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