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Battling Diabetes for 50 years (P Bapi Raju)

Wouldn’t you expect a crorepati landlord in Hyderabad to employ a farmhand to water a garden full of fruit trees and vegetables? It would surely be a backbreaking job as one would have to water the plants every day. Well, 70-year-old P Bapi Raju, a retired IDPL engineer and resident of Vasant Nagar in Kukatpally, does the opposite with clear instruction to his workers to keep themselves away from tending to the needs of plants in his garden.
One may be surprised but that’s one of the secrets why despite battling diabetes for 50 years, Bapi Raju has maintained a perfect health at his age.
He could easily afford to hire a couple of extra farm workers to relieve him of his daily gardening chores but Bapi Raju never misses a chance and actively engages in anything that is finds good for his health. It could be walking every day or watering his 330 square yard garden full of fruit trees on his own without giving any opportunity to his workers or volunteering for community services, he is always there.
Stickler for detail
If you are a diabetic, you would probably strain your mind to recall your last month’s blood sugar fasting and post-lunch reading but if you are asked to recollect last year’s reading, can you?
Well, Bapi Raju can do this with ease. And not just last year’s blood sugar report, he can cite fasting and post lunch blood sugar readings since 1976 with exact date and his bodyweight, courtesy his old habit of jotting down such details in a small book. For instance, in November 1998, Bapi Raju’s fasting blood sugar was 94 whereas his post-lunch reading stood at 267. Just ask him for his blood sugar readings of any month and year, comes the prompt response. That’s Bapi Raju’s another secret that has made him to control his diabetes so effectively that there is a sense of disbelief when all routine screenings for associated diabetic complications like diabetic foot, nephropathy, retinopathy, ECG, TMT, 2d Echo turn out to be normal.
This happened at Pulse Heart Centre too when Bapi Raju was referred to me for routine cardiac screening by an endocrinologist recently. It’s often found that senior citizens battling long-term diabetes tend to get cardio vascular diseases but Bapi Raju is miles away despite being diabetic for several decades.
Never misses walking
So particular is he about his early walking routine that he has never missed one in the recent past. He usually likes to walk alone as he found it to be more convenient than waiting for someone to join him. There is a fixed time for walking, eating, rest, recreation, gardening and even when he must drink water! Not surprisingly, his daily physical activities have ensured that he stays fit and slim with his bodyweight never touching 50 kg mark – the way he has been in the last 50 years of his life.
Surely, today’s sedentary generation can take a leaf out of Bapi Raju’s life.

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