Just like most anyone who is diagnosed with a chronic illness these were my first two questions. I wasn’t overweight. I ate a reasonably healthy diet. I was active, but I can honestly say this did not include an exercise routine. Still, how did this happen?
Even though this is a valid and, in some ways, an important thing to understand. The problem is the answer is unknowable. No one knows. We know certain things can be indicators or raise the likelihood of diabetes. What no one knows is what triggers it. What causes it. If we can ever figure it out we may actually be able to create a cure. Researchers are getting closer, but the answer is still not there.
What it all boils down to is the first question is really the wrong question to be asking. Many people spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure it out. Efforts would be much better spent in other ways. One of which would be finding the answer to the second question.
The second question, “What Do I Do Now”, is the truly important one for each of us to answer. This question is actually a two phase question.
The “What” phase is the learning phase. In order to manage diabetes, we first have to gain a working knowledge of it. This period of learning is a little different for everyone. This is where we begin to understand how and what we must do each day to stay alive and healthy.
Phase two of this questions answer (call this one the “I” phase) is also a learning phase, but here we will learn about ourselves, our bodies and the affects different foods will have on our blood sugar. We need to understand this in order to manage this disease by ourselves. This is also a time when we learn more about how blood sugars are affected by exercise and other activities. In other words, this is where we learn how “Our” diabetes works.
Yes, your diabetes belongs to you. It is yours and yours alone.
Even though it is the same disease it is not the same for you as it is for me. Or anyone else for that matter. This is why we must learn how these things work specifically for ourselves. For this reason, successfully managing our diabetes is up to each of us.
No one else is going to be able to figure out all of the things that we need to know. No one else can feel how we feel when we go low or high. More importantly, no one else is going to be there with us at every meal.
We are the only one who will have enough information and insight to do anything more than make educated suggestions. Not even our doctor can do this for us. They are not with us 24/7 and they are not physically the same as us. No one is.
Our doctor and entire medical team are very important part of our care. They monitor our health and help us find our way. This is their responsibility. They are not responsible for our daily care. They are not responsible for what we choose to eat or what we choose to do. The things we do every day are entirely our responsibility. They are not, and should never be, anyone else’s responsibility other than our own.
None of us has chosen to have diabetes. We did not ask for it or invite it into our lives. We did not cause it. But in order to be effective and successful in managing this deadly and potentially crippling disease we must own it for ourselves.
Have you taken complete responsibility of your diabetes?
Randy Wilson, founder of Great Big Gains, is a type I diabetic who is motivated by and focused on helping other people with all types of diabetes to find their best path forward using small group and individual coaching along with writing about his own experiences with diabetes and its complications. All in an effort to help them live their life on their own terms.
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