Yoga Mail

By D

Did all of those statements induce an alarming state of restlessness within you? Well it certainly did to me!!!

The diagnosis of the BIG “D” got to me at an early stage of adulthood. I have heard about this condition amongst my older colleagues and some family members too, but it came on to me as a real shock! I happened to have myself diagnosed with a Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in one of my regular hospital visits. I took a day off to visit the doctor as I was not “feeling too well”- a little dizzy and there was a change in appetite. Few hours later that day, I had an overwhelming emotional surge of doom as the doctor mentioned about the results. It was so silent behind the scene and I had close to zero suspicion despite the obvious symptoms the doctor mentioned. It was supposed to be my OFF day with an MC!!! Not a nice way to get an MC certainly. While I may have been familiar with the name of the condition, I was not at all sure at all what it meant at the first instant. I paused to digest it and sense a deep gush of fear rushing through me changing forms to well up in my eyes. I took a breather and continued to ask the white coated person in front of me what all these actually meant.

#Here is a NOT SO FUN FACT before I continue with the story:

Diabetes is The ‘MOST POPULAR’ health disease carried upon by 2.5 to 3.0 million Malaysian citizens as of 2018 according to the chairman of National Institute of Diabetes (NADI)

We championed it!!! Go on, Google it! You will see it too… I am one in a few million!!!

Continuing D story – The doctor explained that the blood test shows abnormally high sugar reading in my circulation and that alone qualifies me for the title. He explained that I may have missed some symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent night urinations, changes in appetite, dizziness due to sugar fluctuations and a couple more. He suggested that I undergo a test of glucose tolerance just to check on the range of fluctuations. I nodded while thinking of getting a second opinion at a private hospital. As the chat continued, he outlined the Diabetic dietary advice and suggested that I shed off the extra pounds. He told me to get a healthy lifestyle by exercising, managing stress and joining support groups. After a while I simply tuned out. The little voice in my head continued to urge me for a second opinion. As soon as I collected the medication, I left the clinic.

The second opinion – Well, pretty much the same dialogues. It is like a standard template the physicians go through with a Diabetic. Oh! I got more info this time around.

  • The risk of suffering from a kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, poor vision, or a diabetic wound is apparently greater for me in another 10 years.
  • Sorry to say pregnancy may not be feasible or viable if the sugar level is not well controlled. Great additional info that came with a price!!!

What did I do next? – I pretty much googled up Diabetes Mellitus, became an expert about the condition, crunched on some of the greatest medical jargons, learned some mathematics, adjusted my food intake, became a healthy cook, took that herb, hit the gym, managed my stress levels and pricked myself to see if anything changed.

Nope! Not much of a change. Some weight gain, in fact! I became increasingly worried if I will ever get pass this. People who knew my recent dilemma had their own views.

At 33, 22 units of insulin in divided doses, 1 oral medication twice a day, fluctuating weight, overworked and lacking rest, I was totally devastated. “Yoga Therapy may help with Diabetes” – my mind deduced upon listening to a Doctor’s interview on the radio one morning on the way to work. I contacted her, consulted and agreed to try whatever she suggested. I have never done yoga before. It was some of the top suggestions by “PEOPLE’ around me too. Why not, I thought to myself.

My first session at Yoga – It was a personalized wellness programme predominantly using yogic techniques. The first session was a good ice breaker. The trainer explained and I listened intently. We agreed that I would keep a record of the food I consumed then on, keep check on my frequency of the exercise done at home and keep track of my glucose level when I prick my fingers.

I did the rock and roll people! I mean the yoga pose – it was fun ☺ It brought back some childhood memories. Then came the spinal twist, the leg raise and other asanas. It turned to be quite informative, exciting and relaxing all at the same time. I liked the part where she explained the rationale behind what we were doing and how it was going to help with my ‘D’.

Fast Forward – During my ten sessions which was interspersed between a few ‘cannot avoid work’ dilemmas, I learned many poses toned my abdominal muscles, my lower back, the gluteus and thighs. I loved the plough pose. I was surprised I could execute the pose.

My back hurt initially after all the gala time with rock and roll but soon settled. The stress on my shoulders melted away, but weight fluctuated again. I got a good hang of some breathing techniques too and not to forget the interesting visualizations and meditations. I could feel zen despite my work stress. I did Kunjal kriya (Vomit it all out) and Jala Neti (nasal cleansing – ewww)

The Results – I was happy to see the marked difference of the key ‘D’ marker of HBA1C pre and post yoga wellness programme. My daily fluctuation of sugar which ranged between 6 – 10 mmol/L was brought down to between 6-8 mmol/L. It was what we aimed for. Minimizing sugar fluctuations throughout the day and normalizing the HBA1C so that the 2 different doctors I visited quarterly could help scale down my medication and insulin utilization was what I desired. It was a 99% success story.

I want you to be happy like me – Are you having a Big D problem just like me? Give yoga wellness a try. It may work for you too just like it has for me!