Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Diabetis, long daylight hours and full time working

I have been unable to fast since Ramadan started.
I have an appointment with my doctor tommorow morning for results of my recent blood sugar levels (I am diabetic Type 2) and I am certain she will tell me not to fast this Ramadan due to the long daylight hours.

In the UK this year Ramadan is very difficult, Fajr and fasting starts at roughly 2.47am and Iftar is roughly 8.45pm which means roughly 18 hours of being unable to eat or drink.
Not really a problem, however I work full time, up at 5.30am, leaving the house before 7.20am and not home again until 6.30pm

I have a child who needs taking care of as well, so its not an option for me to sleep when I get home until Iftar. It means I have roughly 6 or 7 hours to break my fast, get a decent amount of sleep so I can function in my job and also eat at surhoor.
So that means an hour of eating and drinking for Iftar, sleep on a full stomach for 2 or 3 hours wake up again, pray, have more food and drink and again sleep on a full stomach without the food digesting so I can grab another 2 hours of sleep.
I tried it for one day and realised I could not do it this year. 2 hours of food and liquid was not enough to sustain me through the long day unless I cut my sleep hours down to 2 or 3, which is impossible.

Already my diabetis causes me to fight tiredness through the day and I often struggle with my concentration.
Although I am not on Insulin (I take Metaformin), the very short hours to eat/drink also has to fit in my daily sleep, either way it is detrimental to my health.
I actually cried today because I felt such a failure at not being able to perform Ramadan.

I have decided to fast during Ramadan on saturdays where I can sleep during the day, then stay up until early hours of sunday, the rest of the days I am having to miss I plan to make up during the winter months when the daylight hours are very short and it will not affect my diabetis and my sleep.
Last year we were in Dubai for Ramadan, previous years I only worked partime and was able to take time off during Ramadan, but this year with the exception of this friday, I am unable to take anytime off work during Ramadan.
I have decided to book next Ramadan off work, so I am able to eat properly without rushing and be able to sleep for as long as my body needs after the fast starts.

I am sure even non diabetics in Europe are suffering this ramadan especially those that work full time. Trying to quench your thirst and ensure you eat enough and get enough sleep to be able to function is very difficult.
I know if you have an illness you can refrain from fasting, I have not done this before, but this year sadly I have had to.
My brother in law in Abu Dhabi is insulin dependant diabetic and he fasts, however he gets to rest from 2pm onwards until the fast is broken, also the hours of daylight in the Middle East are much shorter than here in the UK.

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Louise
Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom
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