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Role of Family in Diabetes Management



Role of Family in Diabetes Management


2017-07-16


Role of Family in Diabetes Management


Those rolling tears from the mother’s eyes, and that feeling of helplessness whose child has been diagnosed with Diabetes, compelled me to think about my parents, and the way they handled each and every situation with such an ease. While listening to her concerns and doubts, I could actually imagine the condition of my parents 24 years back, when I was diagnosed with Diabetes. But, they never showed me their weak side or saw them crying and I never felt any difference between my brother and myself. In 1992, when there was hardly any awareness about diabetes in children, no family history in my case and in a small city called Meerut, how did my parents managed my condition with such limited resources? What helped them make my life as normal as it could be?

What I remember from my childhood days is my parents always talked about “Chhota portion” (small portion) and habit of sharing sweet things with them. They never restricted me from eating anything which could otherwise make anybody feel different. Our family, in fact, started following a healthy lifestyle and it still does. I feel no guilt but satisfaction that at least my family is following a healthy lifestyle because of me, that I am the cause of their good health.

But unfortunately, I don’t see this kind of zeal and positive attitude in many of the patients and their family. 

I wonder why, when we have so many facilities available currently, to impart diabetes awareness and have experts for guidance, patients are still not able to manage their condition? The reason being the imbalance in the moral support that they need from their closed ones. While counselling the patients or family, I found that the effect of support and the quality of life that an individual gets from their closed ones is incredible. Managing Diabetes is not so simple (not a rocket science too!) and the individual needs their family and friends that could support them mentally as well as in routine. Be that preparation of their special diet, a push towards physical activity, having medications on time or going for routine check-ups. Besides these four basic necessities, mental support is something, a patient needs the most to succeed in maintaining their health.

According to ADA, Denial is that voice inside repeating: "Not me." Most people go through this when first diagnosed. Suddenly, the life is upside down. The food that the person is so much fond of, is now restricted. Medications and strict regimen w.r.t. diet and physical activity becomes a burden. And as a fact, the reason is not diabetes but the way it has been portrayed by the society.

One single solution to this issue is patient empowerment. "Empowered patients" are those patients who are willing and have the ability, skills, knowledge and confidence to take responsibility for their health and well-being and take an active role in their disease management and care.

Many health commentators now believe that patients should play a greater role in their health. Empowered patients develop the interest in their own diseases which further develops a will to improve it and overall quality of life. They dynamically strive for health and treatment-related information and guidelines, look out for other patients’ experience, learning self-management as well as when to escalate and understanding what triggers exacerbations of their disease. This knowledge provides a great sense of control over their medical condition and gradually allows them to realize what works and doesn’t work for them, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.

 But, the question remains as it is, as to how can family/friend’s support be positive?

It is very common to see parents, family member or friends interrupting their child or an individual with diabetes regarding their food or if someone offers them something sweet to eat. The intention is not bad but the way it’s been done could cause a serious damage to the patient’s self-esteem. They don’t want anyone else taking their decisions.  A simple solution to this could be sharing or a quick talk in private or later about the portion sizes. Another thing that annoys any of the patients is the sympathy and related questions. “How come you got diabetes in such small age?” or “Oh! Are you even allowed to eat such food?”, such repeated questions sometimes get so painful that the individual questions their own identity.  

 In this regard, a small session with the diabetes educator or a dietitian could be of great help. And let’s not forget, we cannot change somebody’s lifestyle whether it’s an individual with type-1 or type-2 diabetes, in a day or two. A healthy lifestyle is a progressive habit and comes with several self-efforts, will-power as well as support from beloved ones.   

At last, what we all want is a smile on our beloved ones face and believe it or not, sometimes just initiating a small talk and listening to the individual could actually add actual life to someone’s life......


Comments ( 2)


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17-07-17 08:22
MRIDULA

MRIDULA


This article shows the real situation of what every parent or family goes through


17-07-17 08:19
inderjeet swaroop

inderjeet swaroop


nice article




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