Educational Materials

General articles on diabetes management and prevention

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 15:59

Timothy Johana Njeru

My journey with Diabetes

I realized am Diabetic in the year 2004. That time I was on glibenclimide tablets. I used to take it lightly because I could not feel the effect. Some two years later I was introduced to mixtard since the Dr saw my sugars were still high. That time I was married although my wife then, started complaining coz of numerous injections I was using. To please her I stopped the injections. This one added some more problems. I started to develop wounds which couldn't heal.

I went to hospital once more and put to insulin once more. In 2010 my wife left. I continued with insulin Although a year later developed a wound which led to amputation of my right leg in June this year at an age of 44 years. Being jobless it is very challenging with an Amputated leg but I keep soldering on and looking at life from the positive side.

What is your story? #WorldDiabetesDayNov14 #DiabetesAwareness

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 15:58

Pollete Mnaji

I am 21 years old am a type one diabetic ...my journey with diabetes began not long ago but last year 2016 october ...when i was forced by some friends to take the test..at church where agha khan were doing free general check ups...before i realised that the weird symptoms i was having and ignoring were signs of diabetes the frequent night urinations the thirst ....abdominal pains ...i went to several doctors and fbs before i finally met a diabetologist at Nairobi hospital who examined me and made a understand and accept my condition. At first i was resistant to insulin and it was hard for me to adjust to the new diet since am still young and like eating and hanging out with friends...

It was hard when i had to change my diet and my siblings and mother were not happy about it because they also had to adjust but after sometime....they had to eat their own diet....and i eat my own different type of food because they couldnt keep up with mine and there's always alot of temptations around me It'ss also challenging and emotionally draining because i have been loosing alot of weight from 61.2 to 48 currently working on some weight gain...for the past two months i had neglected my insulin and went on some tabs called C24/7 was told cures diabetes but it didn't do me much good....so i embarked on using insulin.....hoping i will get stronger and fight this battle.......

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 15:49

Beatrice Wairimu aka “Neemoh”

THE LIFE OF A YOUNG KENYAN DIABETIC LADY

Am 24 years old... I was diagnosed with diabetes on 29th April 2013. This is a date that most my diabetic friends would say they commemorate it like a #birthday. I remember the first thing I did when the doctor told me I was diabetic was to cry for almost an hour, why? Not because I really knew what diabetes was in real sense but that it took my mum when I was just 8 years old and eight years later my Grandma passed of diabetes. So I knew I was dying, I really cried…. I remember at that point the doctor encouraging me and giving me options of foods to take, follow medication and all will be well….I don’t really think I listened carefully. I was busy figuring my death day. Definitely I did go into denial for some time…My Dad was sad and he didn’t know what to do or how to encourage me since he had no experience on it as mum diagnosis was a late one…

So one day I don’t know what came of me and I found myself going back to the same hospital to start clinic… I was put under insulin and Glucomet 500grms. This is where it really sank I had diabetes and challenges began as I realized it was not all about taking meds and proper diet. Being the youngest in the clinic was really stigmatizing since almost everyone was the age of my dad and some old enough to be my grandparents so you could see it in their eyes how they looked at me the way they talked to me as if am carrying what they are not carrying…

In short I quit the clinic after two months, abandoned my meds and diet secretly without Dad knowing. In 2014 as I was scrolling through Facebook I saw a Diabetes group (DMRC) and liked it. I used ti visit the page every day to get updates on diabetes. So one day they post they are introducing a WhatsApp group and I in-boxed my number. This was my turning point. I met people who I would say they are “my type”. I learnt a lot and realized I was not fighting this “monster” alone. I remember I did’t even know which type I am I used to say “Yangu ni ile ya kuanguka”. Lol.. I went back to using the first prescription I was given and Diet but didn’t find the courage to go back to clinic. I have learnt a lot in the group and discovered new terminologies like ‘hba1c’which were foreign to me. Up to date I have not found the courage to go back to clinic, am still on the first prescription at my diagnosis. But I know I should...And I will.

