When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was afraid. That was indication that I needed more information. To me fear means ignorance and being afraid propels me to ask questions and hunt down answers. Thanks to the web and access to doctor friends I was able to arm myself with enough information to know that I needed to act, needed to take charge, needed to make changes so I could overcome my fear. I had no family history of diabetes, other than cousins with whom I had never discussed their condition. Information is available from medical text books, websites or research papers; in addition I needed to have first hand information from those dealing with diabetes everyday. Forums, social networks, support groups - the people here are the ones I learn from and when I hear their struggles I can appreciate how well I am doing, or build on hope that I can continue to do better.
I come from a culture that has rice and fish as their staple. A culture in which life revolves around food. Where a simple everyday meal is actually 5 courses.
|Feast for one!|
|Grains, greens, & fish! hmm hmm good!|
That is how knowledge and information slowly but surely took the fear out of my equation of dealing with diabetes.(Bood sugar - (rice + sweet treats) + doctors) X FEAR = END OF LIFE AS I KNOW IT.
(Blood sugar + portion control + healthy lifestyle + medical supervision) X INFORMATION = Controlled Blood sugars and feeling great!
Information put me in control. I was able to adjust to lifestyle changes because they were not dictated by others or by fear, but by my understanding of what was needed, why it was needed, how I could measure and monitor my progress and experiencing how good it all felt. I no longer fear the rice or the rice-pudding on my plate. I have experienced how good robust coffee without sugar really tastes. I have discovered I love bitter melon, kale and carrots. I have developed new recipes of foods that taste even better without potatoes. All, while I continue living life as I always did, just a little more consciously, keeping myself present and enjoying life as a purposeful event.
No, I am not a diabetic. I am this complete, beautiful, irritating, compassionate, 'sweet,' silly, lazy person - who happens to have diabetes. I enjoy living a sedentary lifestyle - reading, writing, watching TV, sleeping and sharing the skills I have acquired over half a century to make the world around me a little better. No I do not identify myself as a diabetic - except to say that diabetes is a part of my life.