Untitled Document

Diabetic Discussion

  • Diabetes … Oh No! Not Me!

    images[4]“You have diabetes” … my doctor told me after looking at the result of my blood tests.  I was thirty-two years old.  I made an immediate decision that I did not believe him.  I felt healthy.  I felt better than fine, in fact.  I looked at him in total disbelief.  I began tuning him out. I felt so good that I did not care what he said.

    I went home and began to digest my doctor’s prognosis.  I watched how my mom dealt with her diabetes, and I felt like I had been given a death sentence. I am a personality that simply cannot abide rules or restrictions placed on me.  Especially when it comes to food.  I want to eat what I want to eat, whenever I want to eat it. This was bad.  Very bad. I had no interest in learning how to take my glucose levels.  I had less interest in the recommended diets.

    Screaming and kicking all the way, I realized I must be one of the worst patients ever when it came to this diagnosis.  I would never do what my doctor said because I felt good.  I buttoned my lip.  I listened to my doctor and went home as stubborn as when I visited him. I knew I was not going to change or follow any diet.  Ever.

    The diabetic diagnosis became a terrible crisis in my life. One that I would not come to terms with for years.  My mama was still alive when I was thirty-two.  I told her and I told her that I hated this, and did not want to live with it.  Pragmatic as ever, my mom said, “futz-putz.”  This was one of her favorite sayings when she dismissed my dramatic emotions.  By this time she already had had diabetes for 20 years and had learned a thing or two.  “You’ll do fine, and be fine.”  This was all the real consolation I would ever receive from her.  “But,” she added, “You will have to do it your way, as you always do.”

    Mom was right. It has been a thirty year challenge for me to accept that I am a diabetic. It has also been a challenge to learn that I need to keep the side-effects at bay.  I did it my way.  I learned it isn’t a death sentence.  It isn’t something that is black and white. It isn’t something that one diet works for, and not another.  It isn’t something that has a list of foods that one dare not touch, or a list of foods that must be put into your garbage-can for the rest of your life.  It isn’t a lot of things.

    What diabetes is, however, is a life-long self-awareness.  It is a life-long learning lesson toward becoming healthier.  It is being aware of how to feed your heart so the veins won’t clog.  It is being aware of how to love your eye-sight and your feet that help you walk.  It is striking a bargain with your body. It is an awareness of desiring to be healthy and making the best choices to maintain the mobility you have.

    I could have been as stubborn as I wanted and never ever learn a thing about how to take care of my body.  That could have been my choice.  That is freedom.  I call that being a real dumb-bunny.  Those people end up in nursing homes far too early and need amputations and have all sorts of rotten things happening to their body.  I wonder if they are lazy or have chosen to be ignorant, or what.  We started out the same way, receiving a diagnosis of diabetes.  Only some have failed to work toward self-discipline and accountability, and hence have failed to thrive.

    My inside is just as defiant.  Only, I am loyal to my own rules.  Somehow I have struck a bargain with my body.  I want it to last and to be as healthy as I can keep it.

    I learned to cope my way.

    As a diabetic coach, I can help you accept and adapt your lifestyle to your disease.  When you want help and when you are ready for it.  Before that time … no one can help.

    I work with your team, your nutritionist and your doctor.  Only, I work at it all at your pace.  The ground rule is we must work at it.  We cannot hide behind a rock with this disease.  I could not stay rebellious forever.  I had to come to terms, and I did.  At the age of 62, I have kept my A1C at 6.2.  So far, it has varied very little.  Each day I am aware that I am diabetic.  Each day I am aware that I want my feet to carry me and not be in a wheel chair.  Each day I consider my eyesight and am grateful for the gift of sight.

    Each day I give consideration for my mom, who succumbed to side effects of this disease.  But, not before the ripe age of 87!





  • Diabetic Discussion

    My Mama and Diabetes

    Mom KufahlMama lived her life as an example of how a person can cope with diabetes after being diagnosed.

    She was 41 years old when she gave birth to me; she had six children in all. She always said that she gained 40 pounds with each pregnancy, and she did not know how to take it off.

    When I was very young, Mom needed many naps. She napped easy and she napped often. I would rest my head on her lap, sitting on the floor beside her, because her stomach was too big for me to be near her.

    She was a candidate for this disease, alright.  No one locally knew much about diabetes, or what the symptoms were, or how to live with it, back in 1964.  One day, she went to see her doctor, and life as we knew it began to change.  Mom now had this life-long, life-threatening disease.   As a result, Mom and I had to make better food choices and become aware of what we ate, when we ate, and how it was prepared, in order to keep Mom healthy.  I was her helper.

    She worked hard to change her life and attitude.  I was very obese, as a teenager.  I watched mom change, and I admired her.

    She joined weight watchers, and asked me to join as well.  This was the best year of my life with mom.  Each week we made food choices that were healthy, and we took off weight. We still did not understand that exercise was also a part of good health.  But, we did know that watching what we ate made us feel better, and helped us lose weight. Mom began to keep her glucose numbers in check.

    What I learned from living with Mom during those crucial years, is that when one is diagnosed with diabetes, they should start a life of learning new things immediately.  Incorporating the things around that are good for your body is a key. I am so grateful for my Mom and her ability to lead, for my life was just starting.

    Mama “cheated” on her diet, but always worked toward good health.  She lived decades with excellent health and minimal suffering.  I am glad she set such a good example for me.

    Having diabetes is not a death sentence.  It is a chance to change your life to include healthy habits that are good for you.  It means change that is not only good for your body, but also good for your mind and soul.  It is a way to improve your life.  I can help with that!  Ask me how.