During this period I would say these are some of the challenges I have faced as a young diabetic girl:  At my diagnosis I was 20 years. At this age you are either in campus, Completed a Diploma or hustling. You can imagine a teenager not being able to enjoy their Pizza without having to worry about numbers… Sugar numbers of course… Your friends invite you for outs but you decline coz you know you will suffer in silence coz I have never attended a party that had cucumber and tomatoes as salad options…haha…It meant all things you can indulge or deem as fun as a teenager were ripped off. So diabetes seemed like a punishment and that is why some times I gave up and said Team YOLO and forgot I am are diabetic so as i can have a taste of fun…  At times you feel you are a burden to the family as they treat you differently. When you visit relatives. “Is this food okay?” You mean we hujidunga kila siku? Ooh,my! Trust me this makes you sad, angry and fed up with diabetes at times especially when no one else has it in the entire family.

Another challenge is on finance. As a young girl you want to spend your pocket money to get that crop top and some matching earrings, but as a diabetic you remember there are more important things in mind “Do I have enough insulin?” “How many days are the needles going to take me?” “Can the remaining cash cater my healthy snacks every three hours?” Diabetes forces you to be an adult automatically. Even as you start with hustling, the wages are not enough to manage you well-meaning some checkups you have to put aside knowing well they are equally important. It makes you expensive in a way which has even become difficult in the dating world. Someone gets afraid of you getting hypos and dying on their watch, especially being with someone whom Diabetes is totally a new Vocabulary to them.  Weight!Weight!Weight!...Am one person whose genes make me add weight by jut passing outside a fries Joint. So you can imagine losing weight with Insulin. Sometimes I have had to manipulate Insulin dose in an attempt to lose weight and or avoiding it.

At times trying those funny diets that promise you to burn fat fast you literally see the fat melting in your body .Lol.!! These funny diets make you hypo so you end up taking whatever you were avoiding: cake, juice etc…. So you can see how kgs are lost..haha. I meant gained more... It’s just crazy.  When it comes to work it isn’t easy either. I remember my first week of internship I used to carry lunch and go back with it home. I was too shy to eat at work. Imagine taking greens and ugali in a new company you are in, you are young you should be seen with fries and juice, hahaha…The food you taking makes you look old. It was tough, so I would go downstairs and get a soda and a cake like a normal girl in internship….Those were very tough 3 months….I remember I divorced my glucometer coz I knew those numbers were high than what I was being paid….Hehehe  DATING. There is a reason why it is in CAPS lock… I would write a book when it comes to dating and my lady diabetic friends would attest to that….I remember A guy asking me “Umetoa wapi diabetes na venye we mdogo?” Waaah, lemmi say I didn’t answer because i definitely knew I would be rude. Three days later the guy comes apologizing saying he Googled and saw it’s a condition you can live with provided I follow the Docs advice...Blah blah blah.

In short he went to Google how to break up with a girl because we died a natural death from there. Good riddance. Girls be calling their baes to ask money for pizza and here you are asking for funds because you are broke and your insulin is no more. It’s tough. How do you tell a guy as a diabetic lady you are supposed to start getting kids earlier when you are young and strong to handle the complications…? Young girl, are you implying I marry you? It’s something to really thank God about when you get a good guy when you are diabetic. This is a strong man I would say because bad moods is our second name as diabetics. One moment you smile the other one you are totally awkward. (Hypos/Hypers) Parting Shot: I would write a lot of challenges but I don’t want you to get bored fast, I know Kenyans with impatience si kupenda kwetu. “ Na hii story ni ndefu aje?” Despite all the challenges that I face as a young girl I thank God for the gift of life and giving me a second chance by knowing my diagnosis early. God Provides. And I continue trusting Him that all will be well and it has been so far. It’s a journey.

