Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why I love being a Diabetic?? part iv

I survived this :) thankfully, and our team won the match. One of our teammates, Himjeet Singh Bains suffered a wound on his right index finger and he was proudly announced as the man of the match for he shed blood for the team……………..i went to the captain shouting, that it was me who had the biggest sacrifice of all, and we all couldn’t stop laughing. I still laugh alone on this one. Those days will never come back, and this is a regret that 99 per cent of people on this planet have. But what we all never think or care about is that we can make this time ever wonderful and ever magical by doing what we all like and by saying what we all want to. Its good to have memories, but its killing to stay with the memories and not pushing the life ahead. Something I have learnt from Diabetes again :).

I was the kind of guy with a famous tagline "koi chakkar nahi", and this is something I carry with me till date. I have a couple of more stories to tell you. I was always a sportsperson at my heart. In our residential area, all of my friends would gather by a particular place where our dear friend Honey and Bunty stayed. We all would go to the nearest playground and play either football or cricket. There was this guy Varun, we called him Apple for he was the delicate of us all and has the fairest complexion of us all :). While playing, I once pushed him (what we call a shoulder push in football), and he fell and started limping and saying he cant move his arm. I thrashed him like anything and said that behave like a man, don’t be delicate and blah blah……..motivational stuff. The next thing in the morning, I see him with a plaster and his mother looking at me like kicking my ass hard.

We stopped playing football after this and continued with the cricket fever. One of my favorite bowlers, Monu, was bowling and I was on the strike. He bowled and I struck the ball with power, the ball went up high in the air. Monu was directly under it and could have caught me out easily. Just then, we hear a scream………………………….ooooooooyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeee. This was Mohit Goyal, an overenthusiastic guy running to catch the ball from a very long distance. It wasn’t his catch, but he wanted to take every catch and every wicket in the field. He was running towards ball and hence, Monu screaming. And I survived because of him. Why? He hit Monu hard and his open mouth straightaway ate Monu's ear. Next screams belonged to Monu only. I ran up to Monu, had a laugh with other guys on Mohit's behavior and thrashed Monu again for being delicate and that he could not taken a little pain. As again, I was motivating Monu. The next thing, I see Monu in the college with stitches on his ear. That was a bad wound Mohit gave him, and I couldn’t talk to Monu out of embarassment.

I stopped motivating people after that. Ok, I am lying……………the frequency of motivating went low, but I still motivate people to do stuff they are not supposed to. But at the end of the day, they have some sense of achievement and pride, that they survived and this is what life is all about?

When you are a Diabetic, you have to see things differently and most importantly, you have to think about them. My mother always used to tell me something which is there in all our text books. 'whatever happens, happens for the good'. This is something I learnt well, and this is something that changed my life too. People say that I take life too positively, and I would respond saying, ' taking life negatively and blaming someone wont help a thing, instead trying seeing positive and eventually everything turns out positive'. The best thing about this is that you never feel tensed about anything and this is good for a Diabetic, as you stay out of hypertension and live a happy life.

The other day I was interacting with a shopkeeper. I asked for double toned pasteurized milk and he said why would you need it in such a young age. I told him that I am Diabetic and he was surprised and shocked, and then again something that we Diabetics have to learn to cope up with and answer the world in an appropriate manner. He told me everything is bad about being a Diabetic, your life becomes hell, you cant eat properly, and above all his sympathizing tone and the look in his eyes saying 'poor guy'. Many of us would feel like kicking his ass given the opportunity, but I looked at him smiling and having mercy on his soul for his lack of knowledge about this condition. People are dying of Asthma, Cancer, AIDS, accidents, terrorists attacks, weather conditions, rain, cold, and a thousand other odd reasons……………………………..can anyone give an approximate of a rough figure of people dying of Diabetes? This is the question I am looking for an answer to and you all should also.

Let me take a look back at my life, (I know I am going off the timeline, but these things are crossing my mind and I want to pen them down right away). I have a good academic record, a nice job, a healthy life, sugar under control, and my wounds heal easily than a normal person. I am healthy, efficient and performing. If this is something about being a Diabetic, who would not love being a Diabetic? Just name me one thing wrong in my life at this time and blame Diabetes for it. There is none.

