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  • Writer's pictureCarine Bado

By His stripes, I am healed! (Part I)

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

“Are you going to keep it?” the doctor first asked when I told her I was pregnant. With tears in my eyes, my answer was “Yes”.

For thirteen years now, I have been dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. I was diagnosed at the age of seventeen, in my final year of High School. It was a chocking news for I did not know how I got it, or what it even means be diabetic. I finally found out later that my mother was secretly diabetic too. My first reflex was to blame her. “Why did she hide it?”, “I could have been more careful with my diet and avoid this situation” I thought. As I started to get educated on this lifetime dysfunction, I have since learned, in my case it is hereditary. Having a healthy diet would have not necessarily prevented it. I apologized to my mother and partnered with her to help with the treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, Type 2 Diabetes can be treated with Insulin injections. At the very beginning, it was an aggressive treatment. Living in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), with medical supplies not very advanced, I was getting my insulin using a medium seize IV (intravenous) needle every day. It was a traumatic experience. Thankfully, I felt encouraged having my mother by my side. She was no longer on insulin, I knew, I too had a chance to get better.

A few months after my graduation, I went to join my older sister in Casablanca (Morocco) to continue my studies. The good news was: I could go back to Abidjan every summer to see my family. Plus in Morocco, I had access to fresh local ingredients. Even far away, I kept the same meal plan I had with my mother. As predicted, my health started to improve. I was then taking one pill per day which meant no more insulin injections.

Sadly, ever since I came to Canada, everything changed. After the first year of my arrival, I started to feel very sick. I did not have a family doctor and I did not know how to get one. At a Walk-in clinic, I was referred to a specialist, who then became my first endocrinologist. To my dismay, the hospital was three buses away from where I was living. I still remember, my throat tightening, trying not to cry every time I was told to come back in three months for missing my appointment, just for being ten minutes late. I went from one type of insulin to two different types plus a pill to take every day. Despite the treatment, my blood sugar was still very high; I was at my lowest point.

It took me three years to take a stand, and tell the doctor I wanted to change hospital. He finally referred me to a closer hospital and a Diabetes Coaching Center. Finally, improvement was on its way. I have started to better manage the Diabetes by counting the carbohydrates in each meal, having a healthy diet following the Canadian Food Guide line and exercise. But with that much damaged and bad eating habits, I had a long road ahead of me to get my health back. Then I became pregnant…

This concludes the first part of this article. Through everything, I was still praying and believing for a miracle. I understand now, I first had to do my part: take care of myself.

There are plenty of resources on Type 2 Diabetes even in French. If you just arrived in Winnipeg, you can go to Santé en Français or Centre de Santé for more information. Diabetes affects a lot of people, it is not just a diet or an old age disease … With this post, I am encouraging you to educate yourself, don’t be judgmental toward the people who live with it.

If you have a similar or different experience with Diabetes, share your story below in the comment section, it might help someone. By for now…

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