Once upon a time…don’t you love stories that start out like that? You know it’s going to be a fairy tale…not true…a work of fiction. Full of Princesses, Princes and Happy Endings. Kisses that change frogs into humans. Kisses that wake one from a deep coma-like sleep to find everlasting happiness. You know what I am talking about, right? So…
Once upon a time there was this person who had Diabetes. Their kindly and smart doctor told them they should work to control the disease. That with a little change here and there, Diabetes could be completely controlled. The brave patient listened and learned what they needed to do. They picked up their prescriptions. Determined to change and control Diabetes. And, then they got home.
Our brave Diabetic decided they didn’t feel bad, so they couldn’t really be sick. That they really did not have a disease. So, the patient did nothing to control the disease. Our brave patient decided that if they really had Diabetes, it couldn’t be that bad.
And, a few years passed by…a few more pounds were gained by the Brave Patient. Their A1c, like a hit record, was climbing the chart. But, what could happen?
Does our Brave Patient live a full life? What could happen?
Well, let’s see, where shall we begin?
We’ll start at the top. A good place to start, right? Complications from Diabetes can include mental health issues. Anger and denial can lead to depression which can cause problems including alienating those closest to you. But, that can’t happen to our Brave Patient (does a touch of sarcasm read well?).
Then, those with Diabetes are known to have eye problems that can lead to impaired vision or blindness. How does that happen? Damage to small blood vessels that feed the eye from elevated glucose levels. So, seeing a movie; art work; the rising or setting Sun; children, grand children and spouses become a bit ‘difficult’ to see. Why do you think Diabetics need to have their retinas examined every year? Because it happens. But, our Brave Patient can’t see that happening to them. (That one was so easy, I just couldn’t resist it.)
Then, there is hearing loss. What? Hearing loss? Yep. It seems as though the small blood vessels that feed the ear and give us our wonderful hearing get damaged due to Diabetes. When they are damaged, there is hearing loss. Do you think our Brave Patient is listening? (Okay, I just couldn’t help myself – again.)
Another very popular complication for the Diabetic are foot complications. That’s a nice way of saying numbness, pain, skin problems, nerve damage, ulcers, calluses, and more. Why do you think there is a huge business in shoes made especially for Diabetics? Because a lof of folks need them. But, our Brave Patient who doesn’t control Diabetes won’t need them. No…never.
Oh, did I mention amputation? A toe here and there. A foot. A limb. These are real complications of Diabetes. But, these would never happen to our Brave Patient.
High Bood Pressure (aka Hypertension) is another darling of those with Diabetes who don’t effectively control the disease. Think I am kidding? Two out of three Diabetics have high blood pressure…but not out Brave Patient. It would never happen to them. And, high blood pressure can lead to all kinds of problems including heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. But, (say it with me) not for our Brave Patient.
Are you beginning to understand that it must take bravery to face Diabetes and the complications if you don’t control the disease? Bravery or…something else.
So, just a little recap because I don’t want you getting lost. Complications from Diabetes include Mental Health issues, Blindness/Sight Impairment, Hearing Loss, Foot Problems, High Blood Pressure…but wait, there’s more!
Kidney disease is another favorite for Diabetics who are not controlling the disease. Did you know that 44% of those starting Dialysis have Diabetes? 44%! No wonder store front clinics are opening all over the place. But, dialysis is no big deal if you don’t want to have a life since you have to go in three times a week. New friends can be met. Abut, our Brave Patient who is doing nothing to control their Diabetes would never have kidney disease.
The list of complications goes on and on. They are real. And while our Brave (and truly foolish) Patient would ‘never’ get any complications, you certainly could. Take a look at what the ADA has to say about complications.
You are smarter than our Brave Patient. Declare your War On Diabetes and control it. You can do this…be smart…fight for your full life. You know what your weapons in the fight are – Diet, Exercise and Meds. They are very effective when used.
As always, thank you for reading…and acting. Your life is not a fairy tale; it’s better!