Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins

What do you do when the doctor tells you news that you are not happy about?  Do you think, "Well, I will show him..." and get on the internet to see what you can find or do you think, "Okay, I will deal with it." Or do you opt for the third choice, "I will ignore this and hope it goes away."?

I am thinking about this for two reasons.  The first is that we had a conversation with and about Silent Sam last night.  It seems that many of the people that he works with know that that he was in the hospital for a few days in November but they don't know that he was diagnosed with Diabetes.  They have noticed his considerable weight loss.  One of his co-workers approached "the daughter" (she works part time for the same company as Silent Sam) and asked if SS was doing okay.  It seems that without any other information, there is an assumption that he has cancer. (Okay, in our own sick way, we may have made a few jokes about "yea, he is dying and wants to spend whatever time he has left at work")

How interesting that the assumption was that he was sick rather than that he was taking care of himself. 

It seems from my reading that it is not uncommon for diabetics to keep their disease a secret.  It seems that particularly with Type 1 diabetics there is a strong desire to seem just like everyone else and that it doesn't feel like they are just like everyone else.  I think that with Type 2 diabetics, there is a combination of denial and embarrassment that wrap themselves around the disease. Silent Sam has taken the attitude that he can beat this. Fortunately, he has a "team" to help him.  I think that it would be very hard for him to fight if the rest of us weren't on board and basically in need of an overhaul.  He is also fortunate that his body has responded so well to low levels of insulin.  We have not been at this very long - just 4 months.  I think if you constantly looked at this as "the rest of your life" you could be beaten before you started.  We are looking at today.  We are looking at trying to remember to "shoot up" and take medicine today.  We are working toward getting to the point where SS is off the shots and just taking medicine.  We are working toward the 5K walk in May.  We have goals that we look forward to achieving.  But like the AA creed, it is one day at a time. 

We are doing well.  But if given an option, we would not have wanted this to happen.  I urge you, if you have someone in your life who is pre-diabetic, please take the time to find out what this means and what needs to be done so that you can delay the onset of diabetes.  This disease will affect you whether you have it or not.  There are a lot of scarey things that can happen when diabetics don't take care of themselves. If your doctor told you that you were pre-diabetic and did not tell you things you should do to take care of yourself (besides the normal - lose weight and exercise).  Please find a dietician and go for a consultation.  You don't need a college education on what to do - you need some simple things that you can implement.  You need to create some new habits.  Start small and work up.  If you don't exercise at all, start by walking 10 minutes a day for a week or two.  Then move to 20 minutes a day for another week or two.  Give yourself a reward when you finish your walk. Not a hot fudge sundae - how about an apple cut into small pieces and eaten slowly?  Or a glass of ice tea while sitting looking at a catalog?  Something small that is a special treat for you.  Start slow and work up but mostly just start.

 (Another idea for the computer minded - there is a web site:  www.mapmyrun.com.  You can sign up there free and they will keep track of your distances. You can then follow how far you have gone and how you are progressing.  You satisfy your computer geek side and your blossoming athlete. )

We do seem to have a problem remembering to take medicine.  Silent Sam is supposed to "shoot up" before dinner and we just seem to forget.  Do you have any tips for helping this become a habit?  Please leave me your suggestions in the comment section below. 

Thanks for reading.