Rotating in endocrinology and working with many individuals with diabetes have really given me a peek into the life-long lifestyle challenges of living with diabetes. For those who become dependent on insulin, seemingly worse than the multiple daily injections and finger pin pricks before each meal is the freedom that is taken away when one lives with diabetes: the freedom to eat spontaneously, the freedom to eat certain classifications of food, the freedom to eat certain amounts of food. Every meal becomes a daily concern. There’s the pressure to have a strict routine eating habit, eating a consistent amount for each meal day after day, and to space apart meals to correspond with the dose and duration of the insulin. The complications that come years after, like kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and gangrenous hands and toes that lead to amputation are even worse, and unfortunately, I’ve seen quite a few patient that suffer further more from these.
Personally, seeing what diabetic patients have to go through everyday really makes me want to eat healthier, avoid sugar, and exercise more, doing whatever it takes to decrease the risk of diabetes. Right now, it makes me hesitate every time I eat something sweet. Ever since last week (when I found the stairwell, unfortunately hidden out of sight from the main corridors of the hospital), I’ve opted for the stairs for every trip between floors in the hospital, instead of taking the elevator, to squeeze in exercise whenever I can into my day. Seeing what the patients have to go through with diabetes and the difficulty of its management makes me so worried about developing the disease. I don’t ever want myself, or anyone else, to have to go through some of the experiences of the patients I’ve seen.