My name is Lovely Lukose, I am 51 years old divorcee living in Kollam, Kerala with my mother. I am a home maker, which in itself is a challenging full time job with no weekly offs but I am happy with my life.
Both of my parents had type 2 diabetes. We all know how it feels to see a loved one suffer. My father was diagnosed with it when he was 70 years old. I have personally helped him manage his diabetes with diet and exercise. However, my mother got to know that she was diabetic when she was in her early forties. When she reached the age of 54, she got diagnosed with heart disease for which she had to undergo an angioplasty. That was a very difficult time for us but after all these years she is been taking medicines for heart disease and diabetes both. We are helping each other in managing diabetes.
I would like to add that I have a very supportive family including my two brothers who are my real strength. My elder brother works abroad, while the younger one is a doctor who is prescribing medicines for me. His wife is a dentist with excellent knowledge, who is always there for encouragement.
Let me tell you that I was always an active member of my family who likes to enjoy every moment of life. I indulged in hobbies like reading, painting, gardening and cooking. I used to love my job when I was working as a faculty member in Arena Multimedia. Till my young adulthood my blood sugars were fine. Back then I was going through a divorce, which made me quit my job. My world turned upside down when I lost the custody of my son. I only got the permission to keep my son with me during vacations. Being a mother, the feeling of missing my son was very painful.
Slowly & gradually, everything started becoming normal. Then one fine day in the July of 2013, a simple blood test gave me the most anticipated shock of my life. I was diagnosed with diabetes. We actually went to the doctor for symptoms like increased thirst and frequent urination, upon which he advised a blood glucose check. Test reports revealed fasting blood sugar 222mg/dL and the post prandial 323 mg/dL. I was prescribed heavy doses of anti-diabetic medicines twice a day which I had to take morning and evening.
Even after taking the medicines for few weeks my doctor was not happy with my progress as the sugar levels were still high. This is when I realised that there was something wrong which can be corrected. I decided to take control of my lifestyle. I started recording my daily diet and became conscious of my activity level. Intentionally, I reduced the portion size of my meals and included 15 minute walk, two times a day in my schedule. I got motivated to do all the housework by myself.
After following this new lifestyle for around 3 months, I went for the doctor follow-up. I was relieved to see my test reports getting better. The fasting blood glucose came within the range of 90- 120 mg/dL & PP came in the range of 140-160 mg/dL. The dosage of my medicines was reduced when my HbA1C reached 6%.
My fitness mantra
I love having freshly cooked homemade meals. Being a diabetic, it’s not that I totally avoided sweets. I preferred having small portion of dessert at family functions occasionally but I always balance the calories by decreasing the main course. I also enjoy small sized dark chocolate bars when I feel hypoglycaemic.
I start my day at 7.30 a.m. with a morning tea made from half a cup of skimmed milk that I enjoy without sugar. I usually divide my whole breakfast in two parts that I plan to consume at an interval of 3 hours i.e half of it at 8.30 a.m. and the remaining portion at 11.30 a.m.. Either I take two chappatis with egg bhurji or dal or have two dosas with sambar.
By the time I prepare the lunch and try to consume it around 1.30 pm. I divide the components of the meal in three equal parts with 1/3rd part having rice, 1/3rd serving vegetables and last 1/3rd constituting fish or chicken. If you are a vegetarian you can have channa or rajma instead of fish and chicken.
4.30 p.m. is my fruit time when I have a compact fruit like one small half ripe banana, orange or apple.
Evening is again the time for tea which I have with handful of nuts or roasted channa or groundnuts etc.
I usually have my dinner at 8.30 pm, which has again is divided in three equal portions of rice or chappati , vegetables, dal or channa.
While living our life, we all get busy in our routine when we start to ignore our health. However, we should really listen to what our body is telling us and not ignore the symptoms. My life journey has made me a believer in health that a reason I am proactive at diabetic support forums too. I share my thoughts and love to read some interesting questions and answers from the community.
In short, if I evaluate my experience with diabetes I can say that diabetes is not an evil. We can certainly control our blood sugar levels with diet, exercise and medication
We should certainly count our blessings and lead a healthy life.