My one great thing

There aren’t too many great things about having diabetes. However, having lived with it for three years now, I have amassed a pretty fair amount of knowledge. I know about blood sugar levels, testing, carb counting, the need for exercise, and even a little bit about the Glycemic index. I have gotten pretty good about all those things, but I can’t say that any one of them rises to the level of great.

Sharing my experience is my one great thing

However, I have recently discovered that I am pretty great at advising newbies. My son-in-law’s father was recently diagnosed, and he and his wife went entirely overboard. I had talked to him about diet and blood sugar levels, and recommended that he take the classes offered by the local hospital. The next time I talked to him, it was apparent that most of what I had told him went in one ear and out the other. He and his wife had decided to cut out carbs entirely, and he said he probably hadn’t eaten more than 100 grams of carbohydrates in a week. Then he wondered why he didn’t feel so good!

I once again patiently explained the need for carbohydrates in a balanced diet, and when he took the classes he began to understand. “We were doing it all wrong,” he told me.  I manfully refrained from saying, “I told you so.” But he has lost weight and is getting a handle on his blood sugar management. I learned that I can give people the basics and encourage them, but they really need to learn from the experts . . . then the tips and support I offer are better received.

Another newbie who called me was my wife’s best friend. I went through the same song and dance with her, with heavy emphasis on taking the classes the hospital offers. She and her husband eat out a lot, and she is considerably overweight. She was having trouble with adapting to metformin, experiencing nausea and other unpleasant side effects. I encouraged her to start exercising and lose weight, because I weaned myself off metformin by doing just that. She seems to be doing better now, and since she lives just around the block, I’m encouraging my wife to go walking with her.

So looking back, I still think I’m pretty great at giving helpful hints, tips, and information. It’s just too bad more people aren’t great at taking my advice!

About Roger Diez

Roger Diez was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in September 2008. He subsequently lost 40 pounds and is now happy to share he is off medication and controls his diabetes through diet and exercise.

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