Suc­cess Story

25-year-old Aashna Man­shara­mani, struck with di­a­betes from the age of seven, tells us how it steered her life in a new di­rec­tion.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - Aashna Man­shara­mani aash­na­man­shara­[email protected]

‘H&N’ reader’s ac­count of liv­ing with di­a­betes

Iwas di­ag­nosed with type 1 di­a­betes at the age of seven. I was un­der weight and con­trary to pop­u­lar be­liefs, I did not have ex­ces­sive amounts of su­gar and no one in my fam­ily had di­a­betes. Grow­ing up with di­a­betes in 2000 was in­ter­est­ing as de­vel­op­ments had been made in science and medicine, mak­ing in­sulin, sy­ringes and blood test­ing ma­chines avail­able. Un­for­tu­nately, though, the ad­vanced knowl­edge for the same was not equally avail­able. In the first month of di­ag­no­sis, I was told that var­i­ous food and fruits such as ba­nanas and grapes were not al­lowed. If the nutri­tion val­ues for any­thing could be cal­cu­lated for, any­thing is al­lowed with the cor­rect amount of in­sulin doses. Back then, di­a­betes was such a taboo that few peo­ple even ad­mit­ted to hav­ing it. This made it par­tic­u­larly harder for a newly di­ag­nosed pa­tient to un­der­stand and have ad­e­quate in­for­ma­tion. The more sig­nif­i­cant is­sues, though, in­cluded the per­cep­tions of oth­ers. The

top mis­con­cep­tion was the con­fu­sion be­tween type 1 and type 2 di­a­betes. Type 1 is ju­ve­nile di­a­betes, di­ag­no­sis rang­ing from birth on­wards, and is in­sulin de­pen­dent, a re­sult of the pan­creas not func­tion­ing. Till date, peo­ple con­stantly ask me if I had a sweet tooth as a child, or ad­vise me to con­sume bit­ter­gourd juice and other herbal con­coc­tions. While the con­cern is ap­pre­ci­ated, one should know that such things can­not pos­si­bly re­place the func­tion of in­sulin as a medicine. Peo­ple tend to make it a big­ger deal than it ac­tu­ally is. All it takes is a bal­anced life with ex­er­cise, rel­a­tively healthy diet and in­sulin in­take. Two of those fac­tors is ad­vised to every­one any­way. That be­ing said, ex­er­cise and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties are tricky as they tend to bring the su­gar lev­els down. This nat­u­rally be­came a point of con­cern to coaches/ sports in­struc­tors when I was in school, so much so that I was dis­cour­aged from mov­ing up a level in gym­nas­tics. I did not re­al­ize it then but the neg­a­tiv­ity im­pacted me. 18 years later, after I re­belled my way through, I teach ae­rial gym­nas­tics, or ae­rial hoop, to stu­dents rang­ing from the age of 4 to 40 in Mum­bai and re­cently in Delhi as well. Hav­ing had to de­velop that con­trol over food from a young age gave my fam­ily the con­fi­dence to send me abroad for ed­u­ca­tion where I got my bach­e­lors in ar­chi­tec­ture and also learnt ae­rial gym­nas­tics on the week­ends. Since ‘World Di­a­betes Day’ is on Novem­ber 14th, I’d like to tell peo­ple that di­a­betes is not lim­it­ing, em­bar­rass­ing, or cur­able (so far at least) but a chal­lenge that helps a per­son grow and can even be a con­stant mo­ti­va­tor to do more. To all di­a­betic read­ers, hang in there, and chan­nel the neg­a­tiv­ity/ frus­tra­tion through a pas­sion mak­ing it an ob­ses­sion!

“Di­a­betes is not lim­it­ing, em­bar­rass­ing, or cur­able (so far at least) but a chal­lenge that helps a per­son grow and can even be a con­stant mo­ti­va­tor to do more.”

Teach­ing ae­rial gym­nas­tics

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.