Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 4 Deadly Mistakes I did Before I Understood How Deadly Diabetes Is

When I look back five years ago, back to the time when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I realized I made a lot of mistakes early on which made me depressed, irritated,insecure and hopeless. I took a look back at what were those mistakes. I'm going to share 4 deadly mistakes I did before I realized that Diabetes was not just a simple, ordinary disease.


1. THINKING THAT THIS WILL GO AWAY SOON - After the doctor had given me the bad news, I though to myself, it's just a disease. It will go away. It took me a month to realize that this was not a simple cold that will go away once you take your medication and drink plenty of fluids. It occurred to me almost a month after that fateful day, that I was marked for dead..dead man walking..why? I was in the hospital being scolded by my older brother who is a doctor, over the phone. Not only because I missed a few medications, not because I drank 2 liters of cola, and not because my blood glucose was pegged at 320 mg/dl. 

It was because I thought that once I finished drinking the medicine for 30 days I can go back to drinking cola, or eating too much. My brother said your disease is lifetime. There is no cure for it. All you can do at this point is keep it under control, else you die, or lose your leg, or you go blind, or suffer a stroke, or die of a heart attack. That was the first mistake.

2. I CAN STILL EAT WHATEVER I WANTED - My dietitian told me I can eat whatever I can as long as it's in my diet plan. I looked at it and saw most foods that I would also find good to eat. Then she said that     I cannot miss any of my meals (yoohoo) I said to myself, all I need was to follow my diet plan! I said yes this is doable. I was wrong! My dietitian and doctor looked at my fist monitoring report. I was asked how big was the meat portion that you ate? It was either too big or too much, but I was hungry. Diabetics need to learn that having diabetes needs control, you can exchange the food groups using the Diabetic Exchange method but the portions and amount must be followed. Counting calories is not only important but a must, I learned to read the labels, learned to weigh my food with my diabetic scale and avoid temptation.

It is still a struggle. The family must support you too. Isn't it hard that you're at a party and you stick with the raw salad with no dressing, then everyone else gets to eat cake, pastries and drink beer or cola? Family members must realize that in order to help those loved ones cope, they have to bear with the person with diabetes. Share and understand their difficulty and their pain. Never taunt or ridicule them specially if its about food.

3. SKIPPING MEDICATION OR THE I'LL DO IT LATER MISTAKE - This is the mistake I always commit, even now I would sometimes forget my medication. Often it's due to lack of money. Medication can be expensive specially if its a chronic disease, but most of the time, or's almost never back when I was starting out. I had no excuse for it, I was simply careless. The sad part was that I needed to get rushed to the ER to realize that this was priority numero uno, or else it's curtains for me.

4. FORGETTING TO MOVE AND HAVE FUN - One thing I realized when I talked to a fellow diabetic,(he's a close friend who had type 2 diabetes for 10 years, he's 46 year old.) He used to be obese like I am, he was a gym buddy who saw my medication and glucose meter in my locker. We shared stories. His life style was sedentary. He says he would sit and work in the office, eat junk food, go drinking with the boys, he partied big time.Then it struck him, one day. He went into a diabetic coma. His wife thought he was going to die. He recovered after they pumped 8 units of insulin into his system. That event in his life pushed him to improve. Now he runs marathons, plays golf, tennis and badminton. His best achievement was keeping his blood glucose at an average of 115 mg/dl. He changed his lifestyle. I was inspired by how he changed his life.

I hope my mistakes can help all of you who are new to this disease. I hope they inspire you to take control of your life and have fun and most of all stay as positive as you can and share your own light to others.

Till next post.


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