Janak Bhojwani, a type 1 diabetes patient, gives us an insight into his success story of not giving up on being a healthier and better version of himself, even with diabetes
With an insulin pump in one hand and motivation in the other, Janak Bhojwani does not look back with a sigh, but rather a smile at how he has grown throughout the years with type 1 diabetes.
Janak is a 19-year-old Indian studying chemical engineering at the American University of Sharjah. He has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes from the tender age of 10, not having a clue of his condition initially. However, as the years passed, he is confident that diabetes has molded him into the person that he is today, and has given him the chance to discover his hidden characteristics eventually. Who knew a medical diagnosis would change his life for the better?
We often find it difficult to accept medical conditions and view them as a seed of growth in our lives. However, Janak took it as a challenge: to control diabetes and show it who’s boss. Over time, Janak believes diabetes has made him a stronger individual than he was before.
Frustrations were common while being diagnosed with the condition. However, Janak gradually learned to overcome these hurdles with time. “I have [also] learned to deal with non-diabetic frustrations as well because of having diabetic frustrations itself. It has given me more courage and has made me a lot healthier.”
Janak has faced a number of challenges during his diagnosis of diabetes. “Initially, there were quite a few challenges. For example, strenuous activities like cycling, swimming, etc. were to be avoided, according to my doctor and parents. Over time, my family and I gained a lot of experience in overcoming diabetes, so I slowly started getting into sports that I used to like. I learned to control [my condition]. I became more independent and learned to take care of myself.
“There are a lot of things people say about diabetes, telling us it is a ‘negative and life-long disease’, and ‘it is going to stay with you forever and control you’. But, that is not actually true. I’m doing whatever I want to and living life just the way I want it,” he added. Janak switched from syringes to a device called the insulin pump, a machine that delivers insulin to his body on its own. Constant injections are not required as there is a fiber that is attached to the thigh and the machine sends the insulin automatically. With significant technological advancements, Janak feels that additionally, forms of technology that are not readily available should be accessible to people.
Dr. Maneesha Pandey, a Specialist Endocrinologist at Aster Clinic in Bur Dubai, has treated Janak for the past few years. “My profession is to treat chronic patients. And it is always a privilege to take care of patients and make a difference in their lives.
Apart from the key symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue, diabetes may cause mental agony for patients. “They often suffer from emotions like anger or guilt. You should take diabetes in a positive manner and tackle it with a positive attitude. Mindful meditation helps in taking care of emotional turmoil.”
By eating a healthy diet and being physically active, Dr. Maneesha thinks one can attain their goal of beating diabetes. “If a person is obese, by reducing weight, you can reduce diabetes. Smokers can quit reducing risk. Screen for diabetes during intermittent periods. If you keep a check on diabetes, we can cure it in a better way. According to a study, by reducing 15 to 20 percent of body weight, you can even reverse diabetes, if diagnosed in time.
Dr. Maneesha praises Janak for being a very regular patient. “Firstly, diabetes is a progressive disorder – if blood sugar levels are not in control, it progresses fast. Secondly, if high blood glucose is there, it can affect various organs of the body. There can be complications involving kidney damage which can lead to dialysis later on. Sometimes, extremely high sugar can even lead to coma. “Nowadays, we live in an era where newer medicines and medicine delivery devices are emerging, as well as good monitoring devices where we can keep track of the patients round the clock, and patients can share their data with the doctors.”