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Story of Lola Dolores

Posted on February 15, 2022 | No Comments on Story of Lola Dolores

She proudly walked the stage and graciously accepted the medal that symbolized her triumph over a disease that cripples many, who are not as lucky as her. Could it just be luck that Lola Dolores Fabian, 72, has triumphed over diabetes for more than 30 years now?

Lola Dolores is one of the three awardees of the Diabetes Achievement Award gold medal for having survived diabetes for more than 30 years without major complications of the disease. Every year, the organizers of the Diabetes Awareness Week award diabetics who have survived diabetes without major complications for more than 10 to 30 years.

Complete Faith in Doctors
Having diabetes came not as a surprise to Lola Dolores, because she says that the disease indeed runs in the family.One of her siblings, and her mother, also has diabetes. Even her husband had diabetes, and had been amputated a foot because of diabetes. Now, four of her eight children also have diabetes.

Lola Dolores was diagnosed with diabetes in 1976. She did not feel any of the usual symptoms of diabetes before the diagnosis. Not until she experienced breathing difficulties after a laborious activity did she find out that she had diabetes. Since then, she has been religiously seeing doctors for her disease, even when she was still in Cebu, and until she moved to Davao. Now that she’s living in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, she regularly goes to the Fort Bonifacio Medical Center, where she has been going for consultations for four years now.

Her blurry vision is what she regularly sees a doctor for these days. However, she says, it is not a major thing to worry about.”Medyo blurred lang (It’s just a little blurry),” says Lola Dolores. She adds that the doctor even said that her eyes do not need to be operated on.

She also relates that she had been operated on just once in her 30 years of being diabetic. In 2003, Lola Dolores had a gall bladder operation. Other than that and her blurry vision, she does not have any other major complication of diabetes. It was also only recently that she has been under insulin therapy. She’s been injecting insulin twice a day, in addition to her standard oral antidiabetes medications, for only two years now. This means that she has been able to have good control of her diabetes for most of the more than 30 years that she has had the disease.And it was only recently that she needed insulin to better control her blood sugar and diabetes.

No to Herbals
When asked what her secrets are to having stayed this long with diabetes without major complications, Lola Dolores quips, “Siguro dahil ang dami kong gamot (Maybe because I take a lot of medicines).” “I take about 6 tablets a day,” she says.When this writer remarked that she must have been very diligent in taking her medicines, Lola Dolores says that “Oo dapat, kase yun tang naman ang trabaho ko dito sa bahay. Mag-kontrol sa pagkain, mag-rest, at uminom ng gamot (Yes, I should, because that’s the only thing that I do here in the house. To control what I eat, take a rest, and take my medicines),” she enumerates.

Moreover, Lola Dolores firmly believes that regular check-up with a doctor and taking medicines prescribed only by her doctor is what kept her surviving diabetes. “So 30 years kong pagiging diabetic, hindi ako uminom ng mga herbal-herbal na yan (In my 30 years of being diabetic, I did not take any herbal medicines)” she stresses.

She says that she would only take whatever was prescribed by her doctor, and that she does not take anything without a doctor’s prescription. “Yang mga so TV na yan, maraming kung anu-anong herbal, hindi ako naniniwala dyan. (I don’t believe in the many herbal medicines I see on TV),” she says. Lola Dolores emphasizes that she only believes what her doctor says. “Kaya every week pumupunta ako sa doktor. Kung ano ang sinasabi ng doktor, sinusunod ko (That is why I go to the doctor every week. I follow whatever the doctor says).”

Not a Big Secret
Indeed, Lola Dolores’ secrets to winning over diabetes, are no big secrets at all. Every diabetic knows the importance of regular check-up and oral medications in controlling diabetes. However, it was Lola Dolores’ firm resolve and dedication to adhere to her diabetes treatment plan, that cuts her above the rest, and kept her winning over diabetes all these years.
Aside from religiously following her doctor’s orders and taking her medicines diligently, Lola Dolores also still watches what she eats and does a little exercise.

For Lola Dolores, being at the prime of her life does not stop her from taking care of herself. Even a small living space could not stop her from not moving around. She relates that she walks back and forth the whole length of the house as a form of exercise. Sometimes, she says, she stretches her limbs and flexes her feet even when she’s lying down on her bed. Her advice to her fellow diabetics is simple: “Always see a doctor for regular check-up and always take your medicines.”
Living with diabetes for more than 30 years is no small feat. Lola Dolores has proven that it was not just luck that kept her triumphant over diabetes. She has shown that having the right attitude towards diabetes and being proactive in her treatment, has made her worthy of being honored as a true Diabetes Achiever.

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