Saturday 14th November 2020 Devotion
Scripture:- Proverbs 1:1-33
Topic:- Doctor How Can This Be
Text:- Proverbs 1:8
Doctor how can this be? My 6 years old boy is Diabetic?
I have Mrs Obi’s permission to share this true trying life experience with you so that all parents can learn from it.
I was the one on duty call that day. I was actually doing ward round when I saw Mrs Obi with her small boy, Nelson.
She came to greet a Patient in one of the wards of our Hospital when she approached me and said “please Doctor is it normal for a child of 6 years old to be urinating like 6 times in the night before day break?
Then during the day, he will still urinate like another 6 times?” I asked her to meet me inside my consulting room after I finished my ward round.
As i finished, they were already waiting at my consulting room door. I ushered both of them in.
After welcoming them properly and we exchanged pleasantries, I told her to tell me more about the story she was telling me the other time in the ward.
She began, “Doctor, this boy is my 3rd born. I have 4 children. My first two children stopped urinating at home at age of 3 after I potty trained them. But this boy has never gotten over urinating at home since I gave birth to him.
At first I thought it was just normal but lately it is getting worse. To make matters worse now, he has been losing weight lately for the past 2 weeks, despite the fact that he is eating more.
I hope this is not the handiwork of my village people Doctor.” She lamented ending her story in tears. I empathized with her.
I asked her if Nelson had been complaining of pain during urination lately she said yes.
Any high body temperature? She said yes, but not too much, the temperature was just there.
I asked her if anybody was diabetic in their family, she smiled a little in surprise and instead of answering my question, asked me shockingly.
“Doctor, hope you are not saying a small boy of 6 years is diabetic because I have never heard that before in my life. I thought diabetes is a disease of an adult.”
Then I went further to educate her that children can have diabetes too.
We usually call it type 1 diabetes. She opened her mouth again.
This seemed to be the first time she was hearing that. Then she silently prayed and rejected the diagnosis of diabetes of her child. I seriously said amen to it too.
I went further in my interview to ask about how much sugary things Nelson used to take.
She said, “Doctor, this boy could drink a story building of icecream and a truck of sweets.
Infact, before he started losing weight, 2 weeks ago, Doctor, if you see how fat this boy was. He would eat meat, eat suya, drink soya milk, eat all sort of junks.
His daddy was the one spoiling him. Whenever I said they should not give him too much of icecream and sweets, the daddy could fight me to standstill over it.
I asked about anybody being diabetic in the family. Mrs obi answered that her mother was diabetic.
So also Nelson’s grandfather from his father side. Well to cut the long story short, I examined Nelson.
He had actually lost weight as evidenced by the bones in his face and he had also lost some body water too.
I ordered urgently for urine infection test and urine sugar test with blood sugar. Test.
In no time, the results were out, confirming Neslon was diabetic at age of 6 years old.
This was a piece of bad news to the mother. She queried me, “DOCTOR HOW CAN THIS BE? MY 6 YEARS OLD BOY IS DIABETIC?”
Well I had to do some serious counselling before she could accept the diagnosis.
Then she asked me, “What is the solution Doctor, hope it has cure?”.
As much as I wanted to raise the mood of the patient, as a Doctor you can never lie to them or give them false hope.
I told her, “Diabetes doesn’t have a cure and it is even much more challenging being type 1.
Type 2, you can still use tablet for a long time before you may end up with insulin injections.
She curiously asked me, “Doctor what is the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes?
I told her” Mrs Obi, God created one hormone inside our body, the name is insulin.
It is this insulin that carries our food (sugar) from our stomach to our various organs so that they can eat and make use of the sugar to grow and have energy.
Two problems can happen with this insulin hormone. First it may not be available from the organ that is producing it inside us.
The name of the organ is pancreas. This is what happens in type 1 diabetes.
The insulin may be produced by the pancreas on the other hand, but the other organs in the body will not accept the food, the insulin bring to them, they will not eat it.
This is what happens in the type 2 diabetes. So in type 1, availability of insulin is the problem but in type 2 it is our body organs not accepting to collect the food ( sugar) from the hands of the insulin and eat it.
So in Nelson case, it is insulin that is not available that is causing this problem. So his own is type 1 diabetes.”
She deeply sighed and with her eyes slowly wide open she asked the heavy question.
“Doctor, so if I got you correctly from all your explanation, the only solution would be that my son will be on insulin injection? For the rest of his life or just for a while?”
She burst into tears again. I went on to start another round of counselling again before she could accept it.
Then I went further to counsel her that apart from the insulin, there were some other added things that we would need to change about Nelson’s lifestyle.
All those sweet junks, sugary things, sugar and icecream would have to be reduced drastically if not stopped.
He would have to be doing exercise on a daily basis. He would be coming for regular check up of his blood sugar.
I admonished them to buy a glucometer they would be using at home to monitor the blood sugar and a book to be recording it.
I taught them normal and abnormal blood sugar ranges and also how to give him the insulin at home.
By now, Nelson’s mother was feeling better that her boy’s problem actually had a solution and he could actually live his normal life if all these instructions were followed.
It was not a death sentence. I treated the urine infection and gave him some water and started him on his insulin.
Later, I discharged them home and to follow up in the Clinic.
I had to hand them over to another Doctor when I was finally leaving the Hospital.
I exchanged contacts with them. We talked once in a while yearly since then.
This story happened 9 years ago. Nelson is now 15 years old. The mother called me recently to inform me that he just passed his WAEC in flying colours.
Diabetes, especially type 1, is not a death sentence. If you can accept your diagnosis, take your drugs, adjust your lifestyle and diet, do exercise daily and regularly, you will be fine.
Till today, I am their family Doctor they call for many other issues.
I learnt so many lessons from Mrs Obi’s family on this Nelson’s illness issue. Let me share some of them with you below:
Lesson 1: Children of any age can have diabetes. As a parent, note this from today.
Lesson 2: Not every child urinating at home is just normal urinating at home. Some have diabetes.
Lesson 3: It is good to pamper your children with sweet, sugary things, sugar and ice cream but too much of everything is bad. It can precipitate problems like childhood obesity and other problems like diabetes early in life. Spoil your child with more toys instead of too much junk food.
Lesson 4: This lesson goes to we fathers. We want to buy all the sugary things in this world for our children to show how loving father we are to them. Yes it is good to be a loving father but listen to their mothers too when they are warning you to stop. Both of you should work hands in hands as stakeholders for the good of the children.
Lesson 5: Diabetes in children is not a death sentence. They can live their normal life like their counterparts. You the parents, the child and the Doctor and other health care workers taking care of the child should just work together as one team.
Prayer Point: Oh Lord God, help me to understand and keep to be healthy henceforth by fire.
Have A Good Saturday!