My Life with Diabetes

Larsh’s Story

Larsh's Story

Friends call me Kwame Larsh, 22 years of age and currently a student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. I have been living with Diabetes for four years. I was diagnosed as diabetic in 2010 when I was 18years.

Way back in senior high school, it was during my third year, I began falling sick frequently and started losing weight. I also noticed I become frequently thirsty and hungry. I was passing a lot of urine. Within every thirty minutes, I will have to visit the urinal. At night I can wake up about eight to nine times to urinate. I lost weight drastically. My uniforms became very big for me. During class hours, I was always asking permission to visit the gents. Teachers and students began to wonder what was wrong with me. I remember during our mock exam, I will ask permission to go urinate within every thirty minutes, I am sure that at times the invigilators must have thought I was cheating.My body was always hot, I couldn’t feel my legs sometimes, was feeling thirsty all the time, feeling hungry within few hours and having restlessness all the time.

I was organizing a trip to Kakum National Park and Hans Cottage Botel in the Central Region during that vacation. So I was to meet the other organizers in town so I decided to go to the hospital and meet them later in the day. I went to the hospital and the unfortunate happened. I went to see the Doctor, told her the symptoms and she requested that my blood sugar level should be texted. The glucometer read 33.0mmol/l and I was diagnosed as having diabetes.

The doctor asked me to cancel my trip to the National Park, much to my dismay and to proceed on admission. She asked me to call my mummy. When she arrived, she went to see the Doctor and she came out with tears that made me very sad. I thought I was going to die soon at the sight of her actions. I went on admission for a week. I was discharged to go home but whenever it’s time for eating, I feel sad especially during breakfast. My siblings will be enjoying their meals and I will be enjoying mine with straight face because the food contained no sugar

I was asked to visit the hospital every 2 months. But anytime I do that, I become broken hearted because I will be in a queue with men and women and they will be asking questions like, whom did you bring to the hospital?, and when I replied I came to the hospital myself for my diabetes, their comments would break my heart. Their comments would be pity for me or they would say “We will pray for you, don’t worry”. They would also say “You are too young to have diabetes”, Diabetes makes us get strokes, blindness, erectile dysfunction, etc so many other things. It was torture to sit in the waiting room listening to the older ones discussing diabetes with pity towards me. I was so upset with the looks they gave me and was never happy to go to the hospital for review.


I never told any of my friends that I had diabetes, except a friend who was a nurse, she didn’t however believe that I could have diabetes and advised that I keep to a healthy diet.

When secondary school reopened, I was facing some few challenges on campus. I had to store my insulin at the school dispensary. Every morning, I had to visit the dispensary for my injection before classes starts. God saw me through till I completed. Fortunately, I got admission to enter the university after school. During my first year, I had no fridge so I had to store my insulin in other friends own.

Since none of my friends knew I had diabetes, when they saw me injecting my insulin, some assumed I had started injecting illegal drugs but later on they found out that I had diabetes.

I made up my mind after a few months to tell my best friend, it was one of the most difficult times ever, but looking back I am glad I did. I had to plan the best way that I could break the news to her without scaring her off. I initially told her I was ill, then after she began to pressure me about exactly what was wrong with me, I invited her to my room one day and injected my insulin in front of her and told her I had diabetes. She was shocked and surprised but it was easy for her to understand as she told me that her father was also living with diabetes and so she knew a little bit about the disease. Our friendship has become stronger and she understands my condition a lot more and is able to help me out. She is even able to inject me with insulin on days when I do not feel like it.

One day during my routine visit to the clinic I was introduced to Diabetes Youth Care (DYC). I had a long chat with the doctor and I agreed to join the group. Joining this group has been a blessing unto my life. It lifted my soul and gave me hope. I have been educated a lot through this group, have got to know a lot of young ones living with diabetes, and built my self-confidence.

I cannot wait to finish my education, I am aiming to be the executive director of the forestry commission in Ghana to maintain our natural forests and provide an alternative source of livelihood to people who may be utilizing the forests for their source of living and may be destroying it. I also want to make sure that transactions which are done for cutting down the trees are legal and the trees cut down are replaced.

I do not see my having diabetes as a limiting factor!

Joining Diabetes Youth Care has made think about this even more and DYC is a blessing unto my life. LONG LIVE DYC

My Life with Diabetes

Emmanuel’s Story

Emmanuel's Story

I was 15 years when the doctor diagnosed me as having diabetes, now I am 23 years old. I can’t believe it but I have been living with diabetes for the past 8 years. Pardon me guys, Emmanuel K is my name and a Ghanaian from Tarkwa in the Western Region currently residing in the capital city of Accra.

As I indicated it started 8 years ago when I would urinate a lot within few minute especially at night. My mum has diabetes noticed that and suspected it. One day she followed me to the bathroom and became scared when her suspicion was confirmed by the presence of ant in the water closet after I had urinated many times. She then insisted I go for a medical check up to clear her suspicions which I did. I was scared and went to the hospital the next morning. At the hospital I was asked to go for a laboratory test FBS [fasting blood sugar]. My blood glucose level was 21mmol/l confirmed my mother’s worst fears then I was told I had diabetes.

