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Not too long ago, we saw a very large number of members joining us from the Philippines. Sandy Cortez was one of them. His blog post titled “Dilemma!!” caught our attention. His member page has the thought “Life is a blessing… The best is yet to come!” at the top. This is his story…
When did you get diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on May 1990.
How did you find out you had type 1 diabetes?
I was visiting at my grandparent’s house. They told me that they rushed me to the hospital because I collapsed. I underwent laboratory tests and there they found that my blood glucose level was 599 mg/dl.
What/when was your most current A1C?
My most recent A1C reading is 8.
How did you do when you were diagnosed?
I stayed at the hospital for almost a month and I stopped studying for a year. I lost a lot of weight. I felt so alone because I didn’t know what to expect regarding my diabetes: there are no support groups in the Philippines.
I thought I was the only one suffering from diabetes, I had no one to talk to. The only advice I could get was from my doctors. I had a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle: imagine being a 13 year old kid that cannot enjoy the luxury of eating sweets.
How do you manage your diabetes?
As part of my meds, I have insulin (Humulin 70/30) twice a day, 20 units in the morning the 15 units in the evening. Then I exercise and watch my diet. Before I used to do a lot of exercise but due to my present condition I have to minimize my activities.
What is a typical day like for you?
I check my blood sugar, do my morning insulin shots, have breakfast and exercise (I do some walking, but if it’s raining I have my own treadmill). I rest a while and then shower. I help with the family business, watch some TV, surf the net, take my evening insulin shots, watch more TV and go to sleep early.
What are the biggest challenges with diabetes you have encountered since you got diagnosed?
First, the eye complication with the laser treatment that I had to endure. I underwent cataract extraction for both eyes. And now, kidney failure: I have to undergo hemodialysis twice a week with the constant blood transfusion that goes with it.
What would you do differently if you could?
I was a hard-headed kid back then. I admit I was doing things that I was not supposed to do. I wish I was more selective of the things I did and had watched my diet more closely.
What is your biggest dream today?
My biggest dream is to have a kidney donor and eventually a kidney transplant. And hopefully, for me and my wife to have a baby.
How could other members of the community help that dream come true?
Through their prayers.
What is your advice for other people with diabetes in the Philippines and the rest of the world?
- Diet… Diet… Diet… and lots of exercise.
- Follow your doctors advice.
- And of course prayers: lots of them!
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Acceptance is the key word here. We have to accept that we have diabetes, don’t wallow in self pity. We can still live a normal life even if we have diabetes. Fight Diabetes!!!
Previous Member Spotlights
- A conversation with Captain Glucose and Meter Boy (September 2008)
- Meet Chuck: a fun guy that makes you reflect (August 2008)
- Meet Mr. Peachy: a person with type 2 diabetes who loves to answer people's questions (July 2008)
- Olaf R. Saugen: Memories of a Great Life With Diabetes (June 2008)
- Charlie Cherry: Inspiring People With Diabetes Through His Podcast (Nov. 2007)