Last month, my mom was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. She told me beforehand that she was expecting it, though she only mentioned her "sugar numbers" and didnít use the real word. She told me that it was something her doctor was "watching."
On the day of her diagnosis, she emailed to tell me that she was very upset, that her numbers were elevated and that the doctor told her to lose 10 pounds and to start exercising. She said she was so upset that she drove over to my brother's store (he's a small-business owner and always there!) to talk to him. Again, she never used the word "diabetes" and since I don't know anything about it, I thought maybe it was "pre-diabetes"? The next day she emailed me to tell me that there was something she didnít tell me -- that the doctor gave her a pill to take, too, "to control the diabetes." She finally said the word -- I was so glad for her! And of course I wasnít upset that she didnít tell me about the pills right away. I understand that people need time to process.
My mom needs to lose much more than 10 pounds, but I liked that the doctor gave her an easy number to start with. She immediately joined Weight Watchers and has already lost more 10 pounds. Tomorrow begins her first of four, four-hour diabetes classes at the local hospital.
I told her how empowering I find controlling my health with diet (due to celiac disease), and that she could do it too. My mom has always taken my interest in health with defensiveness. If I butter a piece of toast, she would taunt me that I didn't put enough butter on it. She would always say things like that with pride and defiance.
But with a "real" diagnosis, she has a different attitude. Her own mother was very obese and would never do anything the doctors told her to do. My gramma never fully recovered from her heart attack in 1993 because she wouldnít do any of the rehab, and then was bitter and angry about her health until the end of her life; she died in 2003. My mom was her primary caregiver and was so angry with her mother for having such a low quality of life.
Yesterday I discovered the Spark*D information on SparkPeople and was reading it. It's helpful for me to have a basic understanding of what my mom will learn in those classes at the hospital. She doesnít have a lot of confidence in herself when it comes to learning facts and information -- she's feeling stressed about the WW point system! But I always remind her what an amazing job she did at raising 2 kids who grew up to be successful, thriving adults.
I'm glad that she's fired up about her health right now, but I know how hard true change is. Wish her luck, OK?