes to the hospital every 3 months for blood tests. These blood tests help the doctor track her progress and advise if she needs to make any further lifestyle or medication adjustments.

Making sure to exercise

The doctor also stressed how important it was to meditate, exercise and walk regularly. She explained to my aunt’s mother-in-law in detail how regular exercise and walking would not only improve her health but also help prevent the disease from getting worse. This would reduce the risk of complications developing, such as damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Meditation would help keep her in good mental health. It would reduce stress and help her stay motivated.

Checking her blood sugar level

Since she got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my aunt’s mother-in-law checks her blood sugar level daily – Her doctor told her during her very first visit that on her way home she had to buy a glucometer.

If her blood sugar level is ever above the normal range, she goes back to see her doctor – Because she takes good care of herself this rarely happens.

Final thoughts

It can be hard living as a type 2 diabetic, especially for those with a sweet tooth. However, if you take good care of yourself and follow your doctor’s instructions even diabetics can enjoy sweets every now and then (in small portions, of course).

My aunt’s mother-in-law is proof of this. She follows all her doctor’s instructions (getting regular exercise, walking, taking her medicines on time, never missing her check-ups, meditating, and checking her blood sugar level daily) and she’s been able to lead a pretty normal life. She’s also not completely deprived of sweet foods.

Every summer she loves to eat mangoes and thanks to her discipline, sticking to her routine and following her doctor’s instructions, she’s been able to keep eating them without a problem – Though, of course, she takes extra care and checks her blood sugar level after eating anything sweet.

So if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, don’t get depressed or down. Just think of my aunt’s mother-in-law, and do what she does.

You too can live a healthy, happy life.

Graphic of a female profile picture.
Dania Saleem
Editor's note: The opinions and experiences reflected in stories from the diabetic community belong to the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InDiabetes.

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