Woman overcomes hurdles of diabetes

An Indian woman, diagnosed with diabetes at 13, has been kept from living a normal life but she has not let the disease hold her back.

Jyoti Daryani was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 13 and fell into a 3 week coma. She now always carries her insulin injections with her and a bracelet identifying that she is diabetic.
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DUBAI // The last thing Jyoti Daryani remembers before finding out she had Type 1 diabetes is passing out in the lift at her home.

"For weeks I hadn't been feeling well, I was cold and shivering," the Indian national said. "But my family wasn't sure what was going on and thought I had a normal flu."

After symptoms persisted, Ms Daryani's family took the 13-year-old to hospital. The next three and a half weeks are a blur.

"They would keep trying to wake me up, but I couldn't get up," she said. "I would vaguely see faces and hear voices, but I wasn't fully conscious."

When Ms Daryani finally woke, doctors said her blood sugar had dropped drastically and she had Type 1 diabetes. They were unable to explain the cause of it as she had no family history of the disease.

But that was the least of her worries .

"Even in physical education classes the teachers would not let me participate and pull me out of sports because they would be too worried something would happen," she said.

"Any time teachers saw that I was getting tired, they would excuse me from the class. When students saw me getting dizzy, they would carry me to the nurse and then I would be sent home, when all I may have needed was insulin."

The "distraction and constant interruptions" caused Ms Daryani to graduate from high school at 20.

But she has not let these hurdles hold her back. Now 28, she has her master's in business management and is pursuing her PhD in human psychology and finance. She hopes to launch a programme that seeks out potential entrepreneurs.

With such a high prevalence of diabetes in the country, schools and companies should be trained how to handle diabetics, Ms Daryani said.

"There shouldn't be a state of panic," she said. "I lost a lot of time that I can never get back.

"If people learned about diabetes, they would understand that a diabetic has the same potential as any other person and support them."