An old friend contacted me last week to say he's been diagnosed with Type 2. Poor guy. In that initial state of shock, he's feeling like he's been sentenced to "the Rock": "What really gets me is this is for life! I mean, you can control it with diet and medications, but it's never going to go away. Once you get it, you don't go back."
Yes. It's forever, but at the risk of sounding like an insufferable Pollyanna (my hidden agenda here? See DR. SUESS' FUN WITH DIABETES), I think there really is a bright side. This is your health wake-up call. Time to get off your tusch and take care of yourself. It's a new attitude that I call, "staying out of the hospital." Once you start taking care of your diabetic self with dedication and the right attitude, you will likely find that you feel better than you have in years.
So what's bothering my newly diagnosed friend most? The same stuff that we all go through when we first find out:
- Life span: Will I get a heart attack? Will this knock a decade or more off my life? Will a cure happen in my lifetime?
- What can I eat safely? Does the Glycemic Index matter?
- Where are the resources? Which books actually apply to real life with diabetes?
- Dealing with people: Whom do I tell? How do I avoid clobbering people who make idiotic remarks?
- Do I need interaction with other diabetics, or can I go it alone?
Well, my friend, fabulous questions! And exactly the reason that I have morphed into the Patient Pundit —- to solidify and share the basic wisdom that helps me feel secure with my new life companion. I'm working my way through the tough diabetes questions, one by one from the trenches, and sharing what I learn. As my two-year anniversary approaches, the denial dissipates ... It's sinking in that yep, I'm now living on "The Rock," but I'm sure not in isolation -- and the view's not all that bad from "Diabetes Mine."