November is the month of Diabetes Awareness and is one of the reasons I decided to share my T1 life with you all. Still, some of my friends were awestruck and were like ‘Why didn’t you tell us earlier, for how long did you have it and many more questions like this’. Obviously, I should have been ready for questions like these and I also would have reciprocated the same way they did, but unfortunately I wasn’t. But, this made me write something about my Type1 life, which most of the people don’t know.
‘I was born and brought up in Indore, in a well educated and established family and spent major part of my life here. It was 4th day of August, 1993, that I was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes (I was 6 at that time). Obviously, it is not an overnight happening and prior to diagnosis, it was over a fortnight that my health started to deteriorate. I had unusual symptoms like sudden weight loss, despite of eating all the time, I was lethargic whole day, unlike any other kid of my age, used to keep mum at times, irritable at others and wake up to a wet bed daily, with all other symptoms relatable to diabetes (as narrated by my mother). This was alarming for my parents and they went to see our family doctor asap. After some required lab investigations, I was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes. My family doctor advised to admit me to the hospital immediately, as my blood sugar levels were 500+ with severe Ketoacidosis (DKA). After a long examination and history taking, it was found that I had an episode of viral fever a couple of weeks ago, as a result, I had an autoimmune reaction in my body, that destroyed beta cells in my pancreas. After that, series of drug trials were done on me and after a month long stay in hospital, I was finally discharged with a set of Insulin vials and syringes.
Those were the most difficult days for my parents, their life turned upside down. Type1 diabetes was rare in those days and treatment was also not that advanced as present times. We had to go to laboratory to get a simple blood sugar check. I was advised Bovine insulin (animal origin) with disposable syringes, at first and its 26 years long journey with Insulin now. https://poonamjadhavt1d.com/2018/06/07/my-journey-with-insulins/
As years passed by, we were very used to the Type1 life, the only thing that depressed us was the people surrounding us. They kept poking me all the time about my diabetes and this led to the decision we took, that we are not going to disclose my Type1 life to anyone, until and unless very much required. Obviously, my relatives, family friends, school friends, staff were aware, as my parents were very concerned for me and wanted to always keep an eye on me, while I’m in school. On the other hand, some people were very helpful and concerned, that I don’t have words to thank them. One of most important person in my life, after my family is my doctor, my Diabetologist. I feel like worshipping him as God. He was full time support for me right from my childhood, just like my father. May it be counselling me on regular intervals, annual checkups, mid year check ups or any other queries, he was always ready to help me out and I won’t forget to mention that he didn’t took a single penny from me for very 26 years (Whenever my parents insisted, he always said that I can’t ever take any money from this little kid) and now when I’m grown up, still he responds the same way as always.
In between, I did my schooling, graduation, post graduation, but I didn’t ever tell my friends,colleagues,mentors as I didn’t wanted people to sympathise with me and I never regret doing so.
During all these years, my family was my biggest strength and they continue to push me up whenever I’m low on some days and I would love to mention that I have a loving father, mother and a younger brother, three pillars of my life.
The Turning Point~
4th August, 2018 was my 25th Diaversary( Diabetes anniversary). Every year, we used to celebrate my diaversary, but this year it was special because it was my silver jubilee year and I had come a long way after my diagnosis. Somehow, that day I felt like I should get in touch with people like me. There are so many people out there, who are fighting the same battle and it motivates us looking at other people just like us.
After giving a second thought, I found Twitter as the most convenient medium and started using it. And you won’t believe, it was the best thing I did in past 26 years. I found so many people there and its a big diabetes community over there. Simultaneously, I started writing blogs on Type1 diabetes, so that I can share my experience and knowledge with other people. With the passage of time, I started getting queries from people who are Type 1 themselves or have kids with Type1 diabetes and I found that there are so many newly diagnosed Type1 people who need great help from others. Before that, I had never realised that my blogs would help people so much, some people have interacted with me personally on Emails and Whatsapp. It further motivated me to work in this direction and this year on World Diabetes Day, I finally decided to share my Type1 life with everyone I’m in touch with, so that I can motivate more of people like me and help them come up with their Type1 lives proudly. There are so many people out there, who are unwilling to share their Type1 lives with others because of the stigmas surrounding it and someone has to take the initiative. Obviously, there are so many people who are dedicatedly working in this area and I just wanted to do my bit at individual level.
I’ll end my post thanking all the people who have expressed their concern and enthusiastically asked about my Type1 life and this is how you all did your bit in spreading awareness about Type1 diabetes.
Lastly, I would request everyone to please help me in spreading awareness about Type1 diabetes and if you know any Type1 diabetic or parents of Type1 kids who need help, please let me know through any medium, so that I can help them in every possible way I can.
Dr. Poonam Jadhav
Consultant Dental Surgeon
Mobile – +91 7042988326
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org