Sugar and Friends.

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Chronic diseases are the most annoying, I think. To be given a diagnosis, and told you have to live with the symptoms for life, can be unnerving. I don’t know of anyone who would not try some other method to get a solution. Diseases like Hypertension, Asthma, Sickle cell disease, Diabetes and the like have become very common in Nigeria. People blame it on our changing culture, dietary changes, and even on pollution. I am of the opinion that they always existed. It’s just that when people died, there was no diagnosis. Evil spirits took the blame.

During my NYSC, (please read my post Eat that Frog), I had a friend who l will call kk. She was probably 19 to 21 years old, slender, and very pretty. She was diabetic and was dependent on Insulin shots.Let me give a little background. Diabetes is a condition in which there is excess sugar (glucose), in the blood because for some reason, the tissues are unable to utilize it for their energy needs. The glucose in the blood constitutes a huge problem, apart from the fact that the tissues are starving.
Portrait of a Fulani woman, Mopti, Mali, West Africa, Africa

Most times, the tendency is hereditary. This means that having a diabetic parent can put you at risk. At other times, no one knows the cause. Remember that all our food is converted to glucose in the body for use by our tissues. The blood is just a transport medium and should not contain more than a certain amount of glucose at any time.

Kk did not accept her diagnosis. She tried herbal cures, and all manner of interventions, I care not to mention. When there was a crisis, they would rush her to the health centre and I would resuscitate her. Buying her insulin was a huge challenge. I wish I had an endowment fund for such youngpeople. You see, her parents were not interested in coughing out money. They felt she should go and hustle.

She was in a relationship with a much older man (probably married). It was he who occasionally gave her money for Insulin. She did not restrict herself to the recommended diet, or check her blood glucose regularly. In fact, she was fond of disappearing without notice. At a time, she developed a nasty sore on her foot. It produced a foul-smelling exudate which drove her to the clinic. I had warned her not to come if she would not obey my instructions.

In that condition, I had to treat her. She would smile when I scolded her about resorting to herbs.

“Doc, the herbs are working. How can I be taking injections for the rest of my life?”, she would ask.

“Try to be consistent first”, I advised. “You don’t even eat the right food”

“Hmm. I should not eat garri? How can I eat beans everyday?”

“I gave you a menu. You don’t need to eat beans daily. See how skinny you are, and dehydrated. You don’t drink enough water”

I could only scold her half-heartedly for I really liked her. She was very pretty and ambitious. Her affair with the older man was to fund her education and she had good grades. Though not the best of ideas, at least she had a plan.

One day, I heard that she had died. She had stayed away for long with the foot ulcer and depended on her herbs. Who knows how she died. I cried for my friend. Perhaps I could have saved her, perhaps not. Chronic diseases are frustrating. I feel helpless telling patients I know of no cure for them. Who am I, then, to stop them from trying alternative medicine?

If someone boasts that he can cure AIDS, Hypertension, and Diabetes, and I can’t, should I stop my patients from checking him out? What proof do I have that his herbs are harmful? Where is God in all this? Here is my take on all this.

God is superior to medicine. He can cure anything, even replace limbs. One thing, though, is you have to accept the diagnosis. Not as final, but as a test you have to pass. What I mean is, if a diagnosis is made, just go through the motions to fulfill all righteousness. It is like refusing to write an exam because you believe you passed from the foundation of the earth!

You can and should petition God for the cure science cannot give. I cannot tell you how many have been taken off medication when they showed up healed. I have no problem with herbs, God will use anything. Only be sure you are being told the truth. I will trust the mechanic who admits he doesn’t know the solution, over the one who knows everything but never gets anything done. Somehow the blame always comes back to you.

“It is because you took the drugs with cold water!”

It’s because you were menstruating! ”

“You ate okro soup on the same day!”

Somehow these rules are not given beforehand and they are modified as you go. We all have to be a support for those passing through such challenges. Be there for them. Encourage them. Tell them they are not alone and they don’t have to die in it. Demystify the disease so they do not feel alone. I pray we all enjoy the best of health . Cheers


16 thoughts on “Sugar and Friends.

    niki said:
    April 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Sad story about that young girl.chronic illness are not fun. The treatments/prescriptions would feel like a burden but i guess people would prefer to take medication that would help them feel better than be admitted in an hospice waiting to die. God have mercy on us.
    P.s. how’s your baby doing?

    tenderonii said:
    April 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Wow,…this is a touching situation. I believe that people should trust God and thier doctor’s should be given proper attention, if they have diagnosis, they should sought out to be given the right medical attention, pending the time they recieve thier healing. Not everyone’s faith is strong enough to refuse a diagnosis just like that. you must know your level. God grant us wisdom for such matters like this. Thanks ma for this post. I missed you, now am back full time.

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Welcome back. I missed u no be small. Thanks

    Magdalene Kenya said:
    April 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    My mum complained she was feeling very weak, she was diabetic. So she went to see her doc, a specialist who said her sugar level was slightly high and changed her drugs. I believed the new set of drugs would address the situation but it didnt. She kept complaining of weakness, so bad was it that she couldn’t walk. And so we took her to a teaching hospital where she eventually passed on, and d cause of her death was tagged hypoglycemia. I have rly bn confused and would love you to explain pls dr n.

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 25, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Hypoglycaemia is a situation where d blood sugar is too low. It is common in people with diabetes bcos they sometimes take their drugs without eating or measuring their blood sugar. If the level is normal for some time, a doctor will either reduce the dose or even ttake u off d drugs for some time. It is advisable to check d level daily. I’m sorry for your loss. I think something went wrong somewhere. The doctors who managed her shd explain d exact cause if she was on admission. If she was an out patient, then it’s possible she took d drugs on a day her blood sugar was already low.

    Naijawife said:
    April 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Even though I don’t like doctors (except for you if course) I still make sure I try whatever they give me for a bit…just to “fulfill all righteousness” lol

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      I feel ya pain, lol. Glad I escaped d dislike O!

    Anonymous Chick said:
    April 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Sorry if I sound naive – but are these diseases really without cure???

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Some can be cured. Esp if a cause is found

    Lisa said:
    April 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    So sad about your friend. I was diagnosed with Gestational diabetes and placed on insulin. I had my baby 7 weeks ago and the doctor changed the insulin to drugs. Glucophage to be precise. I was taking it regularly at 1st, then my fasting was below 4.8. Then I was like let me not take it for a day and see how far since it was GDM and baby was out. 1st day without drugs I got 5.0 fasting, 2nd day was 4.8 since then I stopped the drugs and the highes I have gotten is 5.5. I will see my Doctor on Thursday am so scared of being placed back on drugs. Pls do u think I will be placed back on drugs. I have a family history of diabetes so???

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      I doubt u will be on d drugs for long. Rarely does it become full blown. I hope you are on a great dietand building yoir faith? All the best

    Lisa said:
    April 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I am also the lady that her hubby infected with genital Warts @ 32weeks if you recall. The baby is here to the Glory of God. And the warts just disappeared. The drs said it happens. Am confused.

      drnsmusings responded:
      April 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Glory be to God. I resisted sending an email to ask how u are. Yes, they can become latent. That means they will hide inside. Your prayer now is for God to destroy all evidence of d virus in your system. So happy. Congrats on your baby!

    hrh7 said:
    June 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I don’t have a comment per second but I just want to encourage you. You’ve got a great blog here. Keep keeping on! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS!

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