(Get ready, this is a heavy one. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 138th in a series):
That is what Oddibe McDowell appears to be offering. And if he were offering it to me, in April of 2012, I would have to consider a few questions first.
Is it sugarless?
If so, what is in it?
Am I making too big a deal out of a stick of gum?
Am I making too little of a deal out of a stick of gum?
Why am I thinking so much about this?
It's a piece of gum! Why am I so stressed out?
But what I would probably say instead is, simply:
And I would leave the rest of the thought out:
"I have diabetes."
I was diagnosed with diabetes last month. It's the big health news that I wrote so cryptically about, first because I didn't know what the hell was going on, second because I didn't want to believe it, third because of stress and frustration and anger and disgust and fear and worry and just way too much in an already preoccupied mind for me to want to deal with something like this in writing.
But since we are all sharing, I figured it would be a little selfish of me not to do so as well.
I don't know how long I have lived with Type 2 diabetes. I was one of those guys who didn't go see his doctor. But I figured I was still young enough where that wasn't a big deal. But here I am, at age 46, dealing with things that I never wanted to think about when I was younger.
Diabetes runs in my family although not on a big scale. So it's always been in the back of my mind, but not a major concern. I lived about 20 years of my life being overweight and when I set out to lose weight five years ago, I figured that had taken care of many future potential health issues. Lucky me. It didn't.
I kept drinking the soda, and craving the desserts, and while I didn't eat what most people would consider an extraordinary amount, it was still too much for my body.
I am in the early stages of this -- at least I think I am, nobody knows for sure. So there are none of the common tools that you associate with diabetics -- yet. But there are definitely some of the symptoms.
I have become a big believer in natural healing, and although medicine helps a great many of diabetics, I've read some bad stories about diabetes medicine, too. I've decided -- for now -- to go the natural route, with supplements, healthy diet and exercise (my parents -- both in their 70s -- have led healthy lifestyles for 40 years and if you saw how young and active they are, you'd be an instant believer).
The jury is still out -- it's only been a month since the diagnosis, you know -- and there are still almost daily concerns. Lots of uncertainty, lots of research, lots of conflicting information, lots of panicked moments, lots of prayer. I don't know where all of this will lead, and that is why, I think, I was so reluctant to put it down on virtual paper.
I have not eaten anything with more than a couple grams of sugar in a month. Didn't even touch my daughter's birthday cake and ice cream. I don't really miss that stuff (although I did dream last night -- to my horror -- that I downed a bottle of Coke).
I'm starting to find support in others and I'm sure that support will grow as time moves on.
My hope is that I will be a testament to the wonders of healthy living, and live a full life for years to come.
My hope is that I'm not too late.
There's a lot of work to be done. I'm trying not to think too much about it.
But like that gum question, there are so many questions out there that make me stop and pause. And think and think and think. And scold myself for thinking.
I'll work on that. I'm working on a lot things.
Like saying this:
"No thanks. I have diabetes."