Personally, Spring is my favorite season. Why? April hosts my birthday, my son’s birthday, my wedding anniversary. May is Mother’s Day, graduations and reunions. Spring is a festival of parties, celebrations, dinners and if I play my cards right, gifts. And oh yeah, Prom.
If you are a 15, 16, 17 or 18 year old girl, prom is magical. If you are a teenage boy, Prom is okay. If you are a parent, Prom sucks for a wide variety of reasons. Firstly, it’s expensive. Second, it’s nerve-wracking if your kid doesn’t get asked to the prom by who they want to go with. Finally, it’s dangerous, because things can so easily spin out of control. Kinda like Type 2 diabetes.
What, you say? Let me explain.
Against my better judgement, I allowed my daughter to host a post-prom party following her formal dance a few weeks ago. Knowing that teenagers do what they do (underage drinking) I took extreme measures to prevent that from happening. I allowed the kids to sleepover to avoid any drunk driving. I was so thorough in checking every bag that came into the house that the kids gave me a nickname: “TSA”. I took a sip from every single bottle that came into the house. I stationed responsible adults at every door. With all these precautions, there should have been an alcohol-free party. Yes? No.
I confiscated five (5) liters of some toxic mixture (wine, beer, vodka) that those little buggers sneaked into the party. I STILL had one or two kids who, shall we say, overindulged.
How is this like Type 2 diabetes? Well, suppose you take all precautions. You eat right, avoid eating too many carbs and stay away from processed (junk) food. You exercise regularly. You take your medications in the amount and at the times you are prescribed. And doggone it, your blood sugar is still high and A1C aint pretty. For so many people, that is what they are experiencing. Makes you want to throw in the towel and hit up the McDonalds drive thru, doesn’t it?
That’s how I felt after the post-prom party. I gave my best shot at trying to keep kids safe, and felt like I had been unsuccessful. Until my teenage daughter reminded me that if I had not worked so hard to keep the alcohol out, there would have been many more drunk kids. So although I didn’t win it all, I won the war. Everybody had fun and everybody got home safe.
It’s the same with doing what you can do to manage your diabetes. It doesn’t seem like all the hard work is making a difference. You can’t see it in your weight, or in your blood glucose numbers. But is there a difference in how you feel? Not just physically, but mentally. Taking charge and responsibility for your health can positively impact how you feel about yourself and eventually, have a positive impact on your health.
So don’t give up. Fight the small battles. Celebrate when your behavior goes according to plan. Learn from times when you slipped or dropped the ball–but keep it moving. Whatever you are doing to manage your disease, keep doing it, no matter how small or how ineffective the efforts may appear. Because while results may not be obvious by looking at the numbers, consequences of doing nothing will become clear in short order.