Sunday, March 21, 2010


You know, when I was a kid, my parents spanked me. Hard! They made me clean out the pig stall in the barn when I was bad (oh, how I absolutely hated that!) With each incident, my punishment was worse. There was no mercy. It was called discipline! They instilled in me a good strong set of values, a good work ethic, a whole lot of logic, and the knowledge of right and wrong.

They did not beat around the bush. They did not sugar-coat much of anything in life. They were honest people. God-fearing Christians. They did not spare the rod. The child was not spoiled. I grew up in a house with no TV. Ever! We rode horses, played in the barn, learned about life by watching farm animals and product growing in the fields.

Today, we have become such a sympathetic society. We sugar coat everything. We never spank our children. We rarely raise our voices to them. We entertain them more that we educate them. We try our best to make everything sound nice. We don't talk much about what is going on in the whole world - most of us are limited to what's going on in our neighborhood, our own town, perhaps even our state. We don't have much of a global vison about anything.

And we stuff anything into our kids to hush them up. We reward them with sugar. Every holiday or event is a reason to serve up sugar. On the news tonight they said this is the first generation that will live a shorter lifespan than their parents. How sad is that?

I think diabetes is the same thing. Mom was a visiting nurse when I was a kid. I remember her going to homes of people with diabetes. She would say to them, "if you keep eating all that chocolate they are going to have to cut off your foot." She did not mince words. Ever. She didn't tell them when it would happen, she just told them that it would. At church, they would take food to the shut-ins. Mom would never allow them to take sweets to a diabetic. She was quite adamant about that. She wasn't nice when it came to someone else's disease. It wasn't just was anything. She took the time to teach people how to take care of themselves, what to eat, how to change dressings. She was a wonderful caregiver. But she had no patience with people who did not do what it took to manage whatever it was they had wrong with them.

Today, diabetic nutritionists will tell you it's perfectly ok to have something sweet once in awhile. And I hear mom say, "yes, go ahead, eat it....and they will cut off your foot!" Everyone seems to sugarcoat the seriousness of this disease. And I think that's what's allowed my husband to remain in denial for so long.

How often has he said to me, "the doctor said I can eat anything I want."How often has he eaten a whole bag of twix bars in one setting? He has not exercised in the last 3 years. And I think it's because no one said to him, "go ahead, do that.....and they will be cutting off your foot!!!"

If we don't teach our children to look before they cross a street, they are going to get hit by a car one day. If we don't discipline them when they dart out into a street, there's a good chance they will get hit by a car. If you don't remove all the sweets, sugars, fat, etc., from your house, you are allowing your spouse (family member) to walk out into the street. And if you see them eating a candy bar or french fries, make sure you say to them, "Go ahead! One day they are going to cut your chest open right down the middle, rip your ribcage wide open, and do some bypasses and punctures into your heart!"

We really have to get those with diabetes to start thinking about what they are doing to themselves. And what they are doing to their spouses and families. We need to be blunt. You know, yank the ice cream cone out of their hand and smash it to the ground! I still say a person can give up sugar completely and totally. Not just baked goods, but other items that have a high sugar content in them! I know because I've done it. My hubby never gets offered anything sweet. Nothing with white flour in it. No potatoes. He was a bit upset when I pointed out that clam chowder has potatoes in it!

We have done this together, in phases.

Phase 1 - cut out all sugar,all baked goods, started this on December 26
Phase 2 - cut out all white flour, white potatoes
Phase 3 - reduce sodium to under 2000 per day (this is our current phase)
Phase 4 - cut out all sodas (we've started this phase as well. I haven't had any soda since December 26 and he is down to 1 can a day.
Phase 5 - reduce calories.

We decided that if we are giving up certain foods, we should be able to eat what we want of what's left that we can have. That has helped. But in 2 weeks, we start counting calories, sodium, fat.....we are going to do this.

Do you think I hate it? Beyond words! But I love him and want him around and know that if I don't do this, he won't. I know that if I don't get up in the morning and get on the treadmill, he won't. So, as his spouse, I probably have had to have more discipline than he does. So sad that it took open heart surgery to get him to see the light. Beyond words sad.

So no nice words today. No sugar coating anything. No making you feel good about anything. Just go back and look at yesterdays numbers and look at the number you circled, then decide how much discipline you have. Take it upon yourself - don't put that burden on your spouse. Just do it.


1 comment:

Jason Sandeman said...

See, I agree. It IS all about discipline. When I was Dx'ed, I turned around and laughed at the nurse who told me I needed carbs to live. I did my reading/research, and took control.

I will not rely on anyone to deal with this, I have to.

I commend you for your efforts. I hope to hell your hubby has smartened up! I do caution you though: I come from a long line of diabetics, but a LONG-lived line. Dealing with it, making the change is the key. Test! Test! And Test some more.

I have got my avg from 17 mmols to 6.8 in just three weeks. I am young, and I refuse to throw away my chances of healthy living later on. I know that there might be a chance that I develop those symptoms, but I am gonna try my HARDEST to prevent that.

Hang in there. You are a warrior, and the fight will be won.