My name is Abdul Rasheed and I am 51 years old. I was diagnosed to have Type 2 Diabetes about nine years ago. I had developed persistent leg pain for which I consulted my doctor. He put me through many tests and I had Diabetes Mellitus. Somehow I was not convinced with the diagnosis and did not take the disorder seriously. I did not follow the dietary advice nor did I take the prescribed medication. I also did not go for blood tests and abstained from visiting any doctor.
I came to the Diabetic Association of Pakistan first in May, 2003 with a foot ulcer. About a fortnight back I hurt my left big toe. This was because my toes are numb and I have no feeling in them. First, I did not realize how serious a situation this was and what the consequences could be for me. Due to ignorance I did not ask for professional advice and applied some home made remedy on the affected toe. This made the wound look angry and red and my toe became swollen and painful. I then went to a non-medical surgeon who applied some herbal paste dressing over the affected part, which further aggravated the pain and the swelling. Finally I consulted a doctor, who made an incision over the toe. This was also not helpful as the foot got worse and the pain was unbearable. There was a purulent discharge from the wound.
It was on the advice of a good friend that I came to the Diabetic Association of Pakistan (DAP). The doctors examined me in detail and explained to me the cause of the foot infection. It was the result of neuropathy, decreased blood circulation and superadded infection. Lastly but the most important factor in the negligence was the delay in consulting a doctor. In the clinic of DAP, I was advised insulin therapy. My blood sugar was 350-450mg/dl (20-25mmol/l). I was also given an appropriate antibiotic to combat the infection. Daily dressings of the wound were done and I was given a thorough guidance on foot-care.
I feel much better now. The wound on my foot has almost healed and my blood sugar levels are near normal. I am injecting insulin twice daily and feeling more energetic than I have felt in years. I have made a pledge to take good care of my health and my diabetes as negligence can have grave consequences which can end in amputation of a part of the body. My story is also a lesson for other fellow diabetics. I will only say, “Don’t ignore your diabetes as otherwise it will take its revenge”.
Dr Mohammed Azfar.
Diabetic Association of Pakistan & WHO Collaborationg Centre,
Karachi , Pakistan