If you have read my posts, you know there are 18,800,000 diagnosed diabetics in the United States. Add those who are not yet diagnosed and you get to 25,800,00 people. What does that mean? What does that many people look like?
Well, 18.8 million people looks a lot like the population of Florida. Yep, the entire population. Okay, just a bit short of it – Florida has 19 million people, but you understand my point. There are a lot of Diabetics. New York State has a population of almost 19.5 million – again close to the number of diabetics in the United States. I am talking about complete state populations that equal the number of Diabetics. In fact, if all of the diabetics were put in one state, it would have the 5th largest population in the United States. And if the undiagnosed folks were thrown in with us, we’d be the third largest population just behind California and Texas!
So, do you get the idea there are a whole lot of us? And yet Diabetes can be a lonely disease. We are diagnosed. Told to take our meds. Told to lose some weight. And then so many are left alone. Is that crazy, or what?
One of the problems is that we don’t look any different than anyone else. There are no marks on us (unless you look closely at two of my fingers where I do my testing). We can’t be picked out of a group of people. We can’t be singled out in anyway.
And, therein lies a problem. There are days when it’s just nice to know that someone is going through the same thing you are. There are days when it’s nice to know somebody else slips in their diet, meds or exercise. There are days when it’s nice to know it’s not the end of the world, but the opening of a new one in which you can thrive. There are days when it’s nice to know that others are succeeding in their battle to control Diabetes.
The reality is that for most of us it doesn’t matter how many other diabetics exist. It only matters about one diabetic, You. You have the daily little battles – and that’s all they are – little battles. What kind of battles? Well, does, “All I can think about is a doughnut; one can’t be that bad.” Or, “Oatmeal cookies do have oatmeal..can one be that bad for me?” Or, “Sure, the salad is an option, but that big bowl of pasta sure looks good.”
The more times you know that the doughnut is not the best choice; that oatmeal cookies really aren’t healthy – oatmeal or no oatmeal; and that pasta will increase your blood sugar – the more often you will win the little battles. The more battles you win, the more you will control Diabetes.
It’s not magic. It’s work. With all of the food choices around us, given a choice, we don’t always make the best choices, or we might not have Diabetes.
There are a lot of folks with Diabetes. There are a lot of folks being successful in controlling it, and you can be successful, too. You can control and manage your Diabetes – I know it. You have the strength and intelligence to make smart food choices. You are smart enough to know you have to take your meds, exercise and monitor your diet.
So, when it comes right down to it, while there are 18.8 million of us in the US, the fight is only about one – you. And, you know what? You can do it. You are the most important diabetic in your world because you can change and control the disease. You can thrive and live to see your grandchildren.
As always, thank you for reading.