Common Sense and Diabetes

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2013-05-06 19:07:30 -0500
Started 2013-05-06 13:16:49 -0500

I attended and Diabetic Education/Lecture this morning. There was a lot of good information shared and the handouts made good reading material for helping to self educate. She explained how to count carbs, and incorporate them in our meals and snacks. She explained how to use insulin/insulin pump worked and how oral medications should best be taken. She said the pharmacist should become our best friend when it comes to medications and to discuss side effects immediately with out doctor. During this segment a couple asked about caring for their granddaughter who was recently diagnosed at age 12 as a T1. They wanted to know how to care for her when she was visiting with them.

The second hour of the program was open discussion. It was a group of about 25 people in attendance. The open discussion found us listening to complaints as follows:

-No one tells me when I need to go test so I don't test
-My ankles, hands and feet swell and my friends tell me not to worry about it but I have trouble breathing now. No one will help me with this
-I saw a person who helped me with meals and gave me a list of foods and the carbs. I bought a book to help me. What do I eat?
-My blood sugar is always 200 I tried not to eat cookies, candy and chips but I load up on them while watching tv or when I don't feel like cooking. How can I lower my blood sugar?
-My husband and kids no longer help me to not eat snacks that are not good for me. They told me that since I didn't care why should they.

A woman got up and asked the instructor if she could say something to everyone there and the instructor agreed. The woman said she was 75 years old, a retired teacher and university professor with a doctorate in Health and Nutrition. She said her parents raised her to use common sense. If she did something wrong, the lecture from her mom and dad always started with, if you use common sense you would know, realize or learn from, what ever she had done. She said she has used common sense to treat her diabetes since she was diagnosed as a T2 at age 55.

She went on to say Diabetes is a common sense disease. If you have to test, common sense should tell you to go test. If you have a problem with fluid retention, common sense would tell you to talk to your doctor as friends, family and John Q. Public cannot treat your medical condition. If you don't know what to eat after taking classes, common sense would tell you that you didn't pay attention and if you bought the books common sense should tell you to read them. If you are eating cookies, candy, and all other kinds of sweet, high carb foods, common sense would tell you that you are not going to lose weight and you are going to have problems with high blood sugar. She said if your family and friends have attempted to help you and you didn't listen, common sense would tell you that you created the problem and they are fed up with you. Common sense is the one thing that will always get you through life. If you complain and not help yourself, losing limbs, vision and organ function will add to the problem.

Finally she said, we are all adults who are capable of taking proper care of our diabetes but if you don't want to change your eating habits, your lifestyle, communicate all medical problems with your physician, then don't whine, complain or get upset because you have complications with your diabetes. With proper care, education, medical attention and good old fashioned common sense everyone with diabetes can live a long and fruitful life. Everyone but the men and women who did nothing but complain applauded this woman.

The people voicing the complaints were upset and offended. I raised my hand and told this woman that she said what needed to be said and those offended are offended because you didn't commiserate with them. She said they are suppose to be grown ups and if they don't want to face their problems and correct them, they don't want help, they simply want the attention whining and complaining gets them.

The end result was that she continues to maintain her certification and offered her help to the people who complained about needing help eating properly with creating meal plans and providing them with recipes they could use free of charge. They were grateful. The woman who complained about her swelling and trouble breathing was taken to the ER in the hospital. The Educator who is also an RN gave us all meters and she tested the woman who said her blood sugar was always high and it was close to 400 her breathing was irregular and her legs were swollen from her toes to above her knees. The 75 year old woman went with her as she didn't want her to be alone until her family arrived. I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

I think every diabetic is responsible for his or her own treatment and care of their diabetes. I don't complain, I strive to make each day better than the one before. I don't ask anyone but my doctor medical question as she is better equipped to answer them. I don't worry about outside support. I know I can support and motivate myself to keep me going. I don't stress over things I don't control by not taking on the problems of others and making them my own. There are people who will help you as this woman did provided you are willing to help yourself. Like the lady said common sense will get you through a lot in life.

6 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-05-06 16:47:11 -0500 Report

How true. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Type 2, I tried to learn how to help her. When she asked for help because she was so frustrated with learning how to do things to get better control I would try to help. She did not really want help. So I would back away. But when she came to a meal at my home, I would try to offer only what I thought were good meals. Have learned since the early 80s how screwed up what I had been told was. But at least what I offered her was much better than her usual food selections.
She went through every doctor in the small town until she found one who let her do what she wanted without lecture or advice. Lecture being her words not mine.
When I am out with friends who also have Diabetes it can be frustrating. At most meal they will be complaining about diabetic complications, needing more meds, etc. They were chosing foods from the menu that made my BG threaten to spike just at the thought of eating them.
Being the newbie to the diabetes club I will sometimes use a question to them to try and hint that maybe there is a better alternative food than they are thinking about ordering. But usually I know they will still do what they want to.
Same is true with most any medical problem. For example, getting someone to use O2. Most people think it is a nuisance and doesn't help. When my Dad was resisting, my mom met a nurse who had been at the hosp one of Dad's ER visits. She asked how he was doing. Mom said still adjusting to needing to use his O2. The nurse, who specializes in respiration medicine replied, that's what usually happens. The ones who use their O2 improve. The ones who don't, no longer have to worry after 3 - 5 years, they're dead. The choice is theirs.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-06 18:35:17 -0500 Report

Graylin I have worked with the public all my life and when I got involved in community work and then working for a boss who provided services to people, I learned that people asking for help really are not going to do anything to get the help.