I also thank my #diabadass buddies to name but a few: Priscila Nyawira, Angelica Munga, Rufus King`ori and Donald Tinie .These guys are my pillars some having diabetes from childhood. They are always a reminder of me not fighting this monster as a young person alone. We are still pursuing our dreams despite our bodies being unique having hope that one day we will emerge victorious. After all “We have diabetes but diabetes does not have us” It is my prayer that one day I will get married and I will have healthy babies. I would encourage all the young people to get their sugars tested “ Hii kitu si ya wazee peke, tukanyangie kisuraki. “ It’s manageable with the right attitude and with the correct company. DONT JUST GIVE UP!!!

what is your story? You don't have to be diabetic to share your story. You could be living with someone who is managing diabetes

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:48

Joyce Shitanda

I am Joyce Shitanda 29. Started suffering back in 2010 but diagnosed in 2012 after I learnt about my condition in a course book was using to teach about lifestyle related diseases. It was hard for me, never accepted the situation. Tried suicide twice but it never ended my life. Can't remember the name of insulin, but was slow in reaction was asked to be taking 20 units but thought it would be better for me to take 200 units and never to wake up but thank God I never died though was much affected. I got married in the same year 2012 though the villagers used to rumour how I was #HIV #positive some said had been continuously aborting and would never bear children. I really wanted to disapprove them but Satan overpowered me and gave them reason to talk and ridicule me.

After two years in marriage I finally got pregnant. We were so happy looking forward to disapprove people. Unfortunately the life of the unborn ended at 9 weeks. It was on a weekend and had to stay for 3 days before being attended to. I was in pain and it was so traumatizing. Blood pressure rose, sugars dropped and had to spent days in hospital. The gynecologist introduced me to some tabs which led to weight gain. Unfortunately years have passed with no child but one thing I've come to learn is to love myself and take care of it. I have got a challenge with purchasing my insulin for no single chemist in my locality has insulin or even the fine pen needles. People too are still ignorant and can't imagine a young lady suffering from diabetics. I am diabetic, but it's just a condition and not a disease. Yes I tried to end my life twice but now I value it more.

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:45

Mary Khaemba

Diabetes cannot limit what I am capable of doing!

My name is Mary Khaemba A.K.A Marie, 23yrs old and a high school teacher. I was Diagnosed with diabetes 8 yrs ago, I had just finished my K.C.P.E exams waiting to Join form one. Imagine waking up one day in Nairobi West Hospital after being in a comma for 3 days, the first Thing I asked for was a bottle of soda but I was told' no for now we can give you lucozade' We all know that urge of wanting to take that soda, then the nurse came in she tried to explain to me why I was admitted. At that time I was 14 years old never had heard about diabetes, she had a tomato and some Syringe on her hand she said “Mary now look, this how you will be injecting yourself twice a day every day” I laughed at first I said no way she can’t be serious, then the doctor comes in He also tries to show me how I Will be injecting myself that’s when I knew things were now serious.

At the time I felt into a comma my Blood Sugar Had reached 28 but they managed to stabilize it to around 15. I went through counseling process; I was taken to a dietician then was discharged. I was supposed to join form one then, I was to join some reputable High School in western but being on a strict diet I had to go to a day school. Imagine being in class then you start experiencing hypos, you start shaking, you start sweating, you are confused you don’t get what the teacher is Saying. I used to walk with sweets everywhere so when those signs came at least I had some sweets to help. The funny part was when trying to open a sweet in class where everyone is silent then they look at you some even start to borrow you na saa zingine ni hiyo one sweet ndio uko nayo. I was even nicknamed 'mama sweety'. After finishing High School I joined campus, as a first year we were given hostels so you live 4 people per room.

One day after I was coming from class then I found my roommates discussing about my medicine while touching my insulin which I used to store under the bed. I was so angry, depressed, I had to move and Rent a room outside school. I thank God my parents understood. On dating nayo nitricky, one guy used to abuse me every time we had an argument saying 'I will never date a Gal with diabetes. Hawa watu wa sukari wanasumbua. Imagine as a teenager a campus girl you want to wear that heel but you can’t, you can’t eat chips kuku like the others, you can’t drink. My friends used to call me 'dem wa church" .

