Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Conquering diabetes: A gift to my family

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These three men: That's why I need to deal with my diabetes

Someone asked me recently why I have been so motivated to get my diabetes under control when so many people fail to take it seriously.

See the three guys in the photo above? They are the reason.

And it's not some kind of fluffy "I need to be here for my family." I mean, YES, of course I want to continue to live, and I want to live a healthy life, and I want to see my grandchildren someday and all that.

But there's a much more concrete reason I need to take responsibility for my health, keep my blood sugar under control and try to avoid the long-term damage diabetes can cause in my body.

I do not want to be a burden on my family.

No one does. No one wants their spouse or children to have to take care of them.

And sometimes it happens, and we get sick, and it's beyond our control. If we're lucky it doesn't happen until we're very old and we've lived a long, meaningful life.

But diabetes, if uncontrolled, can quickly lead to all kinds of awful and debilitating problems. Heart disease. Kidney disease. Infections that require toes to be amputated. Blindness.

And diabetes is something I can control, at least for now.

So if I choose not to control it...

...if I ignore it, eat candy (and other stuff), fail to exercise, and let my blood sugar run wild...

...isn't that me telling my husband and kids that I don't care about them?

Isn't that me putting a pretty big burden on them that I can choose to avoid?

Taking control of my health is my responsibility as a parent and a wife.

Celebrating our 20th anniversary

Over the past few months I watched one of my friends take care of her husband. Complications of his diabetes led to kidney disease, heart problems, and I think a stroke. He died recently.

I was and am extremely sad for my friend and her kids. Their loss is huge.

But watching the toll it took on my friend - who went from working mother and wife to working mother and wife and full-time caregiver in an instant, who saw her entire life turned upside-down - made me even more determined that I was not going to do that to my husband.

When I get on the elliptical every morning, I'm doing it for me. But I'm also doing it for Michael. If I keep my diabetes under control, maybe he'll never have to spend his afternoons driving me to dialysis.

When I avoid sugar, bread and pasta, I'm doing it for my kids. If I keep my blood sugar under control, maybe they'll never have to push me around in a wheelchair because I had to have my toes amputated.

To be clear, I know that some health problems are beyond all control. If I were to get cancer or some other serious, unavoidable illness (God forbid), I know my family would take care of me.

But diabetes is not beyond my control. There are things I can do, and am doing, to keep it at bay.

It's the least I can do for my family.


Beth said...

You go girl! You are an inspiration to many!

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious said...


Anonymous said...

I applaud you!

Unknown said...


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