At family dinners when I see my diabetic family members eating things I know they should not I don't say a word. In the end they will pay for it not me.

I just got off the phone with one of my cousins and we were talking about people never wanting to take responsibility for anything anymore. Your health is your own responsibility. If you don't want to take care of yourself then don't complain to others because your numbers are high or gaining weight or have other medical problems. It is your own fault.

There is a homeless woman who is pregnant that was hanging around the Farmers Market. After talking about her among ourselves, we learned that her husband did move out and take everything but he is not the father of the baby. She got pregnant while homeless and now she wants others to bail her out.

Your mother like so many others ask for help or play the helpless role to get attention and then do nothing to help themselves. She didn't want help she just wanted you to do things for her. This is how people become crutches for others. You can't refuse to help your mom but you can provide her with ways to help her help herself. Sometimes you have to give tough love to get family members to become responsible.

MsBugzee 2013-05-06 15:28:17 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing this event. One of the things I quickly realized when I was Dx with type 2 almost two years ago was…I was responsible for my health in a way that was truly a new idea. No one, no one could help me but me. I wanted to make some else responsible but I could not. Hence, when my muffin top returned I was the one. When I took my fasting BG it was 114, not bad, but three hours after eating two slices of toast and peanut butter with jam, I checked and it was 186. Not good. I basically ate two meals worth of carbs, not particularly good ones, and my blood sugar shot up. So, it's now time to pick myself up, take myself in hand and make common sense good choices and quit deluding myself I'm in control. An A1C check will tell me just how I'm doing.
Sorry to go on and on about this, but it was time I checked in. Again, thanks for sharing this and I hope it will go on to help others who have stumbled.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-06 18:43:34 -0500 Report

MsBugzee we all stumble but when we straighten up we are stronger people. I have eaten two pieces of toast before for breakfast. I always eat more carbs than normal if I am going to be out and being active.

Last Saturday, I fell totally and completely off the wagon. My sister and I went to the Amish Market and got BBQ Ribs, Potato and Macaroni Salad, Cole Slaw and Pickled Beets. I bought a stuffed Chicken Breast.

I ate both Potato and Macaroni Salad real cookies and something else and spiked. I was back on my meal plan the next day. Did if feel guilty? Absolutely not. It was pure unadulterated pleasure eating that. It isn't something I do on a regular basis.

The key to stumbling or even falling is rising. When you rise, you should have learned from the mistake that caused the stumble or the fall.

GabbyPA 2013-05-06 13:37:47 -0500 Report

I have heard it said that common sense is not so common. And I tend to agree.

This is a great example of the difference between a pro active person and one who is not. We do and must take responsibility for our treatment just as we have to take responsibility for our failures. Total dependance on any one source just gives us excuses to use for why we fail. We have to be willing to take the challenge on ourselves.

That lady was gutsy to do that in a room of strangers. But it's often true, that we will listen to a stranger before we will listen to our own family or our own doctor. We need more of those little ladies in our lives.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-06 19:07:30 -0500 Report

I agree Gabby, common sense is not so common these days.

It was on the tip of my tongue to say what the lady said. There have been times I have wanted to say that to some of the people who post here.
People have to stop making excuses. When you do this you are only coming up with reasons to not help yourself. Over time excuses fall on deaf ears. In this day and age, people are not going to hold your hand and offer you sympathy on a daily basis. I cannot feel sorry for people who are not willing to educate themselves, help themselves or find a way to blame someone else for their situations. With the availability of in home computers you can find out just about anything by typing a few words in Google and modifying your search. I think people want the easy way out by having others tell them what to eat, how to test, how many carbs they should have per meal and cures for their medical problems. It never seems that they think to ask their own doctors.

There is no reason on earth why someone has to tell you to test, and as a diabetic you should know what to eat and how many carbs you should have each meal. You can't depend on family members and spouses to be supportive all the time. What happens when your kids move away or if your spouse divorces you or dies. Who is going to be your live in support system. Learn to take care and be self supporting. Learn to motivate yourself and stop depending so much on others.

Yes you have to challenge yourself. If your numbers were up today, tomorrow do what you can to keep them level. Gaining weight, get up and get out…go exercise. If you are limited in the ability to exercise, You Tube is filled with exercise programs that will help you.

Currently there is no cure for diabetes and know one knows if a cure will be found in our lifetime. We can only hope and pray for one. However, if we become responsible diabetics, we can live long healthy lives.