When you try to open up to a guy that you are diabetic most ask me na uliitoa wapi na wee ni mrembo, but thank God there are some good men out here sent from heaven who can understand us. I finished campus just the other day and I am now teaching at a high school in Eldoret, a mathematics and Economics teacher as I wait to graduate in December. It’s true you don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you having got. Above all pray without ceasing diabetes is just a condition not a disease. Thanks to DRMC group I have learnt a lot through the platform.

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:40

Mark Ulrich

My name is Mark Ulrich, I'm 51, mzungu living in germany. Was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 4 years ago during a routine-check. I started changing habits. No more crackers, less chocolate. Instead nuts, almongs, cashews, and selfmade Burfi (asian sweet using milkpowder). Instead of industrial food from the supermarket like Pizza, I now eat chicken with salad instead. For some weeks, I checked my bloodsugar 1 hour after every meal in order to learn, what food is bad for me.

I was astonished to see, that calmares with a crust of breadcrumbs raised it extremely, so avoid them now. I still eat noodles and potatos, but reduce them, instead more low-fat meat like chicken or filet and veggies. And I often eat eggs with bread. Latest research shows, that the cholesterol in eggs is not digested, so it will not raise your own cholesterollevel, and you can eat as many eggs as you like. Dealing with cholesterol is a sideeffect of diabetes, my values were extremely high, so I now must use "Statin" drugs forever. Talking about drugs, I also need cialis and viagra. Impotence is a typical sideefect, and in my case sums up the the age. Unfortunately, I get headaches from Viagra (or cheaper generica). So my Doctor suggested to use Cialis 5 mg (a low dose) daily, and raise the mild effect when required using a higher dose or some viagra. This is still a bit frustrating, as you need "to plan" your erections. So it is no longer as spontaneous as before.

Trust in a partnership is important to deal with this issue, so that no frustration is coming up for both. Unfortunately, especially cialis is very expensive, this hopefully will change in 2018 when the patent expires like it was the case with viagra before. I had quite some disappontment to find a tasty sweetener for my coffee. Tried "Sugar-Replacers": xylit, erythrit (sideffect: diarrhea), Artificial sweeteners: aspartam, saccharin, stevia (not tasty) Finally found Sucralose, my favourite. But it was extremely expensive (import from the US to germany). Meanwhile it got more affordable, as now there are german producers, too. After these adjustments my life is almost as before, even partially better as I eat food of higher quality, have no more headaches, and no more abrupt changes of my mood. The Hba1c ("the long term value") is back to normal, and my doctor positively surprised. Mark is a member of DMRC and frequently encourages members to stay positively.

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:35

Virginia Chege

My name is virginia chege aka vergie.. back 2010 I got pregnant but later I had a miscarriage late January 2011. I couldn't tell the real reason why I had the miscarriage. In 2011 Nov is wen I got married. . I decided to use my fp at least hiyo mwaka iishe. Early 2012 I got paged n I became soo sick that I one day nilifaint. That when I visited a certain dispensery kuwashow nimefaint n I missed my periods nikafanyiwa tests pt n was positive was soo happy..they told me they will not attend to me niende general hosy. During this time hubby ako hapa kwa hapa na mimi.. the following day ndio sisi hao meru general hosy. Sema kupanga line na hatukuhudumiwa.. we went back home. Day yenye ilifuata hubby leave ilikuwa imeisha soo lazima angereport job. Soo I was left alone. That day nilienda another dispensery n nikapimwa urinalysis. Hapo ndio nilijua sijui.. jamaa wa lab called me n asked me kwani nakuaga na sukari.. eiish nikamsho nop. He told me according to the urinalysis results atanifanyia test ya sugars.. mmmh kupimwa iko 30.. woi nimesema 'thate' he immediately took me kwa C.O.. kuona my results aliniangalia n asked me mko na nani. I said solo. He told me hufai kwenda home nataka uende general hosy meru town.

