One Powerful Word - Reality

I like to keep things simple, and what could be simpler than focusing on one word at a time. For starters, I’d like to direct your attention to the word “reality.” When it comes to diabetes, accepting reality is extremely important because personal action is necessary. Here are four specific realities – embracing these truths for what they are (see #4) can have a powerful effect on your future.

You have diabetes

This may sound simple, but crossing the boundary between “prediabetes” and type 2 diabetes can be uneventful except for filling a new prescription and getting your first blood glucose meter. Diagnosis can be a powerful motivation for lifestyle changes, but only if you accept this new reality.

Type 2 diabetes is serious.

I never like to dwell on the worst, but it must be mentioned – unmanaged diabetes can have serious consequences. It’s easy to assume otherwise. After all, it’s type 1 diabetes many people call “bad” diabetes, and the word “complications” sounds more like a scheduling snafu than a serious health concern. Don’t be fooled – type 2 diabetes is not “good” diabetes.

Managing diabetes is inconvenient

Doing the easiest part – taking a pill – is not enough. The main reference/resource book for certified diabetes educators says, ”Patients should be reminded that any pharmacological treatment (medication) for type 2 diabetes is onlyasupplementto lifestyle changes.” Lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Expecting diabetes management to be easy makes it difficult to stick with.

You can preserve your long term health

This is the good news, and by far the most important reality. Medication, blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating and exercise can work together to make diabetes a small (albeit inconvenient) part of your healthy and active future life. In fact, it’s feasible that every two days of effective self-management adds one extra quality day to your life! Keeping diabetes out of your life means making diabetes management a part of it, but there is no better investment you’ll ever find. And, you can do it.

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