Coming back to the timeline, I entered University in a course which most people never knew about and those who knew were of the view that this is academically a below average rated course and the placement after completion is next to zero. It was Anthropology. I liked the discipline from the very first day. All my seniors were hell bent on getting us all out of the course, but we stuck to the cause and stayed. ……


Monday, June 16, 2008

Why I love Being a Diabetic ?? part III

I met all the people back home with joy, and so I did to my friends and relatives………..but to my surprise they were all bearing sympathy for me. Stuff like poor child, he had to deal with this, etc etc. To be honest, this pissed me further. The care is good, but sympathy is by far the best killer I have known. But somehow, I dealt with it.

After coming back to the house, I became a Guinea Pig for all those people who always wanted to be a doctor but never could given their mental / financial / academic obligations. They came to my house virtually everyday and would tell my mother to try the next best thing in the market with a sure shot cure for Diabetes. And I always wondered, why Diabetes is the most widespread condition globally with virtually every third person having this condition and with so much a cures available in the local folklore market. I bet you all know what a bitter gourd is, for my hindi loving fans its 'karela'. One of my closest relatives (or my diehard enemy should I say), prescribed me to have a grated bitter gourd juice the first thing in the morning and eat the grated part after consuming the juice. Hell, I have never tried Potassium Cyanide, but even that should taste sweeter than what I consumed for a period of one month. And to have it the first thing in the morning, believe me, spoils the whole day and be it aloo ka prantha or rajmah chawal……………..nothing is close to being a rescue operation. To all my fellow diabetics, I would suggest not to try this ever, as this will not cure diabetes or improve your condition. It will just take the sweetness out of the otherwise sugarfree sweet foods.

Next on the hitlist was a famous doctor who ran a charitable homeopathic dispensary in the nearby sector. Recommended again by all those wannabe doctors, I went to this doctor with my father. Well, I must admit here that doctor or not, that guy was a motivator. He motivated me so much with his talks and the white pills he gave me that on coming back home, I threw out the insulin injections out of my house claiming rather announcing that I am free from diabetes and can eat anything under the sun. And then, for another week I lived like a Maharaaja consuming every delicacy that my mom or I can cook. After that, I started feeling a little week and the doctor would say that I need energy foods like dry fruits, sugars which I happily consumed. But after sometime of treating my tongue, I felt that something is not right and my body is not responding well to me. And here was the record, I was surviving and in my senses at a blood glucose level of more than 600 mg/dl which is the condition where doctors would say that there are chances of being going to what they call 'Diabetic Coma'. To my luck, I never went to that condition and doctors were surprised.

And now I question myself, who was to blame if I went to that coma? Was it the doctor? Was it me? Was it my father? Was it my mother? Was it the society who recommended that doctor? To be honest, it was me. I knew from the very first day that this is not right, and after having read quiet a literature on diabetes, I knew this is something suicidal. But I guess, this is the first thing that we diabetics have to cope up with at this age. You name the factors and they are there - adolescence, adrenalin, sympathy which we never want, family trying to cure you with infinite number of experiments, your friends see you as a diseased entity, and many more. Suicidal tendencies, to let go off the tension is very common and of course, there was the thirst for sugar and sugar products. I was never a sweet eater but I was adventurous for sure. After being diagnosed, my mother would keep the sugar in our almirah's locker where others would keep their jewellery. We made fun of this many a times, that if ever a thief pays a visit, he will find nothing but sugar in our lockers. Being the adventurous guy I was and I am, having sugar from that locker came as a challenge to me, and to be honest here…………I mastered the art of unlocking a locker without the keys.

My mom used to go to the temple daily at 7 pm and she would come back at 8 pm. This hour was enough for me to cook something out of that sugar and consume it. I did it many a times, and when I realized something was wrong with me……….thankfully, it wasn’t late. The doctors changed my insulin injection and I became normal again. The fear of what would have happened helped me take this sugar eating habit off my mind. Sugar free items became my cup of tea now.

Its all about developing your taste, sugar habit is very easy to take off. I wont go to the superstitious and religious ceremonies I went through to please the deities and get sugar off my blood as there was many. As a result of this, I memorize hanumaan chalisa and shiv chalisa word to word and can recite them without even looking once at the book.

