I think I was still in school when my father was diagnosed as having Type II Diabetes Mellitus.The circumstances in which the diagnoses was made itself was terrible.My dad had series of infections which didn’t get cured.Then he had fever which lasted almost a month.The stubborn man that he is, we never got to take him to a doctor. He despises them and probably thinks that doctors and hospitals are the worst thing that happened to mankind.Until one day my mum got the colony watchmen to force him into a taxi to take him to a hospital.
During that time, he had unremitting fungal ear infection.The ENT specialist recommended a blood sugar check up.My father asked his company doctor to write up the blood sugar test which got neglected on the pretext that the infection was gone, hence sugar levels must have been just fine. I now understand that his despise for doctors was well justified.
That year my father pulled up his act.We saw a dramatic change in his life style and I think he did a great job with himself.After the death of his mother who succumbed to illness due to long standing diabetes, I felt my father let go. His attitude towards his life long companion deteriorated. So did his health.
I graduated to become a doctor.All the time I was studying he refused to hear my point of view or even consider my plea for better blood sugar control.Excuses ranged from me still being a student,later lack of experience.My frustration stemmed from the fact that strangers would benefit from the knowledge I had gained due to the efforts my parents made to educate me.But not my dad.
That frustration has continued over the years.His diabetes has gone from bad to worse.Fears due to the known and pain due to the unknown have only escalated. I have tried every technique in the book to try and convince him to be a better patient of diabetes.I have been nice, pleaded, yelled, thrown food, thrown tantrums.I had no luck. What I didn’t want to do was instil fear in him.I don’t think that is the best motivating factor.
When I decided to take my exams from India and stay with my parents, one of my main reasons was to get to know my parents again. When you have stayed away from your parents for a long time, there is a huge distance that needs to be bridged even in simple communication. I wanted to figure out how I could get through to my dad and his resistance to see logic when it related to his health.Make him realise that I wasn’t the enemy and that I really wanted what was the best for my dad.
His main fear was getting prescribed the insulin.He is scared of it and he believes the doctors out there only prescribe insulin due to monetary benefits to themselves.Did I tell you he hates doctors.Some times I don’t know why he has supported me through all my education and my continued struggle.Some times I wonder whether I really make him proud.Some times I want to pretend he is not really my problem.
When he asked me to let things be and for me to concentrate over my education and my life and let him live his life the way he wanted to, I knew that was exactly what I couldn’t do. I cannot ignore the fact that each day he goes with uncontrolled sugar in his body he is killing himself faster.He is making his heart work harder to pump more blood.He is clogging his arteries and destroying his kidneys.He is nearing blindness and a potential stroke any minute.Tingling sensation in his leg and loss of appetite made things only worse.I knew that I could never live with myself if some thing happened to him because of something that was very treatable.
A part of me didn’t want to know the truth and I was ok with my dad not getting regular check ups. I wondered if I let my dad be just the way he was I wouldn’t know how bad things had gone with him.May be ignorance would be bliss. Or would it really be? I have battled this question for a while.So I spoke to him.Of my fears, my pain, my insecurity,my constant worry and sleepless nights.
I guess that must have worked.He has finally got all his tests done.He is on a proper diet.He is losing weight.My mum has decided to take matters in her own hands.His sugar is better controlled the past few months and he is doing a lot better. He got prescribed his Insulin today and he has bought his first insulin pen.Knowing his concerns around insulin I know what a big day this is in his life.I have been very emotional all of today.It is just that I haven’t been able to decipher what it is that I feel exactly.
If you have lasted this post until now, thanks for reading. This means a lot to me.More importantly, if some one in your family isn’t keeping too well and their best way of dealing with it is avoiding it, painful as it may seem please help them deal with it.Avoiding issues only make them bigger.You really don’t want to find yourself or you loved one in a big dark alley.