Think About Diabetes for 45 Seconds. That’s It.
Most of us don’t have to make room for diabetes in our lives. But here’s a (much simplified) snapshot of a diabetic’s day. Maybe you can put yourself in this person’s shoes for a moment?
Morning. Alarm sounds. Immediately take stock of your body: Tired? Grumpy? Fingers tingly or numb? Toes cold? Your blood sugar dropped last night and you woke up today feeling grateful for the glass of orange juice your spouse brought to you in the middle of the night to bring you back to normal sugar levels. Test you blood sugar. Stick the finger, squeeze, apply blood drop to test strip. Blood sugar’s still a little low after last night’s episode, which probably explains why you’re more than a little fatigued.
Must consider breakfast. It can’t be just any food, either. It has to be precise; specifically, you have to carefully balance carbohydrates. Too many or too few and your blood sugar surges through wild periods of intense peaks and valleys. And your body’s primary functions – heart, kidneys, brain, muscles, pancreas – are put through the stresses as well.
Exercise – rain, sleet, hail, snow, wind, sun… You have to move your body, regardless of mood or temperature. It’s of even greater importance because the sedentary diabetic suffers even more of the disease’s impacts if he or she doesn’t maintain a steady exercise routine.
Lunch. Again, carbs are the key. You’ve learned through experience that all carbs are not created equal, either, and that you have to avoid bananas, for instance. Or be ready with a shot of insulin to counter the spike on your system. Fortunately, the business lunch you were served was mainly meat based, which resulted in fewer blood sugar concerns. Co-worker birthday cake. With every celebration you have to measure and adjust. After adding up the cake’s carbs, you inconspicuously inject insulin or adjust your insulin pump to address the sugar intake.
Home. Fix dinner, keeping in mind that it has to be nutritious and tasty for the others in your family who are not dealing with diabetes. Check blood sugar. One final time before bed. Add insulin to your body if needed to offset dinner, or eat a little to balance your system before going to bed.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to draw attention to the impact this disease has on the 26 million children and adults in America who live each day with diabetes. The northern Nevada chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has declared Nov. 17 Nevada’s Big Give. Please take a moment to learn more about this illness and help, because diabetes is not going to disappear unless the resources are available to continue the fight.