Hindsight is Always 20/20
Making choices to take control of my diabetic life
May 2014 — I don't consider myself a people watcher, but I do find myself looking at the expressions of people and wondering what choices they made to get to this point in time.
Case in point: A young woman walks through my local Walmart while wearily pushing a shopping cart loaded with a toddler and groceries. Her downcast expression makes me wonder if she planned on having a child, is in a bad marriage, is living pay check to pay check, dropped out of school, etc. I am curious to know if her choices would have been different if she knew that she would one day be a young mother trudging through Walmart while pushing a shopping cart.
I think about my own choices, especially those involving the lifestyle that (coupled with my own genetic predisposition) led to my type 2 diabetic life. I knew my father had been type 1 and that my mother was type 2, but I was content to eat loads of fast food and sweets, while drinking carb-saturated drinks.
Would I have made better choices if I knew that one day I would be paying out prescription co-pays, having bi-annual blood work, and arguing with insurance companies that think they know so much more than my doctor? I have to humbly answer yes. Hindsight is so 20/20! It is too late to prevent my type 2 diabetes — we are just stuck with each other.
I am pleased to report that I have made progress in losing weight (about 10 pounds) since my last column. Getting a kick-butt virus also helped me in this endeavor. I have managed to reduce my incidents of eating after supper or just before going to bed. There have been some setbacks, but many more victories. I'm taking control of my diabetic life.
I have also received some valuable motivation from my seventy-six-year-old mother. "Dorothy" is not known for consistently taking care of herself. She starts out strong, but finishes weak. Last month she was hospitalized for double pneumonia, and received much needed treatment for her fibromyalgia. She has lost approximately fifty pounds in excess fluid and body weight.
Even while under constant medical supervision, her blood sugar has soared into the three hundreds and dropped into the fifties. It has been a rough ride, and her haggard face tells volumes about her bad choices and her diabetic life. I wish I could end my report on her there, but after Mom was transferred from the hospital to a nursing home / rehabilitation center, she has been returned to the hospital. The painful truth is that Dorothy's body is failing, with fluid building up within her.
I am reminded that we are not in control of our lives, but we do have a say in the choices that we make. Eventually, all of our bodies will fail. However, our choices help influence just how our bodies will fail and how soon. Please make the effort to take care of yours, especially with the challenges of your diabetic life.
Disclaimer?dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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Today marks 22 years with type 1 diabetes for me. It doesn’t seem real. When I see other diabetics who have had it for 40, 50, 60 years, it just makes it feel like there is so much further to go. An endless amount of this life. 22 years is a lifetime for me. It is 85% of my life…22 years out of just 26. And I don’t even remember the first four diabetes-free years. Do not get me wrong. I am grateful for a fairly healthy 22 years. I do not have complications. I have been blessed to...