Recovering from stressful sugar

minute read
May 22, 2023
An older male, Indian type 2 diabetic.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story. Photo credit - Govaayu.

Diabetes has become a common illness, but that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful.

Hello! I’m MI, and this is my father’s diabetes story.

Getting diagnosed

Our family moved to our current city over a decade ago. At the time, we had a small home.

For the first few years, everything went well. But then my father was diagnosed with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes – The cause was excessive stress.

At first, Mummy and Papa were tense, because they’d heard that there was no cure for diabetes and they had to simply live with it. No matter how hard, they needed to accept reality.

Taking control

After his diagnosis, my father went to see his doctor and have his blood sugar level checked. The doctor gave him medicine and told him to exercise regularly and control his diet.

My father’s diabetes had an effect on our whole family.

We changed our diet to limit my father’s starch and sugar. For example, when cooking rice, we drained excess water so we could remove the maximum amount of starch.

And every morning, we joined my father in his daily exercise.

As a result of his care and precaution, my father’s blood sugar levels stabilised.

Reaching the breaking point

Everything was going well until my father’s boss changed.

His previous boss conducted inspections every 2 weeks, with my father (as the area leader) accompanying him.

His new boss changed this routine and came twice a week. And whenever his boss came to inspect the area, my father had to drop all his day’s work and accompany him, from morning to night.

He came home from work very late and was always stressed. He struggled with his regular work and the additional workload from the increased inspections. He also suffered from severe back pain and wasn’t supposed to drive a bike unless it was essential, but now had to use his bike more than ten hours a day.

The lack of sleep, excessive stress, pain, and irregular diet started to take a toll on my father’s health.

His frustration with work led to arguments in our home. This, combined with financial difficulties, became too much for him – After 2 months, he collapsed while coming home on his bike and had to be helped home.

Visiting the doctor, we learned that his blood sugar level was almost 400 (it should be less than 140) – This was a red alarm.

The doctor told him he had to reduce his tension and stress, or his body would fail. They doubled the dosage of his medicine and recommended bed rest.

Getting well

Knowing that his body was on the verge of collapse, my father followed the doctor’s warning – He knew that with his blood sugar level so high, he was at high risk of diabetes complications (such as kidney failure), which he simply couldn’t afford to fix.

He applied for a week’s leave from work (which was granted on medical grounds) and started recuperating at home.

At first, he wasn’t able to walk very much, but this got better over time and as his blood sugar level decreased.

After a week, he went back to work. His blood sugar level was 200 (still higher than it should be), but this time he didn’t go overboard. He delayed some of his regular work and made sure to get home on time. And he started exercising and paying attention to his diet again.

After 2 months, his blood sugar level was back to normal, and his medicine could go back to the standard dosage.

It wasn’t that he wasn’t under any stress or pressure anymore – He simply took steps to reduce it and paid attention to his health and daily schedule.

A few months later, my father decided to quit his job and start his own distribution business. It was a good decision – He was now in control of his own time and workload, and still earning enough money to support our family.

Final thoughts

Like any disease, to manage diabetes effectively you need to manage your mental health too.

If your mental health isn’t right and you’re under too much pressure and stress, your health is going to pay a hefty price.

I saw firsthand my father’s suffering, and my advice to you is this – Prioritise your health above everything, because when you’re healthy, then you can be wealthy too.

And never give up.

Graphic of a female profile picture.

MI is an 18-year-old girl, who from a young age has seen her loved ones facing diabetes and other diseases. She firmly believes that to be physically healthy, you need to be mentally healthy too.

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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