I said sawa..I rem he gave me glucoment na nolgluc nimeze ndio ati nifike hosy.. me ni nani na siumwi haha boda mpaka home soo depressed. I called my hubby n told him..aliniambia aaii sa unastuka nini watu ni wengi wagonjwa sukari na wako.. I got encouraged. Now I decide to go kwa mum in law nimwambie b4 ata nifike hubby alikuwa ashaa wakol. Kufika walikuwa wanaongea wanasema saa hii ni shida gani si beta angeoa 'fulani' mmmh ('the lady has his daughter') I just kept quiet. Rem sukari iko 30 hehe. After that hubby told me I must travel to kiambu at his work place niende hosy huko. Me asubuhi na mapema nikaamkia kiambu by 11am nilikuwa kiambu. Nilifika tu nikaenda kwa one gaen by the name doc waweru. Kupimwa ilikuwa 28. I waa admitted hosy st Francis kasarani for one week. My sugars settled n I was put on insulin. . Wich am using mpaka leo. During my that 9months period I was to visit my doc every Monday b done some tests I thank God I managed during this period nilifanyiwa 3 scan n the baby was just fine. I gave birth on 1st nov at kiambu General baby weighed 3.6.

Allow me to apreciate my Doc waweru. Nikiwa theatre sema sukari ikaanguka upto 1.5 while doc were on the process I started talking zangu kaa wazimu tu hehe but what they did kunifufua I dont know kitambo wamalize my sugars were 5. Vile nilirudi normal I had them saying this was a tricky one. At least nili renspond haraka na nikatolewa theatre room kutoka hivi I found my hubby waiting kwa mlango ya theatre

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:30

Valerie Khaguli

AGE: 34 YEARS YOUNG

DIAGNOSED WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AT AGE 7

I began to lose weight, feel extremely thirsty and drink plenty of water these was the onset of what I was about to be diagnosed with. At only seven my mum thought probably I’m coming down with some early childhood disease and so my adorable parents took me to hospital. With symptoms still present the doctor the late Mr. Mungola was able to conduct some tests after a while he told my parents that the symptoms that I was exhibiting were as a result of a condition referred to as Diabetes Mellitus-type 1.

This was strange to both my parents and myself but he went ahead to explain to my parents and myself that it was a manageable condition and we need not to worry about it. From that day my parents were told that I will need to be dependent on insulin which my pancreas could no longer produce naturally. That marked the day when I began the journey with this condition.We were shown an album with patients having the same condition and how they have grown from children to teenagers and finally adults having the condition but managing it through diet, medication, frequent medical checkups and exercise.

This not only gave us hope but it helped a great deal as my parents and I tried to understand the diagnosis. I am now 34years of age full and vibrant with life and still adhere to the measures required to maintain good blood sugar levels. Of course there are days when I am low and some when I’m quite high as a kite but no matter the state I always remember that whatever situation is I can manage it. And that’s how I ended up being declared sweet for life!

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:04

Kamonya Georginah

My Journey With Diabetes

I am Kamonya Georginah a Kenyan lady Aged 25 years ,Am the type who ignores every symptom i get,early this year i had some funny symptoms just related to pregnancy i ignored them,until this day we had some fairtrade training in eldoret town at Winster hotel , i felt nausea, thirty and headache was very severe.I told my colleagues that they excuse me i get some pain killers then will be fine. i excused my self out of the conference room heading direct to the nearby chemist to purchase some painkillers but oops!! the pharmacist denied giving me some over the counter medicine they advised me to go get tested.

