When diabetes hit me around 10 years back, my family doctor (I used to call him uncle when I was younger) looked at me the in a way he never had. It was like I had let him down completely. Mother, father, all relationships converged into one. I had somehow let my whole family down…extended included. “What have I done “I thought?
And then my doctor (uncle) plunged into a rehearsed, mindless, an almost robotic explanation of what this whole thing was about. Stress, late working, food habits, diet-control, fasting, post-prandial, quarterly tests, glycemic index….a new set of terms invaded my otherwise benign vocabulary. His prescription pad which otherwise was a blind-spot became the focus of my entire being. It took the form of an Rx 70mm screen with medicines like ‘Gluformin 1000mg – 1——-x——1’ written on it. Then came out another page on which he scribbled an insane number of tests. My vision was blurring and my mind reeled in an attempt to assimilate everything that was being said.
After the first set of attacks, he launched another one (this one seemed less medical and more personal) without giving me more than 20 seconds to catch my breath. And worse, he got sarcastic. “Diabetes is the disease of the rich. You are rich by today’s standards. I know your parents; they came to me for nothing more than a fever or a common cold. Instead of a walk, your generation prefers an air conditioned car; instead of fibrous foods you youngsters prefer beers & burgers. Instead of being married to your family, you are married to your jobs, instead of steady sleep patterns of 11pm to 6.00am; you sleep at 1am after staring at your moronic laptops or phone screens for hours. Your generation – the 70s born, is the worst affected. Most of you came from middle / lower middle class families. Post the economic liberalization of India in the 1990s, your generation got better jobs; with MNCs, money came in like never before and carried with it the devil in every form possible. You are the worst affected and thanks to people like you, India has become the diabetic capital of the world. Nothing to be proud of.”
Oh My God. I wanted to run away and hide some place where he would not be able to find me, where nobody will ever find me. I was in a daze. I guess he caught the expression and finally felt some pity.
Pointing at the prescription his final words were…”this is your medication for the next 7 days till we get your blood sugars to some humane levels. You need to take a week off and visit me thrice a day, for fasting and post-prandial readings after lunch and dinner”. Do not go to work even if the organization threatens to shut down due to your absence.”
The whirlwind of a visit finally came to an end and I headed home. My sweet uncle-cum-doc had turned monster. “Wait, was it him or was it diabetes”, I wondered.
Above is a snapshot from my medical diary in 2007. I still have this diary for some vague reason. These are typical when-detected numbers. And as per what my doctor said, my blood sugars came down to reasonable levels within 3 weeks. The real battle began after that.