Diabetes

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I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 3…yes 3! It was a huge shock for my mother who was also taking care of my brother who was 1 ¼ and my sister who was only 8 weeks old. May Allah bless my mum for her sabr, love and suffering.

I try to get my mum to relive the time of when I was diagnosed with diabetes and it’s not much but rather interesting. At that time the NHS (National Health Service) had a lot more facilities to support mothers and accommodate our needs. For instance, my mum was given a hotel room within the hospital to stay in close contact with me, lots of nappies and pre-filled baby bottles. Sounds great! Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, this supportive system does not exist anymore. Anyway back to my story...My mum had to learn to inject me and practiced daily with an orange. It took a long time before my mum eventually gave me my injections as I used to beg in Egyptian Arabic not to have anymore injections! I had an Egyptian nurse who taught me Arabic and apparently some not so impressive words like get lost! My dad had to work and deal with his father’s death so there was a lot going on at that time.

I can remember one vivid experience with my dad which is quite hilarious. My mum had gone to Morocco as her father had died. So, my dad was left for the first time ever with the responsibility to take care of three kids. One particular day, we had all got up late for school and my dad tried desperately to brush my long hair but to no avail. He quit and told me to do what I wanted with it. Yeppie, I thought as I wanted it left out for all to admire as my mum never let me leave it out. Anyway, my dad took us to school and about 2 hours later came rushing into my class to get me out. He had forgotten to give me my injection and I was none the wiser in the sense I had no symptoms of feeling tired or thirsty. He then asked me which toilet I wanted to go in to have my injection. I of course had to say the boys’ toilets because my dad is a boy and I wanted to see what it was like. So, we entered and it absolutely stank! However, the school secretary saw my dad kneeling over me to give me my injection in my bum and she screamed out “what the hell was going on”. Oh the embarrassment! My dad dealt with the situation and the secretary was left embarrassed by her reaction.

I have never known anything different. At first I thought everyone had to take injections but obviously this faded quite quickly when I noticed I was the only one at home flashing my bottom for my daily injections! Also, I got fed up of my siblings having the glory of eating as much sweets as they wanted when I couldn’t have even one. Oh how unfair. At that time, medical advice was not on the ball in that the doctors told my parents not to give me any sugar! This advice by the doctors was not clever as children/adults will have what they can’t have. Oh yes indeed. I ended up becoming an expert in smuggling sweets home and finding the latest stash. This ended up biting me in the back as a doctor threatened me with future amputations of both my arms and legs. I needed it as my blood sugars had become out of control when I hit my teens. Alhamdulliah, Allah is great as I didn’t have many problems and tried to enjoy life. It never really bothered me that I had diabetes as I saw it as the norm, a super power which no one else I knew had and that I would control it and not the other way around. My parents gave me the freedom to go on school trips and enjoy a few birthday parties. There are some things I do regret which is inevitable but overall Allah has helped me through the difficult times.

My diabetes is better controlled in the sense that I can now eat what I want and know exactly how much insulin to give myself. (Thanks to the DAFNE course - "Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating" - The basic principle is that for every 10g of carbohydrate, I need to take 1 unit of insulin; simple! So, 80g of carbohydrates I will take 8 units.) This way I’m avoiding any future complications like blindness and can practically eat whatever I want. Just need to watch my weight like everyone else. Before, the regime was very strict and it didn’t leave room for unpredictable situations like a friend bring in chocolate cake. How can anyone say no to that! Inshallah, there is a cure and even if it is not in my life time, I know that there are more difficult conditions to deal with. May Allah grant ease to anyone going through an illness, disease or difficult time. Ameen.

7 comments:

Safiyyah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Sis:

Thanks for sharing that part of your life. May Allah (swt) grant you reward for the patience you continue to have while living with diabetes.

Big Sis said...

Wa alaykum salam,

Jazakallah sister for your continuing support and kind words. May Allah reward you for it.

Big Sis said...

Oh yes, added some additional info on DAFNE if you would like to know more!

Jowayria said...

Despite the seriousness of an issue like diabetes, the story about you and your dad was great! May Allah give you patience :O)

Big Sis said...

Jazakallah sister! Thank you for reading my blog

Umm Salihah said...

Salaams darling,
what a great post, I bet there will be lots of people who will find the info useful. Also its nice how you normalise diabetes and are so open about it.

Oh, BTW, you've been tagged:
http://www.happymuslimmama.com/2008/03/six-word-memoir-meme.html

msa said...

this is a very brave post -may Allah give you strength, patience and sabr -thanks for sharing