Being that young ie 15 years, the doctor in charge told me it might just be a temporal problem e.g. acute pancreatitis, so I should try dietary management to help reduce the levels of blood sugar after initial stabilization, so I was asked to see a dietician.

Dietary management wasn’t helping because my glucose level kept rising which led to my admission at the hospital. It was there I was told to use insulin and have been using it since.

In senior high school, at the boarding house, I had very little idea on how to store my insulin, so I would go to school without it and opted for dietary management which unfortunately didn’t help much. Because I was urinating a lot especially during examination when I had to sit down for more than an hour. I was once called to the teachers’ staffroom on suspicion of exams malpractices as I was going to the bathroom every 15 minutes). I told no one about my diabetes. I was so reserved and felt sad because of diabetes and especially when my friends would come together to have a “bowl of rich gari soakings (dry grated cassava with milk, sugar, chocolate powder and water) with “hy3mema” biscuit which was my favourite. I had to opt for a sugar free ‘


version of the gari soakings and since I did not want anyone to know it was sugar free, I did not share the food. So my friends thought that I was selfish and did not want to share my food. I could not explain myself to them since I had decided to keep it as a secret.

During my first semester at the university, I had friends and roommates who were literally scared of me because, they saw me injecting insulin and assumed it was some kind of hard drug. At times they would come along with other friends just to show them I took hard drug. I still did not tell them that I had diabetes, however they got used to me injecting routinely but still had same idea. My friends and I adopted a habit of cooking and eating together at a scheduled time suitable for me but however sometimes when they went out and came back late would have to eat without them so that my blood sugar does not go too low. It continued for some time so they got angry and that’s when I explained everything to them. I had to then tell them that I am living with diabetes. I am glad I told them finally, because if I forget to take my insulin they became my reminder.

I was introduced to Diabetes Youth Care by a very good doctor friend of mine Dr. Emily earlier this year (2014) and I am so happy I joined this group. I have been given a lot of education and support and this has created the opportunity for me to meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends who are caring, friendly, understand what I go through daily and always there for me. I can now come out and say in public that I have diabetes and I am living well with it. Diabetes is not going to limit me in any ways of my achieving a lifelong dream of becoming an engineer.

I will urge everyone especially young ones like me, living with diabetes to be bold and informed, to tell and educated friends and family about diabetes. The problem is not with US but our PANCREAS.

The future is bright for us living with diabetes in Ghana. Thanks to Diabetes Youth Care.

My Life with Diabetes

Yaa’s Story

Yaa's Story

My friends call me Yaa. 25 years of age and I have been living with diabetes for 11 years. I was diagnosed as having diabetes when I was 14years.

It all started when I realized that I was passing lots of urine daily especially at night, would wake up extremely hungry, and was losing so much weight .I Was then in a boarding school (senior secondary school) so one day, I decided to go home and tell my parents about what I was going through. My mother is a nurse so I thought this would be the easiest step to take to solve my problems. When I got home my mother decided that I should have an early scheduled medical checkup due to the symptoms I had told her about. After the routine tests, the doctor said to my mother in my presence “your daughter Yaa has diabetes”. I knew nothing about diabetes then, so all I remember is seeing the shocked and devastated look on my mother’s face. Then she uttered these words “We don’t have diabetes in our family”. I on the other hand knew nothing about what I was going to deal with for the rest of my life.

My parents are very helpful; mother being a nurse understood and did her best to educate me on the condition. As a teenager, I had difficulty understanding and accepting due to that I was advised to be withdrawn from the boarding house temporally. I would take soft drinks (soda, fizzy sugary drinks), eat chocolate with friends against doctors’ advice because I found it difficult accepting. This unfortunately always would result in me being admitted to the hospital on account of high blood glucose and I will miss classes in school. When I thought I was starting to get hold of things, finally accepting and allowed back into the boarding house, I had friends avoiding me because they heard I 

had diabetes and thought it was contagious. Teachers would also avoid me and would literally run away when they saw me injecting my insulin at school. Those were the bad times, but then I say to myself now, those were obviously not my true friends. There are a few who stuck by me and till now remain my true friends.

I am privileged to have had a great Headmaster at my school who would sit down and have chats with me and encouraging me not to be disheartened despite the challenges that I was going through. I must admit he is one of the reasons I chose to study really hard and enter the nursing profession.

I have been a qualified nurse for more than a year now and working with so much happiness. I have also joined the Diabetes Youth Care support group and I must say I enjoy the privilege of having a 2 fold membership as a client and also as a health professional. I love this group as I meet other young ones who live with diabetes, we are able to discuss and share all our problems without fear of being judged. We spend time with medical professionals who answer all our nagging questions and have patience for us.

There are amazing people in the world who may be limited by various conditions they may be going through either physical chronic illness or other, but limitations are meant to be overcome and I am living proof of this daily.

I am looking forward to working with young people living with diabetes professionally by becoming a Diabetes Nurse Educator raising awareness and supporting young ones living with chronic diseases in Ghana.