A year has gone by since the outbreak, but the number of COVID-19 cases only continues to rise. On top of that, the other ailments we’ve long been fighting haven’t gone away. Another pandemic-like disease that needs to be addressed is one that Filipinos have been battling for years — diabetes. For the ones who are facing this chronic illness, a form of solid support system is much needed now more than ever, and communication will always be key.
For Dorothy Pasinio, a young woman who has been living in the shadows of diabetes for 13 years and counting, having a support system and being one for her loved ones is a show of love. Her support is an important part of her family’s health and maintenance, as diabetes has also taken over the whole Pasinio family, from the parents to the five siblings. One can only imagine the difficulties the family faces: battling this pandemic-like condition, facing limited treatment supply in their area during the COVID-19 outbreak, financially sustaining the maintenance medication, and other challenges that come hand-in-hand with being a family living with diabetes.
Dorothy knows how important it is to be there for her loved ones. Since her diabetes condition is hereditary, she makes sure to check in on her relatives and remind them to monitor their blood sugar and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. “Love means talking to them about their diabetes condition, and reminding them to live a healthy life, take their maintenance diligently, and be open in communicating their condition,” she emphasizes.
The Pasinio family knows that they will always have each other through this lifelong battle — and that’s their special way of expressing their love through it all.
Lending a Helping Hand
There are many ways to express your own love and care amid today’s disheartening situations, like helping out a loved one in the fight against diabetes:
- Simply be there for them.
We sometimes underestimate the power of words. Tell your loved ones that you’ll always be there to help and support them. Ask them what they need. Be a beacon of hope and encouragement. Do your best to not stigmatize, because it’s tough enough as it is to have to deal with the disease for the rest of their life. Sometimes, the mental battle can be harder than the physical one. Your empathy will surely go a long way.
- Communication is key.
Encouraging someone you know is battling the disease to be open to their doctors is one crucial part of making sure they are on the right track. Since diabetes can cause a lot of complications, it is important to have regular check-ups so their doctors can help them manage the disease better. Offering to go with them is also an option if you feel that it will help them feel more at ease.
- Encourage them to live a healthier lifestyle (and try to participate in it too!)
Since diabetes is a chronic illness, lifestyle changes are a critical part of managing it. Suggest cooking up healthy meals as part of your everyday routine, or try that new workout that you saw online. Most importantly, do these activities with them. Make it a family affair — the more people patients see battling the disease with them, the better they’ll feel about winning the fight!
- Remind, remind, remind!
Some people may fall off of their maintenance routine, so make sure to remind them to take their medication in order for them to maintain a normal blood sugar level. This may also reduce their risk of having more complications in the future. But remember to do it with love: gently remind, and don’t nag!
Defeating Diabetes Together
Since the life-saving discovery of insulin 100 years ago, along with continuous innovations and new approaches, diabetes has gone from a death sentence to a manageable condition.
But there is still more we can do to take the fight against this disease further. A recent survey conducted by the DOST-FNRI showed that the prevalence of diabetes in the Philippines increased from 5.6% in 2013 to 8.2% in 2019. The prevalence of patients with pre-diabetes, meanwhile, went up to 9.1% in 2019 compared to 4.3% in 2013. Combining these two percentages shows around 4M Filipino adults live currently with this condition, and these already alarming numbers are seen to further increase in the oncoming years. Having someone to fight on your side is imperative.
This is why Novo Nordisk Philippines commemorates the centennial anniversary of the discovery of insulin this 2021, by strengthening its commitment to pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to medicines, and driving change to defeat diabetes. The leading global healthcare company stands alongside the Filipino family battling diabetes: recognizing the progress that has been made in their lives made possible by scientific innovation and unconditional support from their loved ones; addressing challenges to improve access and affordability of insulin and other innovative medications for every Filipino living with diabetes; and partnering with multiple stakeholders to help bend the curve down to the grassroots by preventing diabetes at the onset.
Be part of this commemoration and join the Kalingang Novo Nordisk webinar as they talk about the importance of insulin for the past 100 years and beyond, via the company’s Facebook page. This event will happen on March 26. Follow Novo Nordisk Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NovoNordiskPH for updates. For more details about Novo Nordisk, and the centennial anniversary of the discovery of insulin, visit https://www.novonordisk.com/about/insulin-100-years.html.