“Enjoy the spirit of life”
Being diagnosed with Diabetes does not mean an end to enjoying life to its fullest. With medical intervention, diet and exercise a person with Diabetes can continue to enjoy life thoroughly. Sunila Kelkar shares a story of a woman who not only overcame the anxiety associated with a diagnosis of Diabetes but also learnt to live each day to the utmost.
Mrs Shobha Bagde, a lady with a quiet demeanour and an engaging smile, discusses coming to terms with a diagnosis of Diabetes. For her this journey was filled with emotions ranging from denial to acceptance.
Name: Mrs Shobha Bagde
Age: 48 years
Profession: School teacher, Social activist, Politician
I live in Nanded city which is a historical place in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. It is situated on the north bank of Godavari River and is famous for the Sikh Gurudwaras. In 1708, Guru Govind Singh the tenth spiritual leader of the Sikhs made Nanded his permanent abode.
Though my profession is an English and Mathematics subject teacher, I am involved in various women and child welfare projects in Nanded city of Maharashtra. I am active in city level politics having contested elections in the past. I have held the post of being the district level head of a regional political party. I enjoy reading and believe in living every day to the fullest.
No, I don’t have Diabetes
Five years ago, finding out I had Diabetes came as a shock. Though my grandfather and uncle had Diabetes, they were considered to be isolated incidents. I did not consider myself to have a family history of Diabetes. Finding out that I had Diabetes was a shock. The symptoms I had did not point to Diabetes at first. It started with bouts of acidity, weight loss, dryness in mouth and herpes. The pills which I was prescribed made me start vomiting. I consulted my sis who is a practising Gynaecologist. She recommended a multitude of tests. Once the reports came in everyone was taken aback to discover my post parandial sugar was 220 mg/DL. I was firm on the belief that I did not have Diabetes. My daughter had married recently and I was sure that the high sugar was a due to the resulting stress.
I refused to accept that I could have Diabetes. I started a yoga class and ayurved medicines. My post parandial sugar level rose to 400 mg/DL. Alarmed my family took me to a Diabetologist who put me on a strict regime of medications, diet and exercise. It took a month of following this regime to finally bring my sugar levels under control. This scare helped me change my approach to life, health and even my family.
Family is God’s gift to me
My husband my daughter are both doctors. After my health scare, my husband took over ensuring that I stuck to my health and diet regime. He helped me understand and implement a change in my lifestyle. He ensured that I accompanied him during his daily walk. He would make sure that there was a steady supply of those fresh fruits and vegetables which suited my diet.
My diet has changed substantially with my meals being broken down into six portions. I have been asked to stop fasting. I have started carrying small sweets in my purse to avoid hypoglycaemia. My meals contain at least one serving of fruits or green leafy vegetables every day. I have been encouraged to eat 5 kernels of soaked almonds or walnuts to satisfy hunger pangs. Also I have been asked to drink awala, jamun and karela juice by my dietician. I have been asked to avoid intake of fruits with high sugar content like chickoo, banana, mango and grapes. I take supplementary medicines of vitamins B and C, omega 3 and include methi dhania and protein powder in my diet.
At 6 am, I have a cup of sugar free tea with 2 marie or multi grain biscuits. I have my breakfast at 9 am which consists of 1 chapati with sabji or dalia or methi khichadi. I have lunch at 12 noon which consists of 1 chappati, 1 cup of vegetable, ½ cup dal and rice and 1 cup of salad. At around 2 pm, I have a cup of milk and a bowl of seasonal fruit. At 5.30 pm, I have ¼ bowl of chiwda or namkeen to satisfy my taste buds. I have dinner at 8:30 pm which includes a cup of dal-khichdi or 1 bhakri and a cup sabji. I drink a glass of milk before retiring for the night.
In love with life
My routine has helped me deal with a life altering diagnosis. In order to deal with stress I have started meditating. I try to think positively and read literature which helps me lead a happy life. My Diabetes management regime includes diet, exercise, meditation and actively working towards leading a happy and healthy life. Being able to successfully manage my Diabetes has helped me decide that post my retirement I wish to work in the field of Diabetes as an educator.
- Eat slowly and in moderation. Taste the flavour and enjoy every bite of food.
- An active support system and a good doctor are crucial to manage Diabetes.
- Generate awareness about Diabetes amongst family and friends by your experience.