Saturday, November 20, 2010

Living Healthy with Diabetes: Join the Minority (or Is It Majority?)

It is always interesting how things come together in my life. A few days ago I read this blog post by Single Dad Laughing. Several of my unschooling friends had posted it to Facebook, and after reading it myself, I shared it personally with a few of those who I am close to. Then today, I was thinking about diabetes. Particularly, I was thinking about how few people with type 2 diabetes do the things that are necessary to control their blood glucose levels so that they can enjoy long healthy lives.

I understand why they don't. It is because, in general, doctors expect patients to fail. When consulting with Diana's team after she was diagnosed with diabetes, we were told repeatly by different health professionals that we could try this or that dietary method, but in the end, Diana needed to take a lot of meds and was facing a future filled with diabetes related complications.

When we attended a series of diabetes education classes, the nurse and nutritionist who taught them repeatedly comments that everyone's diabetes is going to get worse and that it wasn't anyone's fault. They also said repeatedly that all diabetics were going to binge and eat too many carbs and that the best you can probably do is to consider insulin therapy in the long run.

The statistics aren't promising. I won't spout off the numbers here because that isn't the purpose of this post, but I will say that if you have type 2 diabetes and you don't figure out a way to achieve tight blood glucose control, the odds are that you will die of heart disease or a stroke long before you hit the age of average life expectancy, and on the way there you will experience vision loss or kidney failure or lower limb amputation or all of the above. I will also say that at this point in time very few type 2 diabetics achieve tight blood glucose control.

Where am I going with this? In spite of those risks, which I think most people would want to avoid, most people don't control there blood glucose levels. Why? This is partly due to poor education. This is partly due to the wishy-washy type advice given by health care professionals. I think that it is mostly due to a diabetes patient's sense of hopelessness. They see the statistics, they hear the doubt in the voices of those who care for them, and they just think their situation is hopeless.

Guess what. I am not better than any other diabetes patient. Neither is Diana. We do know that some diabetics do manage to do a good job controlling their blood glucose levels. We do know that there are several different methods of doing this; the key is consistency. We are plugging away knowing that everyday won't be perfect (for nothing is) but that we can be in the minority. Perhaps I should follow Single Dad Laughing's methodology and say that we will be in the majority, the majority of those with good blood glucose control who don't have diabetic complications and do live long, healthy lives.

I have not been posting in this blog for awhile. Other things have been calling me. I do know that through this blog I can perhaps help others who have diabetes and aren't sure what to do next. (Maybe they aren't even sure they have diabetes. Wishy-washy diagnosing seems to be rampant too in spite of clear diagnostic criteria.)

I am not making any promises, but if my spirit leads me, I will update more frequently with health tips, nutrition news, and loving yourself ideas that just might help my readers to realize that they to can join my majority and look forward to a long, healthy life.


Patricia Rockwell said...

Adults with Type 2 have my sympathy--but not nearly as much as do children with Type 1. This groups gets lost in the shuffle. It's no fun having to learn strict glucose control at 43, but imagine at age 7? Keep at it and keep spreading the word with your usual bright, optimistic perspective. You can't imagine how helpful that is.

byjotan/maldito said...