I am a 58 years old software engineer having diabetes since last 26 years. My family lives in Kolkata, but due to my work I reside alone in Bangalore. As you know that living alone and managing diabetes is very difficult without the family support. Though I have servant to cook, but eating alone is sometimes quite depressing. At times, I felt so lonely that I used to skip my morning walks. In spite of taking insulin, my sugar levels kept on fluctuating which was my major concern.
I have a strong family history of diabetes and learning about diabetes was very important. So, I started reading about diabetes on Google in my free time. One thing I have noticed is that there is an overload of information on internet that creates confusion, especially for a lay man like me. It is when you think that, whether this information is right for me or not? I tried talking to my doctor about my concern, however giving answers to all my queries was difficult for him in a 5 minute consultation. I always use to wonder, if I had someone who could guide me according to my condition and also discuss all my concerns, then my journey with diabetes would have been better.
On the contrary, I had a very hectic schedule, which left me with very less time to schedule frequent appointments with the doctor. I wanted a platform where someone can solve my queries and also offer personalised counselling that I needed to manage my diabetes.
While going through Facebook, I came to know about Diabee. It is a digital platform that offers a complete Diabetes Management Program. I took a 3 month service initially but after I saw improvement in my blood sugar levels, I renewed it for another 3 months with minimum cost involved. They made a personal health coach accountable for my health goals, she supported me at every step during my entire journey.
My health coach took my detailed personal, nutritional and medical history. Accordingly she planned a customised diet and exercise plan for me. In span of 6 months my HbA1c came down from 8.4 to 6.9%. My blood sugar fasting and PP is also within the normal limits now. I have been able to reduce my insulin dose from 50 units per day to 35 and also lost around 4 kg of weight, it really felt great.
Earlier my routine and meal timings were completely erratic. Then my coach explained me how a small step of taking meals on time can make a big difference and help to prevent glucose fluctuations. Now I’ve started taking my meals on time and don’t give long gaps between my meals. The frequency of hypoglycaemia has also reduced. I have learned a lot about healthy eating choices, glycemic index of different food and how I can enjoy my favourite food (e.g. rice, sweets etc.) by following portion control. As we all know, habits are difficult to change but because of consistent motivation and support of my health coach I’m able to adopt healthy habits in my daily routine.
I have started going for a 30 minute walk daily and also included swimming in my schedule on alternate days. All these exercises are not only mood elevators but also help to keep my diabetes in check. Diabee has also taught me many self-care skills such as skin care, foot care, and insulin education. I have developed a good understanding of my glucose pattern. They have also make me aware about the ways to overcome occasionally high or low blood sugars.
I would say that false knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance. The more conscious you are about your health choices the better you can manage your diabetes.