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Excellence Beyond Imperfection

Posted on September 24, 2019 | No Comments on Excellence Beyond Imperfection

At nine years old, he weighed 240 pounds— double the weight of a normal Filipino adult of average height. Growing up as an overweight child, Nino Domo was what some would call a cute kid—all cuddly and huggable with his excess weight. But his story proves that being a cute, fat kid has its downside.

Having been diagnosed with diabetes at the age of nine, Nino, now 21 years old, has gone through childhood with diabetes—enduring insulin injections, taking medications, and all the limitations the disease may bring. However, growing up with diabetes is probably what made Nino what he is today—a young adult who has the commitment and willpower to withstand his diabetes. His indomitable spirit and his positive outlook in life has gotten him through the worst possible scenarios life could offer.

Carrying the Burden
Having had diabetes for almost 12 years, Nino, who works a sales representative for a mainstream banking company, is still amidst a fight for his life. Given the burden at a very young age, he has had moments wherein life just got too heavy of a burden to lift.

“I felt really sad at first and I asked, ‘Why me?”‘ he recalls. At first, Nino did not know that he already had diabetes. It wasn’t after visiting a physician that he understood the sudden changes that he was experiencing at that time. “I always felt tired and at the same time irritable,” he reminisces.

While heredity is partly responsible for his diabetes, obesity also played a huge part. Nino recalls liking and eating sweets a lot when he was a child, which contributed to him being overweight. However, tremendous weight loss followed when he was diagnosed with diabetes.

How did his family deal with his condition? Nino narrates that when his family learned about it, his mother couldn’t believe that he had diabetes at a very young age. His father was also afraid that something unthinkable might happen to him. All his aunts who had diabetes passed away already, so the fear that he might end up in the same situation is always there.

Sharing the Load
As the youngest of six siblings, Nino indeed had a lot of people to lean on during his early struggles with his condition. “With the help of my family, friends and doctors, I overcame the trials that I have encountered along the way,” he shares.

Having a type 1 diabetic in the family wasn’t always easy for Nino’s family. The burden of the disease didn’t just fall on Nino’s shoulders as his family stuck with him through thick and thin to share his load. His family became active in reminding him to take his medications from time to time. They also helped him control his food intake. Moreover, Nino’s condition became an eye-opener for the whole family as they were all affected by his ordeal. “Everybody adjusted to me. It was a family thing. Everybody became conscious with their food intake,” he adds.

Adding up to the efforts of his family and friends, his diabetes doctor endorsed him to Camp Cope, a diabetes summer camp for kids and teens. Camp Cope aims to promote good disease management and spread diabetes awareness to patients who need it the most. “I joined Camp Cope when I was 14 years old. There were mixed feelings at first, but when I got to know fellow diabetics, I make it a point to join them every year. That was the time I realized that I wasn’t alone,” shares Nino.

Against All Odds
Having had diabetes for nearly half his lifetime, Nino has encountered problems along the way. During his college years, he experienced mild retinopathy and diabetic ketoacidosis. Retinopathy may cause the patient to have blurred vision, while the latter develops when there is too little insulin in the body. Both can be very serious when not treated properly.

On managing diabetes, Nino proves that he is already a pro at controlling his disease. “That’s where proper diet comes in, but temptations are always hard to resist. It’s exceptionally hard when I see my friends eating anything they can,” Nino admits. “But following your doctor’s advice could be the difference between living and dying,” he adds. Sticking to a proper diet has also helped Nino shed the unhealthy weight and keep himself fit for life’s everyday challenges.

Constantly juggling his time for his work and management of his diabetes could prove to be a challenge, but Nino considers proper time management to be the key to successful disease management. “I have to manage my time properly. Balancing work and diabetes control is important,” he adds.

Religiously taking medications as prescribed by his doctor, as well as keeping himself healthy by exercising regularly, keeps diabetes and its complications at bay for Nino. He adds that he sees to it that he eats well and makes it a point to walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator in his office.

Nino adds that other people with diabetes should never overlook and take for granted the pieces of advice given to them by their physicians. “They shouldn’t decline and overlook all the care and support given by the people around them because it’s for their own good,” he says.

Success is made through hard effort, which is the price one must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. Nino has indeed made a lot of sacrifices to stay away from the dangers of his disease, including losing a lot of weight just to remain healthy.

He feels that though he may not be normally healthy like most people, other parts of him could prove to be good, if not better than those of others. “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent. I may not be normally healthy just like most people, but I could also excel in other aspects,” he proudly says.

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