Me and my missus made a trip up to Penang to visit my sister.
We departed from KL at 3.30pm and reached Penang by 7.30pm.
We headed straight to my niece’s place at Telok Kumbar and spent the night there.
Being back home in Penang felt great but also sad at the same time because we were back in Penang due to my sister’s suffering from diabetes complications and not for a holiday.
We had no choice but to wait till the next morning to go back to the mainland and on to Kepala Batas where she was being treated.
We reached the Phang Oo Lang Treatment Centre about 11am. The Chinese Herbal Treatment centre at Kepala Batas is well established with a very high success rate of treating various diseases and complications.
The doctors at the Penang General Hospital were ready to amputate my sister’s diabetic foot but my other family members decided otherwise and had her discharged from the hospital and brought her over to Phang Oo Lang’s Treatment Centre!
I felt extremely sad to see my sister lying there looking so sick and half the bubbly dynamic person I remember her to be. I stifled my tears and avoided adding to her troubles with my emotional turmoil seeing her like that.
Upon hearing my voice, my sister opened up her eyes and her joy at seeing me and my missus was clearly seen in her eyes. We then consoled her and spent time with her. I massaged my sister’s other foot and her hands with Tiger Balm and she was happy to have us visiting her. Other members of our family were there as well and we all kept her company.
She was being warded together with several other female patients. There were Malays, Chinese, Indians all suffering from various complications and the majority of them were suffering from severe diabetic foot sores and gangrene. They had their foot bandaged and most were lying in bed.
One elderly Chinese lady was wailing pitifully due to the pain from her gangrenous foot. It was really awful to hear her cry out like that.
I learned that she was being treated there for over a year now and she has never slept on her bed but just been sitting in her wheelchair all along! Her family has their Indonesian maid taking care of her all these while and the maid was simply ‘bushed’! Dead tired of constantly attending to the wailing lady. Really sad to see such a scene.
The medical attendants then came to change the dressings of the patients and we all had to leave the ward during the period.
There was a rest area outside the wards and I spoke to a diabetic patient named Hasmadi Nordin. He was just 36 and hailed from Perlis. Hasmadi had 3 of his left toes removed at the GH due to gangrene.
He had admitted himself to Phang Oo Lang’s Treatment Centre several months back to escape amputation of his limbs by the GH doctors and he had made the right choice!
Go seek treatment there before it’s too late! Can you afford to lose your limbs? Think!
Here’s some guidelines from the Mayo Clinic for Diabetics :
Diabetes care: 10 ways to avoid complications
You’ve got to take the initiative when it comes to your diabetes care. From monitoring your blood sugar to checking your feet every day, taking an active role in your diabetes care can help prevent or at least minimize diabetes complications.
Here are 10 ways to take an active role in your diabetes care and enjoy a healthier future:
1. Have a general physical each year
Beyond your regular checkups to monitor your diabetes treatment, have a physical examination once a year. Because your doctor knows you have diabetes, he or she will look for emerging problems caused by the disease, such as eye, kidney and heart disease.
2. Get a yearly eye exam
Going to an eye specialist — an ophthalmologist or an optometrist — annually will help detect diabetes-related vision problems and catch them early, when they’re treatable. If you have poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease or elevated cholesterol, you may need to see your eye specialist more than once a year.
3. See your dentist twice a year
High blood sugar impairs your immune system, limiting your ability to fight off bacteria and viruses that cause infection. Because your mouth is loaded with bacteria, your gums provide a common site of infection.
4. Keep your vaccinations up-to-date
Staying up-to-date on vital vaccinations can help you avoid serious diabetes complications. This includes getting:
* An annual flu shot.
No matter what your age, if you have diabetes you’re more likely to get the flu (influenza) than are people who don’t have diabetes. Because you have diabetes, you’re also more likely to develop serious complications from flu, including diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar syndrome.
* Pneumonia vaccine.
Most doctors recommend that people with diabetes receive a one-time pneumonia vaccination. If you have complications from your diabetes, such as kidney or heart disease, or you’re 65 years of age or older, you may need a five-year booster shot.
* Other vaccinations.
Stay up-to-date with your tetanus shot and its 10-year boosters. Ask your doctor about getting vaccinated against hepatitis B if you haven’t already received the vaccine.
5. Take care of your feet
Diabetes is potentially dangerous to your feet in two ways:
* Diabetes can damage the network of nerves in your feet (neuropathy), reducing the sensation of pain. This means you can develop a sore or blister without realizing it.
* Diabetes can narrow or block off your arteries (atherosclerosis), reducing blood flow to your feet. With less blood to nourish the tissues in your feet, it’s harder for sores to heal. An unnoticed cut or sore hidden beneath your shoes and socks can quickly develop into a larger problem.
6. Don’t smoke
People with diabetes who smoke are more likely to die of heart disease, stroke and other diseases than are nonsmokers with diabetes.
This is because:
* Smoking narrows your arteries, reducing blood flow to your legs. Narrowed arteries increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, and also make it more difficult for wounds to heal.
* Smoking increases your risk of nerve damage and kidney disease.
* Smoking further impairs your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and respiratory infections.
7. Take a daily aspirin
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that most people with diabetes take an aspirin every day because daily aspirin use can reduce your risk of heart attack.
The recommended dose is anywhere from 81 milligrams (mg) a day, the amount found in a baby aspirin, to 325 mg a day, the amount found in an adult tablet.
Taking more than this doesn’t increase its benefits. Talk with your doctor to make sure aspirin is safe for you and, if it is, to find out which strength aspirin you should take.
8. Monitor your blood pressure
Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels. When these two conditions team up, they can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions.
For adults with or without diabetes, the healthiest blood pressure is below 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
If you have high blood pressure and diabetes, the ADA recommends that you get treatment aimed at keeping your blood pressure no higher than 130/80 mm Hg.
The same healthy habits that can improve blood sugar — a balanced diet and regular exercise — can also help reduce blood pressure.
Reducing salt (sodium) in your diet and controlling how much alcohol you consume are important as well.
9. Monitor your blood sugar
Managing your blood sugar is the most important thing you can do to feel your best and prevent long-term complications of diabetes.
By monitoring your blood sugar and keeping it within your target range, you’ll reduce such risks as eye, kidney, blood vessel and nerve damage.
10. Manage your stress
Stress can increase your body’s production of those hormones that block the effect of insulin, causing your blood sugar to rise.
If you’re under a lot of stress, you’ll have a hard time taking care of yourself and managing your diabetes.
You may not take the time to eat right, monitor your blood sugar, exercise or take your medication as prescribed. And prolonged stress can lead to depression. It all adds up.
It’s true that members of your diabetes care team — doctor, diabetes nurse educator and dietitian, for example — will encourage and help you to live healthy with diabetes.
But make sure you take good care of yourself to prevent and minimize diabetes complications. After all, no one has a greater stake in your health than you.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Jan 6, 2006
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