I am Hubban Khan, an undergraduate at NED University of Engineering and Technology and living with Type 1 Diabetes for the past 9 years. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. The days preceding my diagnosis were very chaotic and uncertain with all the obvious symptoms showing up. When the kid who never used school washrooms was running to the urinal after every period, and when the chubby kid who had grown complacent with his extra-weight suddenly started losing multiple kilos every week, it was very obvious something was wrong.
Thanks to my mother’s motherly sixth sense. She knew in her heart that there was something wrong. So, I got diagnosed in time and was fortunate enough to not go into a coma AKA diabetic keto acidosis. Diabetes brought upon a 180-degree shift change in me and my family’s life. We were naive, we were uneducated, we made mistakes. However, life went on. There were times when I would bury my face in the pillow to cry till all the frustration of not being able to eat a normal meal with well-behaved blood sugars flushed out of me.
Diabetes peaked for me when one day I ended up in the ER (emergency room) having stupidly overdosed bolus at lunch. I woke up in the emergency room with glucose drips on my arm. It was very hard to come back to my senses, and upon seeing my family it was apparent that the whole thing was an emotional catastrophe for them. It was the most horrifying yet the most gratifying experience for me. Coming back from the hospital I wasn’t the same person anymore. I realized that in the end I have to take control over my life and that it is indeed more glorious to live a life where you confront your fears rather than hide away from them.
Throughout the early puberty years, I was never too careful about my condition. However, with time I developed a sort of an ego (the good kind). This is something I learned from my dad (a seamen who lived a life of hardships but never could stop fighting his way through them). How does diabetes get to decide my moods, my health, my future? No, it has to be me! That was when I started an eternal journey of educating myself and getting smarter at managing diabetes. I read books, I listened to podcasts, taught myself to carb count and started working out regularly.
Fast forward to this day, I can say that I have tamed diabetes to not control the outcomes of my life. However, this was not possible without the amazing diabuddies I have made along the way. If you are not familiar with the term, “Diabuddies” is simply a buddy who has diabetes, someone who listens to your rants and shares memes roasting the societal stereotypes about Type 1 Diabetes. If you’re not a millennial, you might be of the opinion that social media is evil, but I will be forever grateful to Facebook for bringing me across Meethi Zindagi.
Joining Meethi Zindagi as a peer leader was one of the best decisions of my life. There is nothing more meaningful for me than helping fellow people with diabetes. At Meethi Zindagi, we help each other live a happy and healthy life while fighting the demons of diabetes together.
This year, I officially took the role of becoming a diabetes advocate. We have come a long way in regard to diabetes care, but there are still problems to deal with. It breaks my heart to see that there are still children with diabetes who are not guaranteed the next dose of insulin. I aim to work with Meethi Zindagi and create whatever difference I can make to make diabetes supplies and education accessible to everyone who lives with this condition.
So, coming back to the initial question, is diabetes a curse or a blessing? I think it can be either of those based on your mindset. I certainly see it as a blessing, because although it made my life very challenging, it also allowed me to face my worst fears and become a better version of myself.
If you are living with diabetes or a loved one of yours is, then I just want to assure you that you are not alone and that I’m proud of your courage. Let’s join hands and walk towards a more prosperous future for those living with diabetes and their loved ones