Lynne Vorster tells us how being an Oumie keeps her active and her role as the librarian for DSA Port Elizabeth.
Lynne Vorster (64) lives in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape with her husband of 38 years. They have three daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson on the way.
First and foremost, I’m a wife, mother and Oumie. My husband and I are extremely proud of our three daughters: Nicola (36), Eleanor (34) and Christine (32). We are very blessed to have all three living in Gqeberha and incredibly lucky to have my two granddaughters, aged 3 years and 10 months, with me most days. We have a grandson on the way and are looking forward to meeting him in August.
Besides spending time with my family, I’m happiest in the kitchen; where my passion lies in bottling a variety of garlic, chilli and rosemary-infused olives. I also enjoy pickling peppers, beets, onions and cherry tomatoes.
Diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes
I was diagnosed in 2015 after going through a traumatic time. My doctor sent me for a complete blood work up and, unfortunately, his suspicions were correct.
I was constantly lethargic, went to the toilet often and mostly during the night, suffered from insomnia, and my eye sight became blurry.
My doctor prescribed metformin, half an aspirin, hydrochlorothiazide (blood pressure), simvastatin (cholesterol) and dual-acting human insulin. I was already on levothyroxine for my hypothyroidism.
Some positive news this year is that my metformin and levothyroxine dosage were lowered. I have, however, been prescribed another blood pressure tablet at night.
Fortunately, my family are veggie and salad lovers. We mostly eat chicken and fish. We seldom eat red meat with the exception of winter, where we tend to cook hearty stews and soups with lots of veggies and of course some starch.
I try to follow a meal plan but find myself derailing when I’m busy. Meals then become an afterthought and take a back seat unfortunately.
Being an Oumie helped me lose weight
I lost a considerable amount of weight looking after my first granddaughter from her birth, until she went to playschool last year. She is a very active and busy little girl. Running and skipping replaced walking at all times.
My 10-month-old granddaughter comes to me daily and will soon be walking. I guess I’ll be running and skipping once more. Exercise at the moment is getting up and down onto the play mat.
I do my own housework, cooking and all other tasks that come with running a home. I also run an aftercare service from my home and I have five children that come to me after school, during the week, assisting them with their homework, as well as helping them prepare for assessments, projects and orals. Added to that, I also do extra lessons in Mathematics and Afrikaans.
Being nominated as the Librarian for the DSA Port Elizabeth branch was both a shock and an immense privilege. My duties include: ensuring that the books are available for everyone to browse during our monthly meetings; filling out a card with all relevant particulars; and ensuring that the books are returned by their due date.
I also create pamphlets with a variety of facts and information, which is available for everyone to take home and read at their leisure. My hope is that this information is shared with family members and friends who may also have diabetes.
Support and education
My family have been fantastic in supporting me and ensuring that I stay on the right track with my eating, medication and exercise.
If I was in the position to bring greater awareness to this disease, I would recommend sending medical staff to Government clinics and schools with a fun theme, ensuring that sessions are relatable and memorable.
I believe that more can be done to highlight diabetes on all forms of media, ensuring that the public is educated on symptoms that a friend, family member or loved one may be displaying. Having grandchildren, myself, I believe in teaching children the importance of a healthy and balanced diet and feel strongly that this should be taught at school as part of a formal curriculum. In turn, children can teach parents by sharing what they have learned at school and having fun activities to do at home.