Freeman Doesn't Understand His Diabetes
When Georgetown's Austin Freeman started experiencing symptoms of diabetes, he thought it was a stomach flu. Once word got out that he has diabetes, the media spread the word like wildfire. Freeman isn't even sure what type of diabetes he has, all he is sure of, is hoping to be a mentor for other athletes battling the disease.
Hoya's coack, John Thompson III, told the Star-Ledger that he has a constant eye on Freeman in the game. “I’m watching him, trying to read his body language. Fortunately we have a great medical staff, so that’s all they’re doing. But at the same time, you’ve just got to watch him.”
Diabetes is not an uncommon condition for athletes. Millions of people in the U.S. are undiagnosed, it's likely the star basketball player has had diabetes for years. Symptoms of type 1 and type 2 are similar.
According the American Diabetes Association, type 1 symptoms include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue and irritability. Type 2 symptoms include any of the above mentioned, as well as frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections.
“Absolutely, I worry about his emotional state,” Thompson said. “A lot of people, a lot of media, a lot of fans almost talk about it like it’s a sprained ankle. ‘Will he be able to go tomorrow?’ or ‘Can he play?’ The emotional adjustment and acceptance of, ‘I have diabetes, I have this disease for the rest of my life.’ But it’s so much more than that. The emotional adjustment and acceptance has been extremely difficult.”
Analysts have recently declared diabetes a world-wide epidemic. Estimates show that diabetes will most likely double or triple by 2020. Many of the reasons attributing to the exponential increase involve obesity and poor diet, but a number of diabetics are born with the disease.
Written by Amy Munday