Monday, November 17, 2014

My Blessing in Disguise…… Diabetes!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. I decided to blog about diabetes because I’m a diabetic. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this photo. 

And in the beginning, when I was first diagnosed there was shock and fear. I shouldn't have really been so surprised because my late father and my brother both were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. 

But since I never showed any symptoms, I thought that this particular gene didn’t pass on to me. Boy was I wrong!

Now let me backtrack a little. That Sunday morning started off pretty routine. Among the many other things I had to do, my first stop was to the health clinic to do a routine blood test to check my cholesterol. 

Monday morning, I had an appointment with the doctor to get the results.

Although my cholesterol was high, he was much more concerned and very shocked to see how high my blood glucose was. “Must be a mistake,” he said to me. And with that he sent me to the nurse’s office to recheck my blood sugar with her glucose monitor.  My reading 410. Anything over 126 spells trouble.

Suddenly, my world came crashing down. “You have diabetes” he said “I don’t know where it came from. These reading are from out of nowhere.” 

My doctor is very kind and soft spoken. He called the diabetic counselor to come to his office and told me she will be my best friend.

Dalia, was wonderful. She gave me the ins and outs, showed me the glucose monitor and taught me how to use it and arranged for me to see the dietitian and the diabetic doctor.

Truthfully, when I went home, I couldn't remember one word she said.

After moping around the house for 3 days feeling very sorry myself, I decided to go to war with my diabetes. 

What exactly is diabetes? How did I get it? Is it really hereditary? Is it a virus? Do I have to stay away from sugar forever? Do I have to give up all my favorite foods? Am I going to have to stab myself for the rest of my life? So many questions that now require answers.

I parked myself in front of the computer and started my research. The Israeli, British, American & Canadian Diabetic Associations were my first stops. So much information was available. I printed out information that I really wanted to remember and made myself a handbook. 

Did you know that over 400,000 Israelis have been diagnosed with diabetes and the estimated number of undiagnosed Israelis with diabetes is 200,000?

In Hebrew, diabetes is called sukeret. The Israel Diabetes Association link is:  
and in English:

The association has a symbol on foods that are safe for me to eat. 

The truth is as opposed to many other illnesses, diabetes can be controlled. Proper nutrition, close and individualized follow-up, physical activity and an appropriate drug regimen can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a better quality of life.

In other words follow your doctors instruction, do research, the internet is full of information, just be careful to take your information from reliable sites. There are loads of ‘quacks’ out there who want to sell you everything from A to Z and promise if you take their medicine or buy their product you will be cured of diabetes. 

Just remember, if the advertisement or information sounds too good to be true...take it with a grain of salt. 

Some hospitals have support groups for diabetics. Talking is a great way to learn and to deal with your diagnosis. 

Another way to find other diabetics in your community is to post a note on your community e-mail list looking for other people with diabetes to get together once a week or even once a month to talk, share recipes or share a shoulder. Keep a journal or write a blog. You will see your progress first hand.

Having diabetes is just one more thing that Hashem has put on my plate, but I see His Hand everyday helping me. 

Everything fell into place. The diabetic counselor was in her office the day I was diagnosed, the dietician had an opening for the next day. The diabetic doctor who only comes twice a month was going to be in his office a week later.

Baruch Hashem, my diabetes has been in complete control for the past 5 years and I am off all meds.

I am a very spiritual person and I believe that everything happens for a reason. And the reason for me being diagnosed with diabetes was to give me a wakeup call to get healthy, so that I can be around for my husband, children and thirteen grandchildren...And this week we will celebrate at our granddaughter’s engagement party…

That’s all for now..feel free to share and comment.