Mr. Salahuddin

Fifty-nine-year-old  Salahuddin worked as a Teacher in the local School for many years  . He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996.

How I found out 

“I came to know about my diabetes while undergoing a routine health check-up . My blood sugar was so high that was advised to consult a doctor immediately.”

Living with diabetes

“Along with insulin injections four times a day, I take oral diabetes medicine to control blood sugar levels. I always carry an insulin injection and a blood sugar monitoring kit with me to avoid any diabetic emergency. I walk briskly for at least an hour every day to keep my weight in check.”

Staying on track

“Diabetes calls for discipline in life to manage it efficiently. I have stopped eating all kinds of refined carbohydrates, starchy fruits and vegetables, fast food, fruit juice and soda. I don’t remember reaching for any desserts in the past 10-15 years.

What I miss the most

“While initially I found it challenging to overcome the cravings for food that I love, now I don’t feel any temptation at all. Sometimes, when I am depressed or anxious, I tend to binge on chocolates.”

Mr. Siraj Ahmed

A rawalpindi resident since Mr. Siraj Ahmed, 53,  is working as an executive in local firm. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 12 years ago.

How I found out

 “I came to know about my diabetes when I had a small cut on my hand that took a very long time to heal. My doctor asked me to go for some blood tests, with the results confirming that my blood sugar was above the normal count. Had I ignored the wound, I would have never come to know about the severity of my condition.”

Living with diabetes

 “I take two insulin injections a day, before and after work, to keep my blood sugar levels in check. I also control what I eat and when I eat, opting for small meals every three hours. Since a sudden drop in blood sugar is very common in diabetics, besides my regular insulin shots, I always keep a few sachets of sugar, candies and ripe bananas with me. There had been days when I have suddenly felt dizzy and began to sweat and shake uncontrollably as the sugar levels dropped. These quick bites helped me stabilise my levels. Despite a busy working schedule, I try not to skip any meal or miss my daily medication.”

Staying on track

 “I have significantly cut down on my intake of carbohydrates — eating brown bread for lunch and a small serving of brown rice at night — and red meat. For snacking, I always reach for green apples,   and tea without sugar. I try to walk for at least 15 minutes after dinner.”

What I miss the most

 “Mangoes during summer and sweets . While I love to eat white rice with curries, I try to stay away from refined carbs, as this can easily send my blood sugar levels on a roller coaster.”

Mrs. Shukat Ara

A  Mother of two and a working women, Mrs. Shukat Ara, 49,   works as an Office Assistant at an embassy in the capital. She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 20 years ago.

How I found out

 “I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at the first trimester of my pregnancy. While I thought that my blood sugar level would return to normal after the delivery, my diabetes persisted, turning into type 2 diabetes later.”

My reaction

 “My biggest concern was how I would keep my intense cravings for sweets at bay.”

Living with diabetes

“I take metformin twice a day to keep my blood sugar in check. While living with diabetes is a life-long challenge, it is manageable with a healthy diet and proper medication. I normally try to eat right — salad, boiled veggies and grilled lean meat — and mind my portions and go for regular walks to stay fit and healthy. I always carry my lunch box to work to avoid eating out. Furthermore, whenever I feel dizzy, anxious or irritable, I check my blood sugar levels immediately to prevent any further health complications. Since diabetes can lead to eye complications, I take a vitamin B1, B6 and B12 supplement regularly.”

What I miss the most

 “The idea behind a healthy diet is nothing is off limits. I indulge in sweets. But, the key is to have a very small portion and save them only for special occasions. If I eat a small portion of sweet in the afternoon, I skip my dinner, eating yoghurt and an apple or just drink a glass of milk.”

Khurram Jawaid

Khurram Jawaid, 9, is a Year 4 student at local School  in Islamabad and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at five. His mother, helped him with some of our questions.

How I found out

 “One day, while I was in my kindergarten, I started running a very high fever. My teacher phoned my mum and she rushed me to the hospital. I remember being tired all the time at school and felt like drinking lots of fruit juice. When my mother discussed all these symptoms with the doctor, he prescribed a few blood tests to check my blood glucose levels.”

 Living with diabetes

“I am happy that I don’t need to take insulin injections anymore as my doctor has put me on an insulin pump. This is a small device that I can easily slip into my pocket to avoid unnecessary questions from strangers. With the pump, I don’t need to follow a strict schedule for eating and can indulge in all my favourite outdoor activities, including football , without worrying about timely insulin shots. However, I go for a complete blood test once every three months to check the progress of my condition.”

What I miss the most

“There is nothing I miss as I have become used to the condition. However, I wish I can avoid the emergency trips to the hospital due to sudden drop in blood sugar. These make my mum upset.”