Daniel Sher tells us how he has managed his diabetes successfully and how his diagnosis influenced his career path.
Daniel Sher (32) is lives in Cape Town with his partner and two fur-babies.
At the age of 18 months, Daniel was hospitalised after lapsing into a coma from hyperglycaemia. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and was put on Actrapid insulin.
When asked if he struggled to accept his diagnosis, he responds, “Not that I can recall. Then again, I didn’t have much of a hippocampus at that time, so my memories for that period aren’t too well-formed. Having been diagnosed soon after birth, my parents played an integral role in keeping me healthy and supporting me to foster healthy attitudes towards my lifestyle.”
It seems that the support from his parents built a solid foundation and led Daniel to achieve good management of his diabetes. The 32-year-old attributes his well-managed diabetes to“reliance on support from my medical team, friends and family. I’ve also relied heavily on meditation, psychotherapy and exercise (martial arts and surfing).” Adding that he exercises religiously.
However this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t face obstacles. He explains one of the hardest parts of having diabetes is “when plans need to be re-formulated due to diabetes. For example, having to turn back mid-hike due to having insufficient low supplies.”
Though, he is thankful for all the medical advances, “Insulin has evolved wonderfully, as has blood glucose monitoring technology. He currently uses Humalog and Lantus insulin and a Freestyle Libre CGM.”
Daniel admits that diabetes diagnosis influenced his career path; he became a psychologist who counsels people with diabetes. “Having had this condition for 30 odd years, I’ve become keenly aware of how important it is to consider the psychological side of diabetes. I’ve also become aware of how difficult it is for people with diabetes to access the right sort of specialised psychological support.
Public healthcare for diabetes needs more focus
In Daniel opinion’s, he thinks that we are getting there in terms of diabetes awareness. However, like many, he feels the public sector where the majority of South Africans receive diabetes care needs to be amped up. “Advocacy efforts need to be focussed on making diabetes education, care, management and psychological input more accessible to those who rely on public healthcare.”
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Laurelle Williams is the Editor at Word for Word Media. She graduated from AFDA with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Live Performance. She has a love for storytelling and sharing emotions through the power of words. Her aim is to educate, encourage and most of all show there is always hope. Feel free to email Laurelle on [email protected]