Sunday, August 12, 2012
I've only known about my diabetes for four months but my diagnosis put me right into the deep end and I've been very diligent at making the changes to my diet and sedentary lifestyle.
My Endocrinologist has been very happy with my successes but concerned with my too frequent low blood glucose and she insisted I purchase a medic alert bracelet. I've only had my bracelet for a few weeks...it's stainless and I opted to get one with the alert symbol and the word diabetes on the front and my name, health card # and the fact that I'm insulin dependent on the reverse. I'm just starting to get used to it on my arm. I opted for a bracelet with black inside the text on the front and after two weeks, the black text has worn off in the middle of my bracelet in a way that really made me think about my responsibilities and diagnosis.
The first two letters and last two letters are still crisp and black, while the four letters in the centre are shiny silver which has the effect of breaking my diagnosis down to two words.
verb (used with object), a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting.
to encourage, support, or countenance by aid or approval, usually in wrongdoing
Dies needs no definition but these two words together really do help define my diagnosis. If I were to continue my old lifestyle with my "I'll eat what I want" attitude and my sedentary ways, I'll be helping diabetes kill me.
I've seen it happen.
I know someone who, when given a diagnosis of insulin dependent diabetes, did nothing different. She continued smoking and made no diet or exercise changes. When she began losing the feeling in her extremities, she still did nothing to slow down or change the course of her disease. When she lost her foot, still no change and several years later, losing her leg to above the knee wasn't enough to make her change. Last year, she lost her other foot and her health is in rapid decline. When she dies, many people will say that diabetes killed her but in every sense, she abetted her disease. Such a tragedy that her life will be cut short.
When I was diagnosed, my immediate thought was that diabetes would kill me but four months later, I believe it saved my life. I've lost 30 lbs since I was released from hospital. I exercise an hour a day which is exactly an hour more a day than I've exercised in the past thirty years. I'm embarrassed that I needed such a drastic wakeup call but I'm proud that I woke up.
I've spent 52 years abetting my disease. When my weight started creeping, I didn't worry and although I made a few attempts at dieting the pounds away, I didn't think to add movement. Today, diabetes gets no help from me. I'm fighting every step of the way. With each doctor visit, my insulin is decreased. The diabetes educator actually asked me to come in to speak to some people who weren't following the program.
I hope my bracelet leaves this reminder for a long time but if it doesn't, I plan to remind myself often that I'm the driver on this journey. How I eat, what I eat, how I move, the water I drink and my good attitude are all within my control. I'm owning my responsibility for having invited this illness by my own habits and I own my ability in being able to keep my numbers level.