Ramadan – By The Skinny Pirate


I have been working in the financial services sector for more than 11 years now and I have helped thousands of people in trying to resolve their financial issues. During my career I have come across diabetes often. My clients often relate their struggles about living with diabetes and the affect this has on their daily lives and the lives of their loved ones. I have to admit that although I was empathetic to their circumstances I didn’t really look into ‘diabetes’ further or actually know how it affected people.

I did eventually have to find out more from an event that could have resulted tragically. In 2007 my mother complained that she kept feeling thirsty. As a few months went on it became apparent that she was really thirsty. We would find her at the sink at the middle of the night drinking. All she wanted was water. Finally she went in to see her GP who checked her blood glucose level. My mother was admitted into hospital straight away and stayed there for more than a week while the doctors tried to control her glucose levels. That’s when ‘diabetes’ hit home. After that it was the injections, medication, lifestyle changes, appointments, etc. It did seem frightening at first but there was support out there and more importantly there are five of us siblings who keep an eye on her. And yes, she does sometimes try to eat the forbidden food or not tell us the entire advice of the health professionals if we cannot make an appointment with her. What can I say she keeps us on our toes!

I remember the look on my mother’s face when we told her she could not fast during the holy month of Ramadan as her glucose levels were not under control yet. Now years on she has accepted that she is one of the people with diabetes that can’t fast. It was important that she realised that fasting is very important part of our faith and an essential part of Ramadan, but our faith also tells us to look after our health. She has realised that in Ramadan other forms of worship are also important and if she could not fast she still had opportunities to increase her worship by other means. And that’s exactly what she does. The advice of the health professionals involved in her care also plays a part in whether she can fast and if it is safe to do so. Whether we try to fit diabetes around our fasting or fasting around diabetes, both call for it to be done safely.

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