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A Love Affair with Diabetes

Posted on November 29, 2017 | No Comments on A Love Affair with Diabetes

For Antonio and Aurora Retizos, their affair with diabetes started about two decades ago. From then on, the couple, both 69 years old and both type 2 diabetics, have been constantly watching each other’s health to avoid the unwanted complications of the disease. Both Daddy Tony and Mommy Au, as they are fondly called by their grandsons and even by the other members of their household, attribute their diabetes to genes. Mommy Au’s father had diabetes and Daddy Tony’s mother had it too. Now that both of them have diabetes, they are aft-aid that other members of their family might get it also. That is why healthful living – healthy food and an active lifestyle – is a mantra that is being followed in the Retizos’ household.

Courting trouble
The couple admits that at the start of being diagnosed as diabetics, they were not as conscious of the disease as they are now. Daddy Tony admits that he used to take his diabetes for granted because he says he still feels healthy even with diabetes. Only when the time came that he had heart complications, did he take, his diabetes seriously. “From that day onwards I became conscious of my diabetes, I always consult a doctor, watch my diet and monitor my blood sugar,” says Daddy Tony. Mommy Au, on the other hand, confesses that she used to give in to her cravings for sweet foods even when she already knew that she had the disease. She admits that before, if her blood sugar was normal, she would still eat whatever she liked even those that she knew would be bad for her.”But when I realized that all the systems of our body were affected, I became conscious;’ she discloses.

DaddyTony,who used to run the family’s business, and Mommy Au, a former high school teacher and college professor, also revealed that their being busy with their jobs made them forget about their disease and not take it too seriously. But now that they have retired, they take time to learn about their disease and become more mindful of their health. Daddy Tony and Mommy Au now take their diabetes seriously. “We religiously follow our medication time, and we take our medicines together,” says Mr. and Mrs. Retizos.

In sickness and in health
Being both diabetics has somehow brought them even closer and their relationship stronger. “We have a very strong support system,” beams Mrs. Retizos. The strong support system between the two is evident in their stories about helping each other cope well with their disease, like reminding each other to take their medicines. They share that during meal times, they always tell each other to watch what and how much they eat. Mommy Au always reminds Daddy Tony to be careful with his feet when working in the house to avoid injuries. And Daddy Tony tells her to be careful when walking, as Mommy Au is prone to missing steps and falling. Even the regular monitoring of their blood sugar is done together, Daddy Tony usually takes the blood sugar reading of his wife.

Though both admit having no regular form of exercise, they keep themselves active by doing some household chores and taking care of their two grandsons. What keeps them busy these days is that of bringing their two grandsons to school and back home. “I used to exercise, but since I developed arthritis, I can no longer do it,” says Mommy Au. She now encourages her husband to exercise a little. She tells him to walk around while waiting for their grandson to finish classes.

A serious affair
For their fellow diabetics, especially diabetic couples, Daddy Tony and Mommy Au advise that they should be more conscious of their health, and don’t take things for granted. “Be serious about your diabetes,” Mommy Au says. Discipline is really the key to managing the disease, she says. She adds that if she only disciplined herself very well, she may have minimized the effects of the disease on her body. Daddy Tony further shares the importance of regular check-ups with an endocrinologist or diabetologist for regular monitoring of the disease. He adds that diabetics should be obedient to their doctor’s instructions especially with regards to taking their diabetic medications.

“They really have to learn to discipline themselves. Go to your doctor regularly if you have the means. Be aware of your disease. Educate your self, read,” says Mommy Au. Daddy Tony and Mommy Au’s affair with diabetes continues. But by being more informed about their disease and with the loving support that they give each other, they know that they can conquer anything, even diabetes.

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