When everything else fails, religion builds your faith. My mother used to go to the nearby temple barefoot, believing that perhaps god almighty will listen to her and cure her son. She wouldn’t give a damn about the weather conditions or the people who used to pass comments on her that she is showing off to be a true believer. But believe me, its in us……….its in us as a member of the society or a family. In our darkest hour, we all go to him for a little faith and support. I cannot possibly thank my mother for what she has done for me, but perhaps none of us can. Mothers are ………………………..just mothers. I found courage in her, and she gave me the support I needed at every moment of my life. For all of us, who do not believe in the power of telepathy and mother, herez a confession and an incident. When I was on bed for a week with that homeopathy doctor's prescription, one fine evening I needed water like anything, and I could not say a word out of weekness. I just called my mother out of my mind and believe me she was there and asked me why I have called her? That’s mother for us all. She knows when you need, what you need and when you don’t say it.

In my school, I wasn’t much of an achiever at first but the Diabetes and accompanied look from classmates and teachers inspired me to step on the stage and prove myself. I remember I won my first debate competition with my classmate kanwarinder singh and all the teachers were staring at me talking and banging the lecture desk every alternate point that I made on stage. The confidence was oozing out of my sweat and the will to prove. That was just a starting, I went through many ups and downs at the school level and would not like to talk much about them as they bring some really bad memories………………….i would like to apologize to all for if I ever hurt them in school.

However, it wasn’t all regrets in school. There were moments too. I wouldn’t take much of your time and would just quote two such instances on which I would still sit and laugh like anything. The first one, all our classmates just entered class ix and we were all having a blast with each other, just then something happened to girls of our class that they went out of the class and then enter our furious class teacher with a list of boys in our class. Of course, my name was on that list with my fellow classmates, we all went to the staffroom where in the teacher told us that the girl complained that we all were teasing them showing a diagram of a pregnant lady in our text book. The funny thing in this was that the girls also named the most sincere guy of our class who would even think of anything like this in his dreams. His name is Munish Chauhan. This made us laugh at that moment where we all should be standing with our heads down listening to all kinds of stuff from our teacher. Of course, we never did this and we still don’t understand why those girls did that.

The next instance was when I was playing cricket match with our rival class. Their pace spearhead was on the attack and I had already hit him for a boundary, then a three and another three. It was his last ball and he was furious. Pandit, as we called him, came firing up and bowled that delivery. The ball was coming very nicely to the bat and I came before the wicket and played it across with full energy I can gather. The next thing, I was on the floor………………………………the ball literally hit my balls, and I was like 'main kaun hu? Main kaha hu?' then I see our team captain, Abhinav Singh Gill, (a nice guy), running towards me and he took all the guys off me and declared that I cant breathe and he will have to artificially respirate me. I just heard artificial breathing and I gathered all my strength to threw this guy off my chest. I would die rather to get artificial breathe from someone of my own sex. Of course, he was trying to help me but the very thought of mouth to mouth respiration…………..its eerie…

REST NEXT TIME…………………………………...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

why i love being a diabetic ?? .........contd.

My parents chose the expensive, but otherwise instantaneous solution thinking that this will be beneficial in getting more accurate and fast results. It turned out to be exactly opposite of what was expected of it. The results were wayward. There were two blood samples taken at a time, one was sent to the lab and the other was tested on the glucometer. The results were quiet different from each other. Lab reports usually came late, approximately 4 hours after the sample has been submitted. This sometimes led to my benefit. The glucometer at times showed low sugar levels. Then the doctors would tell me to eat anything with high sugar component. This was my favorite part, I would roam the PGI canteen like a free bird and grab my hands on anything. The lab reports would confirm later that the glucometer readings were wrong. But technology improved ,and so did the precision levels of glucometer.

I wasn’t much of a reader, but in PGI……….you find yourself things to keep you busy. I went to the library during daytimes and night times were reserved for the famous Raj comics. I did some research on Diabetes and found out that there is no cure for the same, but only control. This led my kiddish mind to think logically like an adult, and I framed this question to the then Diabetologist, "if you don’t have a cure for me, why are you keeping me here?". He was answerless, and so were his colleagues. I guess they werent much bothered about my condition, but they were more interested in me as a research subject showing perfect growth, no diabetes symptoms with higher blood sugar levels indicating Diabetes Mellitus. I now wonder I must have been quoted in many a PhD's or Masters degrees in PGI.

