Rough, Tough & Lovely: My Experience Living with Diabetes

Most of you may not agree with me when I say that having a disease can actually be good, but in my case, T1DM has been both scary & lovely. Before I explain it to you, I want to tell you about the person I was before the diagnosis. I was a who was completely reckless regarding his health. I used to skip meals like they didn’t matter. I sacrificed my sleep for days to work on things that seem quite insignificant to me now. Being an overly optimistic person I used to live in euphoria with the assumption that I had unlimited energy in me & nothing could ever happen to me. I ignored my symptoms for at least 3 months & kept suffering thinking it was nothing. I kept going to dine outside even when I was vomiting just 2 hours before them. On some nights I used to cry in pain lying on my bathroom floor. I kept telling everyone that it was probably some kind of food poisoning. But being a medical student I should have known better. After losing about 20 pounds of weight, one day I fainted on the sports ground of our medical university and was immediately taken to the hospital by my friends.

On 3rd June 2019, I was diagnosed with T1DM after landing in the ICU with Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Going through DKA has been the toughest and the scariest part of my diabetic life till now, and the thought that I could have died if had I not been at the right place at right time, changed my whole life.

Before I tell you more about my rough experiences with T1DM, I would like to tell you how having T1DM has been a blessing for my life. After being diagnosed with T1DM I was given no choice but to eat healthy and on time, exercise regularly & sleep well. And I want to share my personal experience that doing that changed me in & out. I was feeling healthier than I used to before having diabetes. I started prioritizing my health & happiness above everything else. It taught me to live life slowly & enjoy every little blessing of my life. It improved my relationships with friends & family. And most importantly it taught me to ask for help freely because in the end, we are all here for each other only. In short, I developed an inexplicable love for life.

Being a Sanatani (सनातनी) Hindu, I always believed in the teaching that everything happens for a reason, & even if you are unable to find the goodness behind it right now, just have faith in Ishwar* (ईश्वर), you will find it at the right time. And I think I had found my blessings of having T1DM. Ishwar works in inscrutable ways & there are only blessings all the way in the life of a devotee (भक्ता) without any disguise.

I wanted to conclude my blog here itself but it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t discuss anything about my struggles with hypoglycaemic episodes. The fear of having hypos while you forget to keep candies with you is even worst than having a hypo. But the kind of hypos I fear the most, are those that happen while I’m sleeping. There are two kinds of hypos that occur usually at night. One of them happens very rapidly where I wake up suddenly with a pounding heart and profuse sweating. This sounds horrific but in reality, the second one is much worse, which happens slowly. They literally test my desire to live. While being intoxicated with sleep, the effects of hypo make my mind & body numb. While knowing I may be having a hypo, usually I feel like I am unable to move my body.

In these times, my deep desire to live gives me the strength to roll over & reach for some juice. Sometimes it can take me more than 30 minutes to convince myself that I’m not dying, I have pulled myself through this again.

Yes! Life becomes tough but we figure out a way and so I want to tell everyone struggling with any chronic illness that, these things don’t make us weak or imperfect in any sense, this daily struggle only makes us stronger than the rest of the world. Just remember that managing Diabetes is an unending struggle and it takes time to figure everything out, but you will find your way. It is okay if it isn’t going well today, take a deep breath, don’t stress, and start to fix your blood sugars. You got this!

Thank you DMP: The Diabetes App for giving me an opportunity to write a blog for your App.

 *Ishwar = Almighty God

Dr. Vivek Soni
Dr. Vivek Soni, currently working as an intern doctor, had completed his M.B.B.S. Degree from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, INDIA.

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