Dr. Praveen Jeyapathy
M.D (Rom), PGDFM, M.Sc (DDFS)
It was 9 am and Mr.X was ready for a day of shopping with his wife and son. The engines roared and the car zoomed by people who were all on their way to fill their carts and fridges. The wheels of the trolley moved about like a skating wizard being filled with the richest food for the table and the tummies back home. Carbonated beverages, high fat cheese, processed meat, white bread and pastries soon took a big bite of Mr.X’s wallet and in turn gave him an extra inch on his waist line…Oh sorry 3 inches in all for his family to be precise. The inches multiplied with time only for him to be diagnosed with diabetes later sending out a warning siren to the rest of his family. No points for a wrong guess – the crunchy chips muffled the sound of the siren.
Exercise, counseling, medications and a diet plan filled most of his time for the next week or so. Old habits are hard to change especially when your son is seen enjoying a fine plate of caramelized banana pudding sitting across you on the table while you are having lettuce and turnips sprinkled with a touch of olive oil. It’s harder when your plate looks like laurel in a suit and your son’s like hardy with chocolate cream across his face.
Late night escapades in the kitchen and fridge ensured that the blood glucose values continued to remain high and the higher it went the lower Mr. X felt both in body and mind. It got him to a point of distress and anger. Frustration began showing in his work and interpersonal relationships at home. When things began getting out of control his wife and son encouraged him to go back and see the doctor. This time they said,” We will come too. We want to hear what they say there”. His son chucked his popsicle stick into the waste-bin and went with his Dad.
A diabetic patient’s lifestyle is not a doomed one. It’s one in which very healthy choices are made with regards to food and lifestyle. In a way it can be regarded as the right way to live. How can eating healthy and exercising daily be something for the sick man only? It’s for all of us to practice and one should remember that having a parent with diabetes increases one’s risk of having diabetes. So take this as an opportunity for change and start early because once you have diabetes it can be controlled only and never be cured. So fill your carts with veggies, fruits, nuts, cereals, low fat diary and sea-food and give the rest a miss. Ensure you free yourself from being a couch potato and be on the move for atleast 30 minutes daily. You can be sure you are on your way to a healthy life then.
It’s a lesson the family embraced at once. Healthy living begins at home for a diabetic and the change should be wholesome and complete. Adequate support from the family is imperative or else the change will only be harder. The entire family stands to be benefitted from this. In essence when you help your loved ones who are diabetic to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and in the process get involved and incorporate a lot of it in your life, you are actually helping him/her and yourself. After all, it’s a family affair isn’t it?