Monday, July 21, 2008

Past, Present and Future

When diagnosed with a serious chronic condition, it's a totally human reaction to immediately ask "Why me?" and to start reviewing all of the things that happened in the past to blame for this new affliction. We look for the cause. Was it lack of exercise, obesity, diet, genes or exposure to chemicals? Or was it unsafe work conditions, the government, alien experiments or cosmic rays? Who or what should we blame?

After a while most of us realise that the right people to ask those questions are researchers and doctors seeking new treatments and cures. But for the newly diagnosed diabetic, in the immediacy of deciding what to do now, those questions are irrelevant unless we are still doing whatever it was that was a problem.

When I got over the "Why me?" stage my logic was simple. Once I knew I had diabetes the past was irrelevant to me. I didn't care why I got it, I cared about what to do next.

I read everything I could find and understood some of it. My reading showed that several factors were likely to shorten my life or make it less enjoyable by causing complications. Among other things a few stood out: uncontrolled blood glucose, smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and poor nutrition. All of those were things I could change myself.

I also found from various scientific articles that these factors could be cumulative in their effect. Maybe not always for diabetes, but for long term health in other ways. And diabetes is not my only affliction.

Thus blood glucose control, while a priority, was not enough if I continued to be fat or smoke or be sedentary or eat poorly. Each was a factor, each unchecked could exacerbate the others.

I had ceased smoking the year prior to diagnosis but from that moment on I started acting on all of the other factors.

As I said, the past was irrelevant. Why I was now a diabetic was purely academic. What I was going to do about it was not. Focus on your future, not your past, and do things in the present to achieve the future you want.

Just my opinion.

Cheers, Alan

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.

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