Sunday, March 14, 2010

Diabetes and the Ride to Remedy

Today, our topic is diabetes...it keeps coming up in my life.  God must want me to be more aware of it.  I do not have diabetes and I am not "pre-diabetic"...yet.  I know very little about it, but I know these very few critical things:
  • My friend Mike was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (in December, 2009) at age 49.
  • My friend Tommy was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (in January, 2010) at age 36 or so.
  • My friend Dan (age 55) has Type 2 and almost lost his leg because of it in a hospital on Christmas.
  • My mom has it.
  • My mother-in-law has it.
  • My late sister-in-law had it.
  • According to a recent Harvard study, approximately 24 million Americans have it, but 6 million of them don't even know it.  Which means that you and I know more diabetic people than we think.
  • And finally, about 90% of these cases COULD BE PREVENTED by simply doing these things:  keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking.
At the Tour de Cure race last Sunday, a young woman came up to me and introduced herself.  She is Courtney Benefiel and is now riding in every Tour de Cure race.   Her blog is http://www.ridetoremedy.com/
and she tells her story of how she is living a very active, adrenalin-filled, adventurous life, despite being diabetic.  I'm going to follow her blog and learn more.  The last words she said to us were "keep riding", which is a phrase I often use on this blog as well.  Keep Riding, Courtney!
 
I have been overweight most of my life and never too interested in sports or exercise (couches are more comfortable than exercise, right?).  A few years ago, my doctor told me that I would very likely have Type 2 diabetes "in five years", if I didn't lose weight, eat better and exercise.  I was alarmed...but I got on with my life and that "alarming" feeling went away. 
 
I even found myself rationalizing that when/if I get diabetes, I could just manage it with pills, the blood-sugar tests, etc.  It would just be something I could measure and deal with each day...not too difficult, not a major hinderance to my lifestyle.  Maybe it would even FINALLY help me get serious about my health.
 
Sound stupid?  Yes, well...that is me.  I really thought that getting diabetes might finally be that "thing" that got me to take my health seriously.   I know...I can be a moron (and lazy).
 
Well, God somehow gave me a better idea over the past several months.  Maybe, just maybe, I should focus on my health BEFORE I get diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
 
What I am learning now, is that eating well and exercise is just something that I need to measure and deal with each day...not too difficult, not a major hinderance to my lifestyle
 
Looks like I'm going to be managing something each day for the rest of my life.  So, it's better that I focus on the activities that will extend my life, rather than the disease (Type 2) that could end it. 
 
I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts or experiences on living with (or preventing) diabetes.

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