My mamaji was closest to me at that time. He was my best friend. He would bring me my favorite comic books to read during the night, as we have to pass-time somehow to keep up with the blood samples chart after every alternate hour. If anyone of us dozed off, the other one would wake him and we talked to each other endlessly. This was also the time he came closest to me, and I would share everything with him. At times, I was more comfortable with him than my own parents. He was by far the best person I have known so far. I learnt one thing from him which I am trying till date. To be honest, to be on the right side, to keep sticking to the right side come what may, to stay strong, to believe in yourself, to be yourself. He was a fighter. He was the first person on this planet for whom I shed my tears for. His demise wasn’t easy on me or on my mom. Though I never showed it to her, but I wasn’t psychologically fine tuned with his demise. I had to support my mother. I love my diabetes for it brought me closer to a person like him and taught me so many a things. He died within a year I was diagnosed and till date there has never been a day which has gone by without me remembering him. I am the type of person who wouldn’t cry before anybody………..but I did cry before my best pal Dhruv. I know I am going a bit off topic, but I guess this is just putting thoughts on paper as they come.

So consider this as a jump in the timeline. I was with Dhruv in PGI emergency ward where our teacher's mother was admitted. On the next bed was a girl with Diabetes and she was accompanied by her mother and her mamaji. This reminded me of my mamaji, and one fine night I finally broke in front of Dhruv and cried like anything remembering him. I have taken everything in my life very positively and if it was for good…………….but this was something I was never convinced with. Perhaps we all are selfish at times, and I am thinking just about myself. Its good for him that he went away and he wont have to suffer the tension and trauma we all face today for some reason or the other. We all are grief sticken, but he must be happy somewhere.

Jumping back to the past times, I got discharged from PGI after a month of exhaustive team research on myself. I came back home and all was changed. People looking at me with mercy and sympathy. This is something really hard for a patient to come home from a sick atmosphere and being looked upon as a patient again. The most difficult and the most important thing for a Diabetic is to make his family, friend, relatives and everyone around him understand that he is not diseased, its just a condition which needs attention and care, and not sympathy and mercy. If a diabetic leads a prescribed life, he has a higher life expectancy than a normal person…………..and this is something which very few people understand.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Many a times, and many a people tried to experiment each and every possible way to cure my Diabetes. Perhaps, I am the only person on this planet who love being a Diabetic. I have learnt so much from this condition that I consider this as a gift from God Almighty. Be a part of my journey and see how and why I fell in love with Diabetes....................................

It’s a long story. Well, here I go. I was diagnosed for diabetes mellitus at an early age of 12, and the doctors put me on insulin. I was an abnormal child. Obese, healthy otherwise. But I would really appreciate my parents over here for being really concerned about their child especially when I wasn’t showing any symptoms of being a diabetic. It was just after I urinated, that a group of ants would come stick to my urine and my mom was careful enough to notice that. They took me to the PGI ( Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research), where doctors would rather do research on unaffected parts of the body than the affected ones…………just to see why the disease has not affected the other part of the body.

I was the seniormost patient over there. Surprised, well the children ward ends at 12 years of age and I was just touching 12……… I was in the children ward and seniormost patient over there. The trainee assigned to me was Dr. Somnath and Dr. Manju. They both were very nice to me as was the rest of the staff. Being obese was being cute over there……………and I felt like the only one healthy over there as I can walk, I can run, go out of my bed anytime. I always felt like being admitted to the hospital and there I was. I must tell you that it is not a very pleasant place to be in but I managed somehow.

Being a diabetic meant that my blood sugar was to be monitored regularly and which also meant that after every alternate hour a nurse would come with a needle in her hand to take vials of blood out of me. Gradually they realized that I am a good learner and they taught me how to take blood samples. So here I was taking my own blood out of me and giving it to the lab for tests. At that time, blood glucose monitors or glucometers were just introduced in the market and the glucostrips that will be stained with blood for a sugar test were mighty expensive. My parents opted for the expensive, but instantaneous glucostrip tests.

rest on my next post...........have got some work to do.........