Let the chemist heading to Reale town clinic but what ?my legs now started trembling ,i could not even climb the stairs(kwa wale wamekuwa huko you know those stairs ) so nikaanza kutambaa .I was getting more confused on reaching the entrance i was treated as an emergency...direct to the doctor i explained what i was feeling and some test were done but still i did'nt know what they were for but the lab technician was shocked and asked me haiya is there anyone in your family who has diabetes?i was shocked na nikawachilia nduru ,nurses ,doctors, patient's were all over me .RBS was 28 -i thank God beacause i was still alive but not in a comma. Some nikawekewa some 'water' like kwa drips i think thy were 25 packets hivi,insulin was also administered .I cried alot and called my mum ,breaking the sad news to her .My mum told my 'jojo 'The first step is to accept you are diabetic and control your sugars.

This the same condition that took my mothers eyes away ,i asked my Doctor ''Daktari nitakufa?'' he answered no. After admission on 20/04/2017 was back to my normal duties as a HR practitioner but my whole life had changed ,people started speculating about the condition which made me sad and sick mostly. I thank my mother Sarah and my mother inlaw who encourage me mostly until of late i forget that i have a condition in me. My medication is at times expensive but i thank my partner he caters for that. But i dont feel happy loosing friends coz they tell me of late niko na kujifanya mingi ,ati sitaki kula vitu mingi nataka ku slim....but i just take it positively . Its now six months am managing my sugars well ,i dont misbehave with food alot ,i thank God for the last three months my sugars have been constant 4.5.

WHAT'S YOUR STORY? You don't have to be Diabetic to share. You could be coming from a Family where a loved one is Managing Diabetes. Share via email to - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 11:59

Wothaya

How Diabetes Destroyed my Kidneys

My name is Wothaya, I am 46 years old. Diabetic type 2. I got diabetic in 1998 when I was 27 years old and had one child by then. My sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits and obesity most likely contributed to the onset. I do not recall anyone in the family line who was diabetic. After a whole week of excessive thirst ( which I tried to quench with soda and more soda. When this did not work I carried gallons of water to the work place) . I realised that this mist be a deeper problem so I visited a doctor in Kerugoya. I braced myself for the worst, since I knew a thing or two from my random reading of health articles. It did hit me real hard when the doctor told me about high sugar level and put me on diabenese. Ignorance is bliss.

I did not care to do any follow up. You see high sugars are painless and really they did not have any impact on me. I did nor understand the severity of what I was going g thru and my youthful age and carefree lifestyle did not help either. Fast forward. 2007 and I was hospitalised with my sugar at 37.6mmols. By then my vision had been compromised. After three weeks I was discharged. By this time I had had two.more babies thru caesarian section. I did not do any more follow oup. Well, until 2009 when I got hospitalised again with bp at 180 and sugar at 27. And later discharged after two weeks. I must admit I was rather careless with my diet and lifestyle...and come 2014 I got another admission. This turned to be the turning point in my.life. Because upon discharge I was advised to see a nephrologist. My kidneys had been compromised. I saw one who put me on medication and told me that if I did not take care in less than seven months I would be on dialysis.

I really did not understand what that meant but sure enough , before the seven months were over, my kidneys failed totally and had to be put on dialysis. This was 2015 February.this is when the real nightmare began. Financial constraints ( I thank God for a great friend who paid for the entire 8 months that I did my dialysis). At 20,000ksh a week this was way beyond what an average person could afford but I thank God this was taken care of. We hurriedly organised for a kidney transplant in India and which happened in January 2016, 6 months after we had travelled to India. I now lead a healthy life with my new kidney but which has to be maintained by using lifelong immunosuppression drugs which are also very expensive and have to be sourced from outside the country.

I thank God I have lived to tell my story because I have seen many drop along the way. My advise to diabetics...have a lifestyle change. Watch what you eat and your weight. Attend regular checkups preferably with diabeticians and keep a glucometer to monitor your sugar levels. Do a lot of healthy exercises and stay happy. Always keep stress at bay and most importantly be at peace with God and men. Don't forget there is life after diabetes. It is not a death sentence. You can life your life to a ripe old age. Stay healthy good people.

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