Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grateful for all my Blessings!

November 14th was World Diabetes Day.  In an article about diabetes in Hamodia, it was reported that in Israel there are about 500,000 diabetics, according to a private health advocacy group and the Israel Diabetes Council headed by Professor Itamar Raz.

I am one of the 500,000 diabetic Israelis. My diagnosis 10 years ago, turned out to be a blessing. I remember that Sunday morning as if it was yesterday.

Today, my diabetes is in total control and I have been medicine free for years. After my serious heart attack last year, my doctor told me that one of the reasons I survived the heart attack without any further complications was because my diabetes is in control .. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease.

When I was first diagnosed I was in shock. I shouldn't have really been so surprised because my late father and my brother both were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes years earlier.

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

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. I got the results the next day.

Although my cholesterol was high, the doctor 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 blood glucose 410. Anything over 126 spells trouble.

Suddenly, my world came crashing down when the doctor said, “You have diabetes.” 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, gave me a glucose monitor and taught me how to use it. She arranged for me to see the dietitian and the diabetic doctor. Dalia told me, she would always be available to answer questions and gave me her e-mail address.

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 had a deep chat with Hashem, and told Him that since He added something else to my plate, He was going to have to help me go to war with my diabetes and win. He did! I saw Hashem’s Hand everywhere.

From the first day, He made sure everything fell into place. The diabetic counselor was in her office the day I was diagnosed [she only worked two days a week], 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 and he had one appointment time opened.

I parked myself in front of the computer and started my research. I had so many questions. 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.

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. 

In Hebrew, diabetes is called sukeret. The Israel Diabetes Association
 web site is in Hebrew but can be translated properly into English .The general information page is loaded with good information. 

The association has a symbol on foods that are safe for diabetics to eat. Over the years, this symbol is appearing on more and more food products.

Truthfully, I‘m not lacking any foods. I’m just careful about what I eat and how much.  If you Google recipes for diabetics, hundreds of recipes are available.

As opposed to many other serious illnesses, diabetes can be controlled. Proper nutrition, [my dietician helped me lose a lot of weight and I have kept it off], close and individualized follow-ups, physical activity and an appropriate drug regimen [when necessary] can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a good quality of life.

In other words follow your doctor's instructions, 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. Keep a journal or write a blog. You will see your progress first hand.

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 [a good kick] to get healthy, so that I can be around for my husband, children, grandchildren, and great granddaughter.

I am very grateful for all my blessings.

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