Shortly after I started my current job, I attended a company sponsored health fair in the cafeteria on a Tuesday morning not expecting to experience anything out of the ordinary. Really, all I wanted was all the useless swag that was given away, and of course I got the usual…Half a dozen cheap pens, a red, heart shaped stress ball, a plastic case with some Band-Aids, and a cool miniature foam chair that was apparently designed to hold your cell phone that you’re not really suppose to have out on your desk but you do anyways. Making my way through the booths, I grab a lint free eye glass cloth from the optometrist table, bypass the YMCA guys, and decide to stop by the sugar testing station right there by the vending machines. I thought “what the hell” let’s see what they tell me. This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m a little nervous about this tiny mechanism that shoots a needle into your skin to draw just enough blood so this little machine can give you crap about the package of white donuts you bought from Wag A Bag on the way home from work yesterday. I brave the test and wait to see what the overenthusiastic nurse has to say. It kind of scared me when the smiling nurse’s face suddenly turned sour.
“Are you fasting this morning?” she asks.
“Um, yea. Why?” I say with more than a hint of curiosity in my voice.
“You really need to see a doctor as soon as possible. You’re sugar is way too high”.
Now I’m a little freaked out. It’s never usually a good sign when someone in the medical field uses the phrase “You need to see your doctor ASAP!” Nine times out of ten we’re talking about bad news. OK so I really can’t think of a one case scenario where this would actually be good news, but give me a minute…I’ll think of one.
This is the last time I ever go to one of these heath fairs!
Over the few years since then, I’ve gone back and forth in regards to my overall health. There are short spurts where I’m actually conscious of what I’m eating and do think twice about that side of fries to go with my mashed potatoes. I actually drink more water and I take the dog on regular walks. Hard to believe, I know, but it happens. Other times (like the present), I don’t care and I just live in the moment. It’s all about what tastes good and indulging in fatty rib-eyes, chocolate milk shakes, and especially golden, crisp fried chicken. Wash it down with a mouthwatering Pepsi and I’m a happy boy. Unfortunately, that lifestyle makes for a really bad doctor’s visit.
Two weeks ago I finally broke down and went to see a new physician since my last one retired and left me to run wild like the dog through the neighborhood when he gets away without a leash. Cousin Pete recommended his guy, so I went for my initial visit to endure the standard physical exam and then head down to the lab to get some blood work done. Three days later, the nurse called and says “Your lab results are back. You need to see the doctor ASAP!” Yea…what else is new?
The truth is I always knew I was going to get diabetes. It was inevitable. It runs in both sides of my family. I am fully aware of the symptoms of the disease and all the possible repercussions that arise from it, but I also know that it is treatable. It’s not something I can cure overnight, but I will get past it. Shelley suggested I make small daily changes in my diet as opposed to throwing away all the bad stuff and filling up the fridge with vegetables I know I hate. I’m going to get burned out too quick, she says, and it’ll be too easy to fall back into old habits. This actually makes really good sense. She suggested taking baby steps and changing one small habit at a time. For instance, this morning, instead of drinking one of those miniature HEB orange sodas before work, I had a glass of orange juice. That’s progress, right? Last week for dinner, I had steamed vegetables instead of fries with my chicken fried steak. I probably should have had water, but hey…One thing at a time.
I’m not gonna to say I’m going on a diet or that I’m trying to lose weight, but I do need to be more aware of my diet and the way I treat my body while I’m still fairly young. I’m going to be really grumpy in my old age if I have to depend on someone to help me run my normal, everyday errands. That’s a really scary thought! Luckily, I’m not one who looks to the future with fear. When the day comes that I find myself sitting next to Raul in the nursing home commenting about the hotties playing bridge across the way, I’ll still find the good in everything around me. No doubt about it!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my friends, and I hope you all have a great day! I would love to tell you I’m going to drink water all day and stick to my safe diabetic diet, but let’s not be ridiculous. Come on…It’s Thanksgiving!