Lorraine Makohliso – My journey of resilience and transformation

Single mother, Lorraine Makohliso, shares how accepting her Type 1 diagnosis started off as a bumpy ride but turned into a smooth-sailing transition.  


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Lorraine Makohliso (32) lives in Bothasig, Cape Town with her two sons, aged 13 and nine.

Diagnosis

In October 2021, just three months after celebrating my 30th birthday, I received a life-altering diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes. Prior to the diagnosis, I had experienced significant weight loss, attributing it to stress and challenges in my life. It was only during a medical consultation triggered by an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine that my elevated glucose levels, measured at 23.0, were revealed. This critical discovery led to my immediate hospitalisation.

The moment the doctor confirmed my diabetes diagnosis was the scariest day of my life. A wave of dizziness and shock hit me, and the thought of not being there for my children was overwhelming; my world revolves around their well-being and happiness. I vividly recall clutching the doctor, seeking reassurance amid tears, and his comforting words that it would be okay.

Initially, I struggled with self-pity and anger. Being diagnosed with diabetes at such a young age challenged my love for cooking and baking, which had always been my sanctuary.

Resistance turns into a good transition

The transition to insulin, specifically long-acting insulin glargine, gliclazide, and metformin, was met with resistance due to my aversion to injections. However, as time passed, and I adopted a healthier lifestyle, the positive changes were undeniable. I regained lost weight, my overall well-being improved, and hope was restored.

Despite the initial challenges, being on insulin became a turning point in my journey. Regular exercise, including gym sessions four times a week and jogging with a friend in the evenings, became integral to managing my condition. Engaging in activities like walking on the treadmill, attending aerobic classes, or cycling based on my body’s signals significantly contributed to stabilising my glucose levels.

My sons were also both scared and didn’t know how to handle my diagnosis. But as I accepted it and learned more about my condition I thought of them as well which helped them be more at ease more. Now they take care of their health as well and are mindful of what they put in their bodies which is great. They check their readings once in a while. I love how supportive they are.

Supports groups made the biggest impact

Joining various diabetic support groups and information hubs, like Diabetes South African Facebook page, provided me with a sense of community and understanding.

However, it was the Diabetes Warriors WhatsApp Support Group that became a lifeline. The insights gained from fellow members, ranging from monitoring readings to identifying triggers, proved invaluable. Through this group, I discovered affordable meal ideas and learned about the nuances of living with diabetes. The camaraderie and support offered by this community have been transformative, eradicating any sense of isolation.

Embracing my different lifestyle

Today, I approach life with diabetes not as a life sentence but as an opportunity to embrace a different lifestyle. My fellow support group members have become my extended family, a source of unconditional love and kindness. Their constant support and willingness to share knowledge have made this journey more manageable, proving that life with diabetes can be rich, fulfilling, and filled with hope.

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 editor@diabetesfocus.co.za

MEET THE EDITOR


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]


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