Hello readers! I am Swati Agarwal, a healthy 27 year old, based out of Kolkata. I was diagnosed with diabetes when eighteen; a regular, fun loving young girl. For obvious reasons, I had no knowledge about the severity of the disease, and the gravity of the situation. All I suddenly knew was that I would have to take medicines for the rest of my life, which didn’t seem to be a big deal.
My fasting sugar was 430 and PP was 560. Advised to take leave from college for some time, I was put on bed rest. It did come across as a vacation time! I did not repent not eating sweets, since I had no particular taste for it. My parents showered a lot of attention; after all I am their only child. Suddenly from a carefree life, came sudden restrictions. I was asked to avoid certain foods, take medicines on time and go for morning walks. Being a night bird and late riser, I hated even hearing about morning walks.
But I obliged, since I started reading in depth about diabetes and realized the catastrophic repercussions it might have, like affecting my kidneys, eyes, feet, teeth and other parts of my body. The sugar levels never ever receded to the normalcy. It kept on fluctuating between 200 fasting and 350 PP. At a second step, I had to be administered insulin injections. It was terrible, since the sight of needles always scared me from childhood.
Things went on like this for a couple of years, when in 2010 I was diagnosed with retinopathy - an eye problem where the fluctuation in the sugar level causes the retina to bleed.. And there was bleeding in my eyes in roughly every month, and with it came more restrictions. I went through a number of lasers and also take injections in my eyes. My eye sight deteriorated, and I felt helpless to stabilize my diabetes.
In the year 2012, while I randomly searched for a cure, I chanced upon a website with ‘surgical cure for Type 2 diabetes in Kirloskar Hospital, Hyderabad.’ Even though my first reaction was suspicion, something still made me call Dr. Swapna, the nutritionist of Kirrloskar Hospital. She was very kind and explained the entire process. The surgery, however, could be only performed on Type 2 patients, and I had the mixed symptoms of both type 1 and type 2.
I was advised to first confirm the Type. Dr. Surendra Ugale, my eventual surgeon, confirmed he would only operate a Type 2. Although I was very disheartened out of desperation to get cured, I got much needed faith that I was in safe hands.
The third set of tests confirmed that I was a Type 2, and together with me both Dr. Swapna and Dr. Ugale were delighted. My parents were skeptical about this operation initially, but Dr. Ugale patiently cleared all their doubts, even assuring to proceed once they were satisfied. This gave my parents hope and conviction in it.
The dates for the operation in Hyderabad were finalized.
The staff at Kirloskar hospital was most endearing. The dedicated and compassionate nurses and doctors call for a special mention; including right from receptionists, chauffers, and helpers. All have their best. The positive atmosphere and the cheerful smiles of all lessened my pain. Mentally too.
Dr. Neeraj Gupta would patiently address all my queries, sit with me, and assure with conviction of a fantastic healthier future! I won’t forget how he once mentioned, “Swati, you are very strong!".
The operation was laparoscopic, i.e., bloodless with no stitches. The whole procedure took 6 hours. There was a little discomfort the first day, and from the 2nd, I started tried baby steps. Within a week’s time, I was discharged. For the next 4 - 5 months, I was on a liquid diet and soft food diet. There were times when I would vomit if I ate too quickly or over ate. But slowly I started understanding my digestive system and started eating accordingly. I continued going for regular checkups to Dr. Ugale.
Now it’s 18 months past my operation. I weighed 75 kilos before the operation, whereas I am now a healthy 50 kilos; just the right weight for a girl of my frame. Having a perfect figure was a dream for me; with the diabetes cured, it came as a bonus reward! Now I take small meals every two hours, instead of big meals with big time gaps. I feel more energetic now, and enjoy walking. Climbing the stairs does not leave me breathless anymore. My sugar level remains stable at 90 fasting and 100-110 PP. The regular bleeding in my eyes have stopped, and the vision of my eyes improved. I can now eat chocolates, sweets and everything that I am fond of, but never overindulge.
This entire experience has boosted my confidence.
Once a doctor told me that, "You are a diabetic, get used to injections, as you will have to take too many to maintain the counts". I am happy that his prediction didn’t come true. It was made possible by Dr. Ugale et al.
My favourite moment with Dr. Ugale is when he congratulated me, saying, "Your diabetes is cured!" It was after 10 long years that I heard something like this.
All my medicines and insulin injections have been stopped. Now I do not need to carry injections with me. I feel free.
This operation has changed my life and I can happily and proudly declare that it was the best decision I took for myself. It has brought a new zeal to live. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the larger team of Kirloskar hospital, for turning the impossible possible. Cheers to a healthy and a non-diabetic life!