I sat in my consulting room one beautiful Monday when Mrs. Johnson walked in. I have always admired her ever-bright smile; however, that particular day was a little out of the ordinary. She gallantly walked towards me and made an obvious signal by pointing to her legs, which I already saw. This made me smile as I ushered her to the patient’s seat right beside me.
"So, Doctor, how do you like my new pair of shoes?" She quickly unbuckled the lace and brought it out for me to see.
My broad smile immediately became obvious as I picked up the shoe from her hand. It was locally made and generously padded inside, with a hard sole on the exterior. "This is very good, Mrs. Johnson!" I commended her, giving her back her shoe.
"Yes, Doctor, I finally picked up the courage to have my footwear designed locally as you suggested." "It feels more comfortable, even though I asked the cobbler to put some fancy designs on for me." She responded further.
I have known Mrs. Johnson for three years as my patient, and I can say that she has been regular on her anti-diabetic medications. She is in her early sixties but has a face that can be mistaken for that of a woman in her forties. She was diagnosed with diabetes about fifteen years ago and has since managed herself without missing her appointments. She is a business owner and an employer, yet she finds the time to come for her clinic appointment.
"Well, Mrs. Johnson, can you share with me how you have successfully monitored your blood sugar level?" I asked this to make her more cheerful and to know how well she understood her medical condition.
"Yes, doctor, the first thing I did was to get a personal glucometer, which of course is cheaper, and I have a notebook where I record my sugar level every day. And I have not failed to have the glycated hemoglobin check every three months as you advised. "Also, with regular sugar checks, my oral hypoglycemic drugs have sufficed, and if I notice some drowsiness, excessive sweating, or palpitation, I do quickly take some coke or sugar and head straight to the clinic after checking my sugar level." She smiled at me.
"Interesting, so tell me about your diet, Mrs. Johnson." I probed further.
"It really has not been easy." I have had to limit myself to mostly protein-rich meals such as fish, beans, etc. And when I crave carbohydrates, I take them in small quantities with a lot of vegetables. I am also careful of sweet fruits because of their sugar content. "I also eat more fiber-rich foods; it helps to move my bowels." She replied with a little sign of sadness.
"I think you are doing well, even though I understand your unhappiness with the limitations of your diets." "By the way, do you engage in any exercise?" I asked Mrs. Johnson
"I have tried to watch my weight by doing regular exercises, doctor." I do take some walks, and occasionally I do squats to help burn excess fat. "I intend to get a home cycling machine soon," she said with a smile.
"Very impressive, Mrs. Johnson, "You are amazing." "I would love to invite you for a session to counsel some diabetic patients as an encouragement, if that is fine by you." I asked politely.
"Of course, Doctor, with all pleasure." She responded.
"If you do not have any complaints today, we’ll see you next week for the sensitization." "Thank you once again, Mrs. Johnson."
I watched her as she walked out of the consulting room with all her liveliness.
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