Living with Type 2 Diabetes: Beating the Diabetes Stereotypes

Sometimes I wonder how much of what we’re told about diabetes is true and how much of it is just folklore.  For instance, I’ve been told that you can’t miss meals, have to rest, can’t drink alcohol, can’t walk barefoot, and have to watch what I eat.  While some of these may be true for some diabetics, all of these definitely do not apply to me.  There is a lot of conflicting advice out there that can leave you wondering what’s really true.

I think that much of the confusing advice lies with not knowing whether a diabetic is Type I or Type II, not knowing if someone is hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic.  Most do not know the difference.    Before I had diabetes I remember people making a big deal because some diabetic missed a meal.  I’ve gone without eating for three days straight and was just fine minus a growling stomach.  I read something online the other day that said that skipping a meal can lower your blood sugar.  This is great if you have high blood sugar but can spell trouble if you have low blood sugar.  But noooo, people will turn monkeyflips if they find out you’re a diabetic and haven’t eaten in 24hrs.

When it comes to rest, I’m a firm believer that rest is a diabetic’s worst enemy.  High activity is the name of the game.  Activity burns glucose and that’s exactly what many of us need.  I’ve found that it is good to keep track of the amount of exercise we do on a weekly basis.  Exercise allows me to keep my glucose under control and occasionally have a sweet treat here and there.  Ironically though, I’ have  talked to some diabetics who say that they get lightheaded if they eat sweets.

Being a country boy, there are not many better feelings than walking barefooted.  I’m told that this is a no-no as well for many diabetics since damage may be done to a diabetic’s feet if they have neuropathy.   Fortunately, I am neuropathy- free and am happy to feel every rock, briar, or ant bite on my tender feet.  The pain lets me know that I still have perfect feeling in my feet.

I guess that in the end, diabetes isn’t a “one disease fits all” monster as many make it out to be.  However, as doctors have told me, diabetes goes through different stages and affects people differently.  Older people seem to be more affected by diabetes than younger people so I’m trying to stay “impervious” to diabetes as long as possible.

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