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Billiards and Diabetes

Posted on June 25, 2021 | No Comments on Billiards and Diabetes

If diabetes is billiards, Rudy Lipata, 54, would win the game over and over again. Rudy, a billiards aficionado has had type 2 diabetes for 14 years now. Billiards for him has been a form of exercise that he says helps him control his diabetes. As in billiards, where players use their skill in “placing” – either hitting the ball so that it’s in the right place for their next move or making their opponents miss the ball for their turn, Rudy thinks of regular exercise as a “placing” method when it comes to diabetes.

“Placing ang kailangan para hindi makatira ang kalaban. Ganun din sa diabetes, para hindi makaporma ang diabetes, kailangan mong mag-exercise. Pag nakapag-placing ka, madali mo matatalo ang kalaban. Sa diabetes, kapag nakapag-exercise ka, mas kontrolado mo ang diabetes,” Rudy says. You need placing so as not to give your opponent a chance to score. It’s the same with diabetes, you need to exercise to beat the disease. If you are able to place the ball well in billiards, you will easily defeat your opponent. In diabetes, if you are able to exercise regularly, you have better control of your diabetes.

However, he says that sometimes when playing,you make a mistake in placing the ball, which gives your opponent a chance to win. In diabetes, Rudy says that if you are not able to exercise well, then that’s the time when diabetes will strike you, that’s the time when your blood sugar will go up.

Soaring Blood Sugars
“My blood sugar went up to 305 the first time,” Rudy recalls when he first learned of his diabetes. (Normal fasting blood sugar reading is from 70 to below 100 mg/dL.) He pinpoints unhealthy lifestyle as the culprit for why he developed the disease. As a salesman for a cola company in his younger years, Rudy admits to drinking cola everyday of his life during that time. He adds that he used to eat a lot, too, especially rice. After his retirement, he owned a canteen where he was also-‘ the cook. That was the time when he says he ate a lot because he tasted (and ate) everything that he cooked. Rudy 3 also confesses to drinking beer everyday ; before he learned he had diabetes.

Continuing his unhealthy habits with disregard left its toll on his health. He a slowly felt the early symptoms of diabetes. Before the diagnosis, he felt some of the usual symptoms – frequent urinating,ants in his urine, feeling weak, numbness and blurring of sight. At first he did not mind the symptoms because he says no one in his family had diabetes. Upon learning of the diagnosis, he went through a brief period of depression. “Naawa ako so sarili ko. Naging malungkutin ako. Pakiramdam ko tapos no ako nito (I pitied myself. I became gloomy. I felt that this would be my end),” he says.

Fateful Meetings
Getting over the depressive phase became easy when he met a person who had diabetes for more than 30 years. Learning that he could live a long and full life with diabetes if he would just be careful, really opened his eyes. But what defined his resolve to change his ways and think positively regarding his diabetes was when he met this doctor – a constant face he saw during his walks – who encouraged him and told him that the best medicine for diabetes was exercise. He admits to not exercising before he was diagnosed with the disease. But since meeting the doctor, he has exercised regularly. “I have my diabetes under control ever since I met the doctor four years ago,” he says. Rudy now swears to the powers of exercise and diet in bringing blood sugar levels back to normal.

Everyday after driving his wife to work he proceeds to the bay walk area in Manila to walk for an hour. Exercising regularly he says is paying off because he is not experiencing any untoward symptoms or complications. He also watches what he eats, regularly goes to his doctor for check-ups, monitors his blood sugar, and takes his anti-diabetes medications religiously. “As long as your blood sugar is normal,you will not have any complications,” he says. He advises his fellow diabetics to just be careful especially with what they eat. Of course, exercise he says is a big part of keeping diabetes in control.

Billiards as Exercise
These days, Rudy says he can play up to 20 games of billiards a day, which lasts for about one to two hours. He adds that his wife used to get mad at him for always playing billiards. But now that they have seen that billiards in a way is therapy for him, a form of exercise, he says that his wife does not mind anymore. Playing billiards according to Rudy makes him sweat, which he believes is good for him. “Kaya ako naglalaro ng bilyar dahil nagpapapawis ako. Papawisan ka kase paikot-ikot ka nyan eh (I play billiards because I want to sweat. You will sweat because you move a lot),” Rudy says of his favorite game. By playing billiards, he can even tell if his blood sugar is high or low. He relates having vision problems and difficulty seeing and/or hitting the ball properly if his blood sugar is high. Like in billiards, Rudy is proving that you can win the game if you just play well. Exercise and a healthy diet are indeed the best techniques that can make you win against diabetes.

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