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The Diabetes Journey: Sharing my experience to raise awareness, dispel myths, and inspire others – Adewale Adenrele

Life can be full of challenges. That might not be news to many people. Some of the challenges are fun to take on whereas others just make you wonder: “Why did this happen to me?”

Well, it all started like a joke on that fateful day at Agbara, a border that joined Ogun and Lagos states after I took some bottles of carbonated chilled soft drinks of various types like citrus, cranberry, apple, etc.

I noticed part of my body had shut down and I was urinating more frequently and sweating profusely at this point. I was confused and had a lot going through my mind but still didn’t understand who to talk to.  I took a pain reliever but not working, I couldn’t sleep, and negative thoughts ran through my mind all night.

The next morning, I decided to go to a clinic and I explained how I was feeling, they said I should do the test, we did Blood pressure which was normal, and random blood sugar which the figure skyrocketed. The result turns to a lottery ticket and everyone is having a glance, but to me, I thought it was a prank.  I told the Doctor in charge that I was leaving for Ibadan and he responded “Mr. Adewale, you need urgent medical attention and would like to admit you and start medication with immediate effect” I told him …Off I go to Ibadan, I will call you in some hours. God’s willing. 

In Ibadan the capital of Oyo State, I called the Doctor that I had landed in Ibadan and he said “ WHAAAAAAAAAT, I thought otherwise that maybe something bad has happened “ I responded that GOD IS ABLE.  I called our nurse to come and treat malaria and typhoid and she did by setting drips, giving injections, and pain relief drugs but there was no improvement so she suggested that I should go for a blood test which is Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS). It shows that I have DIABETES. The interpretation of the result captured my mind of the risk ahead of my life. I asked myself, is this how my end will be? NO WAY!


Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot control the level of sugar in the body, resulting in high glucose levels. The body’s supply of energy comes from digested foods such as bread, maize, pap, rice, potatoes, milk, honey, sugar, fruits, vegetables, and others. These foods are broken down into glucose. The glucose is taken by the blood to the different parts/cells of the body and provides the necessary energy for the cells.


I decided to go to a private hospital (name withheld) alongside 2 of my friends, we got there and they registered me after asking for some personal details, I paid and some test was conducted. I noticed 70% of nurses on duty were trainees but I requested to see the doctor, a very young prominent guy with a lot of hidden potential but in the wrong environment showed up and asked me some questions but I can understand he doesn’t have the intellectual capacity of what to diagnose, he keep writing in the case note. He told the nurses to give me drips. At this point, I was in excruciating pain, weak but later discharged and was given a sleeping drug tablet (Name withheld). I felt a bit relieved and was told to check back in the morning.

In the episode of the sleepless night, a series of thoughts positive and negative occupied the mind despite the pain. At this point, I couldn’t defecate and eating wasn’t easy, I took only water and urinated.  The next day, I went to the hospital and I told them that there was no improvement, I could see new more faces and another Doctor, I was placed on the bed and I was told  to deposit some amount of money that would be needed for tests to be conducted in the laboratory. Despite in excruciating pain, they are after the money instead of taking care of me. 

My younger brother and my wife saw the mistakes from the previous doctor which he was trying to cover and this got my brother angry he called on my elder sister who insisted I should leave the private hospital and be taken to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

On arrival at University College Hospital (UCH), after the registration as a new entrant, a minimal consultation fee was paid and a stand-by doctor attended to me, while I showed him some of the previous tests I did and little explanation. He showed a keen interest and also called some of his seniors for advice and assistance on the complex case. While a dialogue was going on about whether to place me on admission or not there were other teams to examine the case note while I was told to do some tests and get some items and they set up a drip while we await the results.

Various test was conducted and I was placed on drips for several hours, God knows what they are looking for in the result, they were discussing while some were asking me questions but unfortunately, I don’t have medical records. But still, I was told to get some rest. After another set of tests, it was discovered I have a high blood sugar level with a reading showing 438 and everyone was surprised.

Full treatment commences with a strong financial support base but I had to accept my fate and they treated me with insulin injection and other drugs. At this point, I asked myself this question and queried my instinct on how to manage my life with diabetes well, this question vanished when one of the Doctors told me how they lived with it in her family, herself, dad, and mom with instructions.

After a few weeks of monitoring, and evaluating for stability of the sugar level, I was told to visit the health educator and Dietitian which I did without any delay


 I adapted to my new lifestyle and started to appreciate the lessons it taught me about life, human behavior, finances, and a lot more. I began a change of lifestyle process which was so difficult because all the food I was told not to eat or cut down are my best food or let me say they are the most available food around, especially the junk when at work.  Honestly, life was not too cool as I had to think of living long and staying healthy to see my children grow. Secondly, episodes of expensive drugs and insulin injections and the recommended meals by the dietitian.


Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas, helps lower the level of glucose in the blood and thus keeps the blood glucose level within the normal range. Insulin/or tablets often need to be added to the diabetes treatment for optimal blood glucose control. Patients who are not well controlled on the oral antics diabetic medication will need to be initiated on insulin therapy.


To readers, please do regular physical examinations including your cardiac function blood pressure, and blood sugar level from time to time. This will assure you of your health status. Don’t die in silence when the silent serial killer is not relenting.  I beg of you.

If you are like me or have an elderly person suffering from this sugar level problem, this is to inform you that Diabetes is not a death sentence. It can be well managed through the tripod:

A)     Meals/ Food recommended by Dietitian

B)      Drugs/ Insulin injection

C)      Exercise

Living with diabetes is more than just a medical condition; it’s a journey that affects every aspect of life. From carefully monitoring blood sugar levels to making conscious choices about nutrition and exercise, it’s a constant balancing act. However, it has also taught me the value of mindfulness, the importance of staying active, and the strength that comes from facing challenges head-on.

In Conclusion, my story is not just about personal growth; it’s about advocacy. I’ve decided to use my experience to raise awareness about diabetes, dispel myths, and inspire others to take charge of their health. Diabetes is a widespread and growing concern, and I believe that by sharing our stories, we can build a community that supports and empowers each other.


Tags : Adewale AdenreleDiabetes JourneyWorld Diabetes Day 2023
Adewale Adenrele

The author Adewale Adenrele

Journalist, PR, Researcher, Tourism& Cultural promoter, Social commentator. Correspondent @Africandevmag

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