Having Type 2 diabetes
Having type 2 diabetes can touch the politics of our lives.
November 2008 — I am ecstatic!!! It is a few days after the most historical election I have ever experienced in my life!
Now I know that this article is for the sole purpose of sharing my story, struggles, and triumphs in having type 2 diabetes and I promise if you hang in there with me by the end of this commentary I will make the connection between having the first African American President and my ability to manage my type 2 diabetes.
Knowing that our country is at war, watching homes in my neighborhood face foreclosures at alarming rates, having to become more creative with my finances to make sure I have enough money to pay for my medications and attempting to cope with the stress of watching my investments shrivel to nothing has a direct impact on my feelings of overall well-being.
That being said, I tend to feel more in control of my health, my life, my finances, and my environment when I feel all is well with our country. Based on current news reports of the aforementioned, I sense that our country could use some overall healing. Can our new President Elect Barack Obama achieve financial equilibrium, erase apathy, and increase overall well-being and reconciliation for our image around the world? I am not certain, but I am hopeful. A few months ago, I had the pleasure and honor of attending a speech delivered by President Elect Barack Obama in a small setting and he took questions from the attendees afterwards. Therein lies my epiphany about my health and having type 2 diabetes.
There was a physician who stood up and asked about universal health care for all citizens and could he deliver that to the people of America if elected President. All eyes and ears were on him because less than three miles away from this event is Canada and their citizens appear to enjoy universal health care. His answer was political, in that he really did not give a definite answer and that did not surprise me at all. However, he said something else that floored me! He said, and don't quote me, but it went a little something like this:
We can certainly try to make health care more affordable for all citizens, find ways to support programs that work and eventually make sure that every citizen has coverage that they can afford and use. I was a little lukewarm with that answer. However, he went on to say that if government provided universal coverage could we (as in the citizens of this great country) not overwhelm a universal system by taking care of ourselves, exercising, laying off the daily fast food rituals, and be proactive about our health. He even shared with us some of his own personal choices and struggles with measures he has taken to increase his overall well-being. Wow! Now that discussion put the issue right back in my face and made me think about my own habits, activities and issues with weight management and meal planning. It reminded me that I have a serious disease that requires conscious planning and significant thought on a daily basis.
His request for us to become more proactive about our health inspired me to continue on my weight loss journey (40 pound loss so far thanks to Weight Watchers), to find ways to exercise which could help me cope with my stressors and my blood sugar numbers, and to always ask questions at my visits to the doctor and to get support from my health care providers to prevent the complications of having type 2 diabetes.
I am elated about the history made this past election day, but I also thought about my grandmother, my aunt and my beloved mother who could not witness this history because they all died too early from the complications that accompany type 2 diabetes which made me awfully sad. However, having the first African American President has motivated me to consider several things in my personal life's journey. I can achieve positive results when I make myself accountable. My loved ones and friends will support me if they see that I am trying to do better. I want to live my life with the proactive in mind, complications at bay and sugar under control. That way, when our country continues to make history, recover from economic hardship, end world-wide violence, challenge status quo, and embrace all of our citizens, then I can be there, healthy, and participating in the process with no complications.
Got it Sugar? Good.
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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